I started writing a response to this amazing comment by Matthew Shadbolt of Corcoran, and thought… it’s too long to go into the comments. It deserves a post of its own.
Basically, Matthew’s challenge poses the question of passion on the one hand and technique on the other:
So, just as we disagreed yesterday with the advice of ‘post great content that people will want to share’, ‘be passionate’ isn’t an endgame in itself either. I feel like passionate content exists in real estate, pretty much only within social at the moment (I wouldn’t characterize any type of online home search as ‘passionate’ although I would love it to be), but my criticism of such content is that it is very often poorly executed. There is a very important quality issue missing from the content creation discussion. If it looks like crap, is tough to hear, or unreadable, people will not use it, no matter how ‘passionate’ the intent behind it – as a result your work becomes invisible. This is why I disagree with Rob’s point that you can’t strategize around creative – I think you have to. This is what ad agencies do, and why some in the real estate industry hear the call to think of themselves more as media companies, especially around their marketing. [Emphasis mine]
It’s an excellent point. Who cares how passionate you are about whatever topic, or how committed you are… if you just suck? No one will care about your passion if you can’t put it into a form that audiences can consume. Right?
Well, sort of.
I’ve actually written on this topic before, in the context of video. Back in 2009, I wrote in The Price of Artifice:
Because the audience expectation is so high when it comes to professional work, in order to avoid looking like an idiot, your execution must be extraordinary. This is both prohibitively expensive and incredibly difficult.
Turns out, the theme and the idea are both applicable to all content of any kind. You need both passion and technique, and perhaps my error in the first post was assuming/taking it for granted that anyone who would write a blogpost about his town with passion is at least in possession of above-average writing ability. At the same time, I don’t believe that professional marketers are always aware of the tradeoff between passion/authenticity and technique/skill.
Let us explore further.