Social networking sites are full of advice on how to create excitement among your followers and convert them into customers. There are some great ideas out there, but most miss the number one reason that people keep reading your blog, or following you on Twitter and Facebook: because they want to hear what you have to say next. You have engaged their curiosity.
Curiosity is a different quality of attention than excitement. Excitement is good for getting people to rush out and buy the Next Big Thing, but it has a limited shelf life. Once people have heard about the Next Big Thing, their attention moves elsewhere and you have to create another buzz to get them back. Curiosity keeps people coming back whether there is a new gadget or not, because they know they might learn something new.
Cultivating curiosity is what makes pull marketing work. As a creative content coach, I help clients rewrite their material in ways that keep readers coming back. But there is an even better reason to focus on curiosity than keeping your audience engaged: it will keep you engaged long after that exciting product launch has come and gone.
Developing a successful web presence takes consistency, and the biggest stumbling block for most people is just staying with it. It is hard to keep going when you think you have to whip up the crowd with every blog post. Instead, think of what you are curious about. What has grabbed your attention recently? What did you just read that you disagree with? Where is your learning edge?
Expertise is something we all strive for, but the most interesting experts don’t just talk about what they already know, they keep adding to their knowledge. They stay curious, and that inspires them enough to write, share what they are learning, and have conversations that the rest of us want to be part of.
If you are excited about something, by all means say it. Write with all the passion you feel, but don’t get trapped into thinking that you always have to excite people. If you want to create a vibrant network through your web presence, and you’re in it for the long haul, consider giving voice to your curiosity more often. It will make the journey a whole lot more enjoyable for you, and meanwhile the rest of us will eagerly await the next chapter of your adventure.