Isn’t that too long?
Not in this case.
What matters is covering the topic well. For that newsletter, 1,300 words was exactly right.
The Wall Street Journal averages 54 pages a day. Nobody complains that it’s “too long.”
Your content is equally valuable. Focus on helping the reader and worry less about length.
All from colleagues who wanted to know if I had seen a recent article about the power of newsletters.
Why me and why this article?
Because I’m known for specializing in email newsletters (and for being distractingly good-looking, but that’s probably beside the point).
When you are known for a particular thing, the mere mention of it has people sending articles your way.
Oh … they also send clients, referrals, and invitations to speak and write.
You can stand out and be remembered by getting better, or you can narrow your focus.
Invent & Wander, The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos, is available on Amazon for $2.75 (hard cover).
And so, after reading a review of it, I figured there might be something to learn from a man who is undeniably a business genius.
But I couldn’t get through it.
With chapters like “Trust” and “Work-Life Harmony,” all I kept thinking was, “Does he think we haven’t heard about how he treats his employees (and ex-wife, for that matter)?
I’m sure there is some good advice in here, but the noise he gives off as a (I’m assuming) human is so loud that I can’t hear it.
Who you are matters just as much as what you know.
Both are worth working on.
One of the exercises involved sending an informal email note to a friend or colleague.
I said, “If you can’t think of anyone to send it to, send it to me.” I then shared my email address.
When the presentation was over, I found about 20 emails in my inbox from participants. Most were quite friendly, and many thanked me for a great event.
But one person wrote this: “I regret to say that today’s presentation has been the most disappointing and discouraging yet of the entire conference.”
While it is always nice to be recognized as “the most” at something, I have to confess that when I first started working for myself, an email like that – despite 20 in the other direction – would have thrown me.
Today though, and provided it’s not 20-1 against, I don’t mind them at all.
That’s becuse when people object to your point of view, personality, or style … it means you have one.
Nobody hates plain vanilla. But nobody stands in line for it either.
If you never hear any objections, maybe what you’re saying isn’t worth listening to.
Big news for me, but the truth is, you don’t really care.
And if this post were about nothing else, you’d be annoyed, maybe you would even unsubscribe.
But … when you wrap otherwise “irrelevant personal stories” around useful information, it brings the information – and you – to life.
If you sell a professional service, who you are matters at least as much as what you know. Don’t leave that part out.