Intent is Everything

Intent is Everything

Thank you to George Naylor (Insta: @georgejnaylor) for this week’s photo!

I can’t emphasise this enough…

…and having studied marketing in depth as well as being hugely fascinated by the psychology and sociology involved in marketing, one of my favourite things to do is to analyse the thought behind the content that people and businesses post.

(“Wow Jack you’re so cool” is what I’m sure you’re all thinking right now).

I’ve said it before, that I strongly believe that there is an intent behind every piece of content we post.

Whether you’re a business trying to sell a product or a person trying to portray an image of themselves to friends, there’s a motive and message behind all the content we decide to make public for all the world to see.

And it would be massively hypocritical here of me to gloss over the fact that indeed I don’t write these blogs for the pure fact I enjoy doing them (that’s just an added bonus).They’re a very deliberate choice in order to achieve a goal and why I feel comfortable asserting that so bluntly, is the intent behind the posts.

I believe there are simply two types of posts on social media…

  1. Posts providing value

  2. Posts asking for something

And I feel it’s incredibly easy to see the intent behind someone’s post. Whether you recognise it consciously or sub-consciously.

And although I acknowledge that posts asking for something, that intend to ‘convert’ an audience or create a sale are important, but if they are all you’re posting, it’s not going to be long before your audience gets bored and starts to switch off.

Now, get inside your mind when you’re logging on to social media, what are you hoping to achieve?

My intuition says most likely you’re looking to be entertained. Whether’s that’s a funny skit from your favourite comedian, a highlight from your favourite sports team or just seeing what your favourite celebrity was up to last night.

But maybe you’re looking to be informed too. Whether that’s learning about a new product your favourite company has just released, some breaking news or maybe someone notifying you that they’ve just posted another edition of their absolutely fascinating weekly blog on content production.

Ask yourself, is your post one that’s providing value for your audience by entertaining or informing them?

Or instead are you asking them for something? Most commonly asking them to them to buy your product but also if you’re often posting self-indulgent photos designed to portray an image of yourselves, I believe that you are asking them to sit up and take notice of how great you are. Your intending them to give you attention or perhaps their money, without offering them anything in return,

Gary Vaynerchuk often asks “Is your intent pure? If your intent is pure, you will win” (as well as acknowledging it’s a strategy for long term success rather than making a quick buck).

Now back to my intent for these blog posts…

Every week I try to break down my experience and thoughts in the world of content production and marketing, presenting them in a way I hope will bring value and be a help to one or two people out there.

In every post I give my best and most honest thoughts away completely for free and what’s more I don’t hide anything, or save my ‘best ideas’ for those who are willing to pay for them.

I truly believe in today’s modern marketing world that the only way to create a sale is to ‘guilt’ people in to buying from you by providing them unbelievable value up front for free.

(And yes that’s another thought originally from Gary Vaynerchuk).

And for so for the last 40 blog posts, I’ve endeavoured to give away my best thoughts on a subject I’ve got great experience in and hopefully can effectively help a few people who are looking to do the same.

There are things I’m working on now, that I know soon I will need to start asking for something in return.

And having given away value for free for a considerable amount of time, as Gary says “gives you the right to ask”. It does not in anyway guarantee or demand/obligation for a sale in return, but it gives you a far better chance than if you ask outright.

So ask yourself “what is your intent?”.

And if it’s a pure one, that’s even better.

I wish you every success.


Jack Tompkins