Play the Long Game

“It takes years to become an overnight success”…

… or so the famous saying goes.

A few blogs back I wrote about a ‘24 months ahead’ mindset, where your actions and content all are all made with the intention to be in a certain position two years in the future.

To me, the 24 months before someone becomes ‘famous’, ‘well known’ or indeed ‘widely recognised’ for their success, are far more interesting than what they are doing right now in my opinion. In many cases it’s fascinating to see all the hard work people were putting in that went massively unnoticed before one piece of content catapulted them to worldwide recognition.

So I’ll skip right ahead to the takeaway message from this week’s blog, and it’s don’t give up.

“No one becomes an overnight success”, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, use all the cliches you like but they’re so true.

My intuition says that if you’re not getting the response from your content you want right now, that’s only further reason to keep going, keep improving and getting yourself ready for when major opportunities start coming your way.

Nowadays to me it seems everyone is so preoccupied with short-term tactics to get likes, gain followers and get instant results, all of which have only increased the value of long term thinking.

And sure it feels good to hit that 10K milestone on Instagram this year, but it would be way cooler to put in the unglamorous, unseen and ‘uncool’ work that means in three years time you’d have an audience of a million.

I’ve used followers here to illustrate a point, and that metric in my opinion should by no means be the be all and end all. I deeply believe if you can truly help even just 1 person with your content, it’s better than never posting it. If you can help 2 people, that’s even better. You can see where I’m going. The bigger your audience, the more chance you have of truly helping people with your content.

My intuition says it’s this word ‘help’ that’s vital for the success of any business today. Ostensibly all products and services at their very core should help a person or business, but it goes deeper than that…

With it now being so easy to create content or set up a business, everyone has a chance to do it. In an hour you can think of a brand name, create a logo and have an online store active and selling your products and making a profit.

And while that’s great, it’s also made things far more difficult. Let’s take YouTube creators for example…

At it’s very core, YouTube videos help us by providing a place for us to consume content for a multitude of differnt purposes and quite rightly it’s a platform everyone has access too. Now some achieve massive success, some achieve moderate success and but most won’t seem to make any impact at all.

My intuition says as a content producer you’ve got to go far far deeper in order to truly achieve success. Yes we can post content to all the platforms, yes they will get eyeballs and maybe some shares if they’re ‘cool’ but are they actually ‘helping’ anybody?

Gary Vaynerchuk breaks down the utility of content that it either helps by ‘informing’ or ‘entertaining.

Now informing is the easiest choice, if you can create a video that leaves your audience feeling just a little bit smarter about a topic they’re interested in, then that’s great, job done.

Entertaining (much like the entertainment industry) is the more difficult option but offers far greater rewards. And yes there’s huge value in documenting your life with a Vlog, but we have to be self-aware enough that perhaps at times our lives aren’t always interesting enough to make them entertaining for someone else to watch.

If you can make the mundane magical, then in my opinion you’re well on your way to success.

So where does this leave you and how does it help your content production?

I’m just a 28 year old content creator, but here’s my thoughts, I can’t with any certainty promise that they will be the guide to ultimate success, but hopefully there’s one of you out there reading this that can take a little something away and apply it to your life to make progress in something important to you.

My intuition says that today making great content is an essential part of your marketing and personal branding strategy…

Talk about what you know, talk about your experience but most importantly do it with the sole of intention of providing as much help to others as possible, not expecting anything from them in return.

Inform, entertain or even better do both.

And most importantly, don’t give up. Play the long game in everything you do.

It might be cool to do some short-term tactics to get a boost of followers, or something that in the short term is going to help your business by sacrificing your reputation.

Make content that has longevity, substance, message and meaning. Something that in two years time will still offer value to people just discovering it for the first time.

My intuition says if you truly want to achieve a level of success that only few people truly enjoy, the long game is the only one you should be interested in.

And I wish you every success.


About Jack

I help people, brands and business communicate more effectively with their customers through visual, audio and written content.

I do this through Southpaw Sport, the sports content marketing company I’m currently building as well as on a freelance basis working for agencies and production companies.


You can follow me on YouTube where I post videos and vlogs sharing my experience and opinion on content production.

YouTube —

And my social media for behind the scenes look at what I’m up to

Instagram — @jackwrtompkins

Twitter — @jackwrtompkins

Jack Tompkins