You’re Being Too Nice, and It’s Why Your Content Marketing Is Failing

If your content marketing is failing and your business isn’t growing the way you want it to, it’s probably because you’re being too nice.

If you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you probably know that one of my favorite email subject lines is “How Can I Help?”

Now, that’s not just because it gets great open rates (seriously, give it a try sometime). I’m also genuinely, to a fault, obsessed with being helpful to you guys… and I realized recently that I’m probably being too nice.

Helping People Is Awesome… But Being Too Nice Has Consequences

I love the feeling of teaching someone a new skill, opening their eyes to the very real and achievable success that lies in front of them, making introductions that spark amazing connections between people, and sharing processes, tools, and systems that make an immediate impact on their businesses, careers and lives.

You’ll see this phrase — “How can I help?” — peppered throughout our content, our website buttons, and the workshops and webinars we host. Since the day I started this business, I knew my purpose was to help people be successful and feel confident in their business and career goals.

I also believe that being truly helpful and providing value to those around us is a primary ingredient in every recipe for success. But… and it’s a big but… it can also be a disastrous habit.

Being helpful without restraint and boundaries is a major reason why content marketing fails, even when you feel like you’re doing everything right.


This Is Why Content Marketing Fails — You’re Being Too Nice, and in Business, That’s a Recipe for Disaster

Here’s the funny thing about just offering up help — no strings attached, out of the goodness of your heart, high value, at no cost, help — the people who clammer to take you up on these offers of help:

  1. Often won’t understand the value of what you’re giving them.
  2. Because of the low perceived value, they won’t act on the help you give them.
  3. They may even be offended or upset that your free help didn’t immediately, and without any pain or effort, fix their problem.
  4. They probably won’t reciprocate the help in any way — not even a thank you.

We spent years teaching in-depth, multi-part workshops, giving away templates and worksheets that unlocked our most awesome of awesome sauces in a no-brainer format, and even tacking on extra services, coaching and training time for our clients and prospects at no cost, all because we have it deep in our hearts to help as many business owners and marketers as we can…

And It Wasn’t Working — We Were Being Too Nice, and Our Content Marketing Was Failing

All this hand-holding and giving away the farm wasn’t actually helping a damn person. It especially wasn’t helping us. It was why we felt, at the time, that content marketing fails more than it works.

We were being too nice for our own good, and it was hurting the bottom line.

I spent more time than I’d like to admit feeling burned out, taken advantage of, and generally Scrooge-like as a result of years spent being the giver of all and receiver of none of the business benefits I not-so-secretly desired.

Here’s what I’ve learned walking this tightrope, between having a true desire to help every person I connect with enjoy success, and my belief that giving of yourself and your talents is the magic ingredient to success.


Stop Being so Nice — Helping Does Not Mean Doing It All

We were offering too much, and we were being too nice for our own good.

Savvy folks know they need to bust some hump to reach their goals, and our “everything on a silver platter just because we love you” approach sounded way too good to be true.

It either threw up red flags about our true intentions, or they assumed the quality of what we had to offer was subpar.

Those who were attracted to our insanely generous free offerings expected a silver bullet that would solve all their problems without requiring a bit of hard work.

We’ve shifted our approach from handholding and putting everything on the table with no investment required (of money or time), to putting the hard work squarely on their shoulders, where it belongs.

The failure of others has nothing to do with you or the help you give them. Their failure does not mean your content marketing has failed.

Instead of in-depth, multipart, free workshops we now offer one-off webinars that impart the knowledge and tools necessary for people to DIY it, then send the listeners home to put their heads down and get the work done.

The workshops are still available, but they require a significant investment that is in line with the value we deliver.

We’ve also added a price tag to some of our best ebooks and templates. You can still access these wells of knowledge and help, but you’ll have to make an investment.

To truly help and offer value, you’ve got to set the expectation that the folks you help will be doing hard work and making an investment.

They will be putting in time and energy (and probably some money).

They will require commitment and effort to reach their goals, and you will be there to provide some guidance, structure, and all the cheerleading they need.

Helping Others Does Not Make You Responsible For Their Success

There is little that feels worse than pouring yourself into creating materials and workshops and content for others, only to have them proclaim failure of those assets because they didn’t reach their goals.

Or worse, to learn they never really even tried to implement the tools and resources you gave them. It makes you feel like your content marketing efforts have failed, that your attempts to provide useful, valuable content to create a relationship were wasted.

If you’re like me and want to see every person around you doing their absolute best with the strategies and tactics you offer, it can be deflating to witness these failures.

The failure of others has nothing to do with you or the help you give them. Their failure does not mean your content marketing has failed.


Being Nice and Helpful and Providing Value Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Ask For Help In Return

There’s this assumption that being altruistic and providing value to others is all give, give, give, and as a helper, you aren’t allowed to make your own needs known.

And while I do truly believe giving and helping others is mandatory for success, it is also imperative that we make our own needs known, ask for help, and willingly accept it without shame or ickiness.

Here’s The Help We Would Appreciate From You

  1. When you need help with your marketing, I hope you will call us. Understand that we are excellent at content marketing, website design, and branding, and while we want to help you with the free and inexpensive resources we publish on our site, at the end of the day, we are a business that thrives on providing digital marketing services.
  2. Tell other business owners, marketing directors, and people in charge of business growth about us. Maybe you’re not ready to hire a team to help you, but others in your network may be. So, if you find our content and resources valuable, then help us by spreading the word.
  3. Use the resources. Put the information and advice to work in your business. Don’t forget the mission that led you here in the first place. Put your head down, do the work, and see the results!

So, How Can I Help? No, Really. How Can I Help You?

If you’re here and reading this, if you’re participating in our content by reading it, sharing it, using it to grow your business, and telling other people about the work we do, then I want to help you.


Who can I introduce you to?

What topics can we cover?

What questions can we answer that will help you get where you want to be in your business?

Let me know in the comments.

And don’t forget to put those resources to good use.



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