In the last couple of weeks, my daughter Suki has come home from school with a recorder🎺. Turns out this is the time for her to learn how to play it, so as you can imagine I’m over the moon. She’s OK at playing it, she understands melody, can read the notes well and has quite good rhythm. The only problem is that she has tiny fingers and struggles to keep all the holes shut throughout her songs. So the sounds that come out of the recorder are often questionable. But “it’s ok mummy” she tells me “because when we play at school we all play at the same time so it sounds awful anyway. It’s completely crazy.” Now wait, why on earth am I telling you about my daughter’s recordering?
I have been trying to write up my MozCon notes as blog articles ever since I left the conference. I started on the plane back ✈ to the UK and have been working on several articles since. Every single one of the draft I have started has ended up in the bin 🗑.
But, it’s not that they were not summarising the conference or getting the essence of what each speaker was sharing, no!
I hated every article I wrote because they were going against everything I was trying to achieve. None of them were adding anything valuable to the content that’s already out there. Unbounce very kindly wrote up the entire conference notes and many have written up great summaries of it, so there was really no need for me to do that again. All I was doing is adding to the content noise, like playing a recorder, without covering all the holes.
The thing is, I don’t want to play the recorder badly. (I don’t even really want to play it at all. I always fancied playing the oboe or the violin 🎻) So I have been racking my brain to figure out how I could write something valuable and unique about MozCon. Finally, after watching another one of Kindra Hall’s videos, I had an idea that I didn’t hate.
I needed to write my story about MozCon.
Now when I say my story, I don’t mean my experience and the awesome adventure it was, I already did that. Although be warned I already hate that one too, because it really doesn’t come close to putting into words how amazing the trip really was…I think that might be impossible.
No, when I say my story I mean what I took away from the conference and how it has affected the way I think and write.
The biggest change so far in my daily life has been questioning every sentence I (and my team) write. Questioning every interaction we have with our clients and our clients’ users. Questioning everything we produce or work on.
- Is this email specific? Does it provide anything helpful to the user? Does it focus on what the email means to them? Is it an email they’d like to receive? Inspired by Joanna Wiebe, @copyhackers and Justine Jordan @meladorri
- Does this about page really tell a story about the business or is it just empty language that is used by every other company in the sector? Inspired by Kindra Hall, @kindramhall and Joanna Wiebe, @copyhackers
- Does this piece of content exceed the expectations of my client’s user? Does it really enable the user to have a great experience with my client’s brand? Are we fostering long-term brand relationships? Inspired by Rhea Drysdale @rhea and Wil Reynolds @wilreynolds
- Is this Sitemap intuitive to the user? Are there unnecessary links in this site or navigation? Could we make this work better for UX and SEO in one sweep? Inspired by Joe Hall, @joehall and Alex Stein, @sonofadiplomat
- Does this social media strategy work for the business 😡 or the market 😃? Do we pay enough attention to the user with our posts? Inspired by Dana DiTomaso, @danaditomaso
My story of the conference is the one that turns us all into marketers that actually care about our users. It’s that we all go away and create websites and content that ultimately affect our users and brings them a better experience and actually offers them something useful, helpful, valuable and unique.
That’s why we should all stop playing the recorder – badly, stop contributing to the noise that surrounds us all. Instead, let’s create content that plays to its own tune and puts a spring into peoples’ step.