Circular Content Creation: A Dangerous Trap for Creators

June 11, 2024

So, the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster for me. 

Not too long ago, I made a video all about my niche, my target audience, and my ideal customer profile. I was super excited because I had gone through a lot to figure it all out. 

I know how crucial it is to have that clarity when creating content. If you don’t know who you’re creating content for, it can be a nightmare.

I ran this idea past my wife. 

She’s a very clear thinker and asked me some tough questions about my target audience. 

It turns out, while it was a good niche, the problem was that it was too circular or meta. It reminded me of people who create content about creating content or those who build a business teaching others how to make money online by making money online. 

You get the point. 

It’s like a house of cards—too circular and lacking substance.

I didn’t want to fall into that trap. It’s easy to build your authority on shaky ground. 

At first, I really resisted my wife’s feedback. I was so convinced about my target audience because I had put so much effort into figuring it out. But she made me realize that if I wanted to create content about creating content, I needed solid case studies to back it up. And I didn’t have that.

Here’s the thing: 

  • If you’re teaching content creation, you need real case studies—not just your own, but from clients as well.
  • Your foundation has to be strong; otherwise, it’s too easy for everything to crumble.

I was frustrated at first. 

I had this perfect target audience, and now I was being told it wasn’t good enough. But after some reflection, I understood her point. If I wanted to focus on video marketing for busy founders, I needed to do it for a separate brand. Then, I could talk about it on my personal brand. This way, it would be legit.

It’s easy to think you can teach something just because you’ve learned it. But you need to be careful. It can become too circular, and that’s a problem. So, I decided to take a step back to take a step forward. I went back to what I learned from Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work.

I love the idea of showing your work. It’s simple and elegant. 

If you share what you’re doing, like-minded people will find you. You attract an audience naturally. It’s not about seeking validation; it’s about sharing because you find it cool and interesting. That authenticity brings good energy and makes your content stable.

So, yeah, I’m taking a step back to move forward. I’m going to focus on showing my work. I’m doing a lot of cool stuff with my content and a new business that’s in the promotion stage. I can share all of that with you.

I’ll be sharing behind-the-scenes looks, the mistakes I make, and what I learn from them. I think there’s a lot of value in that. It’s real and authentic, and maybe you’ll find some lessons you can apply to your own life.

So, thanks for sticking with me as I navigate this content game. It’s new territory for me, even though I’ve been doing this for a while. I need to train my mind to think more along the lines of sharing what I’m doing. I’m going to reread Show Your Work to let those concepts sink in.

That’s where my thoughts are right now. 

It might be the wrong direction, but time will tell. For now, I’m experimenting and having fun, and I’m glad you’re along for the ride. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next post. Bye for now!

Gideon Shalwick