Quality through Quantity
Applying the principle of Quality through Quantity has made a significant positive difference in my professional and personal growth.
See an updated version of this article here.
How do I make great content? By making more content.
How do I improve my skills? By working with more clients.
How do I find ideal referral partners? By reaching out to more referral partners.
How to balance Quantity and Quality?
I think about content in stages.
Stage 1 is any content that is first posted online. Whether I spent 5 minutes or 5 months on something, it is still Stage 1 if it’s the first time I’m posting it. Therefore, I try to spend as little time on Stage 1 content as possible. (In practice, with these posts it takes me about 1 hour to write and lightly edit. I used to only be able to write a little bit in an hour; now with practice I’m able to write more.)
Stage 2 is looking at my previous Stage 1 pieces, seeing what the audience likes, and then spending more time on those pieces, editing and re-publishing them. In other words, I spend time improving the pieces that already have potential. I let the audience tell me what “Quality” means… not my own judgments.
I’ve learned over the past 10 years as a marketer to be “agnostic” about what’s going to work in the market.
Just put stuff out there, and let my audience tell me what works.
Stage 3 is to integrate and monetize several Stage 2 pieces, which further improves the quality of the original piece.
It’s like a Buffet.
“How does my audience have time to consume so much content that I’m putting out there?”
I’m not expecting my audience to consume all of my content. That would be putting too much pressure on them, and on me. It’s my job to put content out there, and it’s my audience’s job to pick and choose what they like to consume.
The owner of a buffet restaurant doesn’t expect you to eat every single item.
If you put that kind of pressure on yourself, you won’t enjoy the experience very much.
Be grateful for all the options, and just choose what resonates with you.
You’ll also notice which options more people tend congregate around, and you’ll probably want to try those first.
Similarly, with content, your audience will just look at the pieces are popular first (that have the most “likes” or comments.) Those pieces may be all they need to fill them for now. Then only if and when they want to make the time, they might try out other peices of content.
But it’s like the buffet: it’s all optional.
The Importance of More Options
By putting out more content, we give our audience more opportunity to tell us what they like and don’t like — they’ll simply be silent if they don’t resonate with it.
As a result, we are giving ourselves more opportunity to learn about our audience, what they are really needing. You learn more quickly about their tastes.
If you only create one piece of content a month, then you only have 12 annual opportunities for this kind of learning. If you create 1 piece per week, you expand your opportunities.
You’re giving yourself — and your audience — more opportunities for growth. You’re helping them with more variety of content.
They have more options to choose from (think of the buffet.)
And, you won’t be hearbroken, compared to only sharing a few pieces and having some of them rejected.
You have more opportunity to explore how to express yourself. You expand your horizon more quickly.
With every piece of content you create, you are also growing your identity. You are becoming more accustomed to thinking of yourself as a creator, rather than just a consumer.
No matter what, you are *always* applying this principle.
No matter the speed of which you put content out there, you are actually, by default, learning through Quantity.
This is true in many areas of business.
Do you only contact 1 potential client or referral partner a month? Then you only give yourself 1 opportunity per month to learn. You contact 3 people a week? You are learning much more quickly what it means to contact people in an effective way.
Truly, we learn through experience, not just by consuming content.
Our growth happens through our action.
You are always applying “quality through quantity”… the only question is, how quickly are you growing? If you shorten the cycle, and produce more, you learn and grow faster.
“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” — Emerson
In actuality, there’s no such thing as “Quality” anyway.
How do you define what Quality is?
How much do you need to “like” it before it’s called Quality?
How much do you need to be OK with something before you put it out there?
If you use this mushy metric of “quality”, it is your self-judgment that you are strengthening. You’ll end up having a very hard time putting things out there.
Make a decision today to stop judging your own content.
Switch your mindset to Quantity. That is what can be measured, and therefore, judged more accurately.
- You can measure how many pieces of content you create.
- You can measure how many people you contact.
- You can measure how many Likes, Comments, Shares your posts get.
All of these things are Quantity… but they point to Quality, don’t you see? You cannot get to Quality except through Quantity.
Where people get stuck is “I’ve got to do it right the first time.”
“I’ve got to make a good first impression.”
The first online course I release… the first webinar I do… the first website I make… the first book I write… has to be Quality.
This the worst thought for growth: “I’ve got to get my ducks in a row first…”
Well, you’re stuck in an illusion, a vicious cycle of hesitation, self-judgment, not-enoughness, and procrastination. As we’ve already explored above, it is impossible to define Quality. We can only truly define and decide on Quantity.
Focus on Quantity — how many pieces of content you create, how many people you contact — and over time, Quality will take care of itself. It’s almost miraculous.
So don’t try to do it right. Do it quickly so you can work on the next version.
I’m both lenient and strict.
I’m lenient with myself when it comes to Quality. I don’t judge it myself.
I’m strict with myself when it comes to Quantity. I make sure I stay to my schedule of publishing posts, conducting a monthly workshop, connecting with a certain number of referral partners.
Yet, there is never a need for self-blame or self-punishment.
I’m always gentle with myself if I don’t meet my strict goals. I try to look at my process and see what I can improve, and how to stay true to the principle of Quantity. It may be to lower my goals for the moment, yet I am always aiming to get better.
You can apply the Quality through Quantity principle to just about any part of your business:
— Content creation (articles, videos, images, workshops, courses, books.)
— Reaching out for potential referral partners (you’ll get wiser the more you do it.)
— Your client sessions (you’ll improve as you do more of them.)
— Your products and programs (they will get better as you launch more.)
“The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.” ~Meister Eckhart
“Done is better than good.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” ~Brian Tracy