Why the Single Most Important Content Marketing Skill is Blowing the Whistle

content marketing

content marketingI’ve never written about this before at length, but when I’m not marketing my insurance business or writing this blog, I work as a high school basketball referee.

The 2012-2013 season is actually my tenth wearing the stripes and in those ten years as a basketball official I’ve worked over 1,500 games ranging from 4th graders to high school varsity.

There are days I love it.

There are definitely days I hate it.

But regardless of how I’m feeling about the game on the ride home there is no single activity over the course of my life which has taught me more about what it takes to be an artist then working as a referee.

…because reffing basketball takes balls (figuratively).

You don’t like to judged?  Don’t become a ref.

As a referee every action is judged.

The way you look.

The way you stand.

The way you talk.

Every word you speak is dissected.

Every gesture and mannerism critiqued.

Not to mention the calls you make.

…and therein lies the rub.

In order to be an official, in order to practice your art as a basketball referee, you have to blow the whistle.

As simple as it may seem in theory, blowing the whistle is incredibly hard in the moment.

What if your wrong?

What if you anticipated the play?

What if you’ve mistaken the rule?

What if what you thought happened really didn’t?

What if the coach yells at you?  Will you have to give him a technical?  What if he’s yelling at you because he’s correct and you’re not?

What if the player reacts to the call?  How will address that?

What if the crowd goes bananas?

What if other referees are in the crowd and see your mistake?

What if… What if… What if… it’s paralyzing.

Every single time you blow the whistle you’re going to be judged.  Some donut eating, ignorant, never-was in the stands is going to yell something offensive questioning your integrity, your intelligence or your character every single time you blow the whistle…

…but the whistle has to blown for a basketball game to function.

So be a referee you HAVE TO BLOW THE WHISTLE.

This is why so many men and women with great intentions drop out of reffing after a year or less.  Blowing the whistle means judgement, but the whistle has to be blown.  There is no way to be a referee and not blow the whistle.

Think I’m being dramatic?  Too sensitive?

Try calling a charge on the home team in front of 500 raving lunatic fans in a tie game with less than a minute on the clock.

You want to know what it’s like to experience unfiltered hate and judgement?

Sell that call when you know exactly what’s coming as a result.

Blowing the whistle is the hardest part.

Sell that call and don’t sweat…

…like you’ve done it a million times.

…like the gym is empty.

…like a father in the first row didn’t just threaten your life.

Blowing the whistle is the hardest part.

Sell that call and then stand there like it doesn’t phase you.

Better yet… Don’t pretend it doesn’t phase you… Just don’t let the judgement phase you. You know it’s coming.  The judgement is coming regardless, so the only way to get really good at dealing with judgement is the blow the damn whistle.

Once you’ve blown your whistle 100 times dealing with judgement starts to become easy.  Blow your whistle a 1,000 times and handling judgement becomes second nature.  Blow your whistle 10,000… You blow your whistle 10,000 times and you forget that anyone is even judging you.

This is why blowing your whistle is the single most important content marketing skill

…simply replace blowing your whistle with creating content and you’ve set yourself apart from everyone else in your industry attempting to market their business online.

blowing the whistle

If you want to drive traffic, build relationships and ultimately generate revenue from content marketing you have to create content.

Seems obvious right?

Undertand then that every piece of content you create is going to be judged.  Everyone who reads your content is going to make immediate judgements based on their unique perception of your content.

Some will agree with what you say. Some will enjoy your content. Others will disagree. Others will comment and push back on you. Others still will question your expertise, your motives, your experience…

Don’t let this paralyze you.

No matter how you create content, using whatever tools you use, following whatever template you follow, they are going to judge you and you have absolutely ZERO control.

Don’t let the judgement phase you.

Don’t let it bother you.

Don’t even think about it.

Simply create your art.  Create your content.

Create your content with reckless abandon.

Harness the power of content marketing and blow that damn whistle…


Thank you and Good luck,

I am Ryan Hanley and if you enjoyed this article you’ll love the Content Warfare Newsletter, get it here.

SPEAK YOUR MIND: What paralyzes you from creating content?