I was wrong, and it's time to come clean ...

I spend around 50 hours to make each of ​these case studies​. That’s research, structuring, writing, and visuals.

I say that not to brag but for context of what I’m about to say.

Because in one of those case studies, I got something wrong.

My thinking around one area in particular has changed.

In the past, when I wrote something and later changed my thinking, I'd simply pull the post, remove the article from my website, or delete the tweet.

Act like it never happened.

But the ripple effect of investing the amount of time I do on these means I’m reluctant to pull or change them.

And the truth is, I’ve noticed a common trait among these thought leaders I research:

Flexibility in mind

In pursuing their own unique opinions, they’re not simply regurgitating accepted ‘truths.’ They’re taking a risk, at times, going against the grain.

But naturally, as they spend longer in the field, investing greater attention on the topic of focus, their ideas evolve. There’s tension between new thinking and old.

And, rather than ignore those tensions, they’ll publicly share how they once thought one way but now another.

Though I’m not a thought leader, I am trying to emulate their principles and traits.

So here goes my attempt at articulating my own evolution of thinking…

I love the concept of repurposing

We attempt it at home regularly.

When one product comes to the end of its natural life, we try to figure out its new job.

As a content marketer, I've been familiar with that 'repurpose' philosophy floating around in our business for the past 10 years.

But recently, I've been paying closer attention to the concept and asking myself: What kind of materials and products get repurposed?

It’s old tyres into planters, glass bottles into vases, pallets into coffee tables, or giving an old piece of furniture a fresh lease of life with a lick of paint.

Old bottle glasses as vases, painting an old dressing table, a pallet for a coffee table, old tyres as planters

We repurpose the old. Stuff that no longer serves its purpose. And, at times, rubbish.

Notice, there’s no Rolex in the image above, nor a Louis Vuitton bag.

That’s because we don’t repurpose premium products.

We treasure them.

The stuff we truly value is scarce, so we hold onto it.

“In a capitalist economy, the market rewards things that are rare and valuable. Social media use is decidedly not rare or valuable.” - Cal Newport

The common advice around content marketing is that we should repurpose our long-form material.

Slice one article into 5 tweets, 2 short-form videos, and 1 LinkedIn carousel.

I certainly bought into that philosophy.

In my case study on ​Patrick Campbell and Profitwell​, I promoted their ability to invest significant time and money into creating in-depth content (their shows) and then slice and dice them for social media.

But how wise is this?

As Cal Newport says, the market rewards scarcity.

So this notion that you need to be in all places at once, that you should maximise your content output to get ultimate bang for your buck…

It's not premium

Nor is it expert.

This isn’t me saying you shouldn’t be on LinkedIn or Twitter.

It’s me asking the question:

Is it in the interest of a premium brand to be in all places at once?

​Rolex limits the supply of its products​ for a reason.

After spending hours creating a long-form piece of insight, do we really cut it all up on social without any of the context that went with the original article?

Does it remain the high-quality thinking that it was in its original form?


That's not to say you can't take your ideas over to short-form social, but that's a different thing entirely...

“What’s Twitter all about? It’s about making the biggest point in the smallest number of words, and that’s a niche skill… If it’s not your way of communicating, if you can communicate better in other ways, just don’t do it because all you’re gonna do is make people think you’re not as good as they thought you were, which happens all the time on Twitter. I’ll think, oh god, I really like that author, and now I don’t like them quite as much.” - Jon Ronson

So my U-turn is: Don’t repurpose.

Email me (liam@liamcurley.co.uk) and let me know.



P.S. Image credits as follows:

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