Too Much Noise

By Cheryl Franklin

Can you remember the book Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern?
Peter thinks his house is too noisy so goes to a wise man… the wise man (spoiler alert) tells him to add a cow to the house, then a donkey etc etc. Giving Peter a lesson in perspective, of how noisy his house actually was.

I’ve been on LinkedIn today and read hundreds of posts about how brilliant yet humble the author is. (Yes, I’m going to do the same here).

The constant self-promotion and the need to stay relevant can become overwhelming. Reading post after post – can be overwhelming, I am overwhelmed. It’s hard enough just doing my job, I have to write about it too? The pressure to “toot your own horn” is exhausting.

Is there a viable alternative that means I can keep doing my job, and staying relevant (I think that’s biz speak for keeping up with the kids)?

Social media has transformed the way we connect, communicate, and do business. While it offers many benefits, including reaching large audiences and building brand awareness, it also generates a tremendous amount of noise. This noise is characterised by the constant barrage of posts, tweets, stories, and advertisements vying for our attention.

The pressure to be posting multiple times a day, just to stay visible, is a relentless cycle of content creation, engagement and can quickly lead to burnout. I, as part of my company and as an individual, don’t post enough – not enough tooting trumpets around here – we do decent work, we are decent people and yet are too shy, too overwhelmed, too fatigued to tell anyone. We’ve been trying to get case studies out for about a million years. We know we need to, but the energy it takes, and the effort taken away from your daily job is immense. Scrolling through other people’s feeds and posts is exhausting and, at least for me, can lead to feelings of inadequacy and increased pressure to showcase achievements.

I’m really interested in vulnerability in business and I’m going to sound w&nky now…. but I’d like to be authentic too. Sooooo this is all Too. Much. Noise.

Businesses are often told that self-promotion is key to success. While it’s undoubtedly important to market your products or services, the constant need to promote can be draining and striking a balance between authentic sharing and self-promotion is challenging.

Is there an alternative?

Concentrate on delivering high-quality services. When your work speaks for itself, you may find that word-of-mouth recommendations become your most powerful marketing tool.

Best will in the world, try not to piss your colleagues off, they move on, you may need them at a later date. Respect and turn to your fellow industry professionals. Tell them your struggles, 9/10 times they are struggling too. Building your community gives you a place for tooting that horn safely.

Rather than trying to be everywhere, choose a few platforms that align with your values. This can allow you to focus on creating meaningful content. Or at least feel like you are doing your bit without sending you down a hole of overwhelm and comparisons with other people.

Share your struggles, and successes authentically. Try to connect on a more real level, showing the human side of your business… let’s face it, if you do this and colleagues, clients, peers scoff or roll their eyes, they are not for you. Find a new tribe. It’s too bloody hard as it is.

Success in business doesn’t always require constant horn-tooting, thank goodness. But as the wise man proved to Peter in Too Much Noise perhaps, as with all things, a little bit of everything does you good….so this is my post. This is my little bit of noise. This is my donkey. Hee Haw.

Image credit: Too Much Noise. Author: Ann McGovern Illustrator: Simms Taback

Cheryl Franklin is Operations Director at G&V. For more information on our team culture, operations and processes then please get in touch via our contact page.


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