How to be obscure

Mark Dalgarno
Published in
2 min readDec 6, 2021


Witzel (L.A.), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

I was thinking today, as consultant’s sometimes do, about how to increase the visibility of me and my work — I thought I’d do a quick anti-problem to get some insight:

What could I do to become as obscure as possible over the next few years?

  • I could leave social media
  • I could alienate my audience(s) to make sure they unfollow me
  • I could stop publishing my work;
  • I could publish only secretly on underground channels
  • I could stop doing any public speaking
  • I could stop taking part in all the communities I’m in
  • I could never reply to anyone on social media or email
  • I could only promote myself on obscure channels
  • I could be too outrageous or create content only to shock
  • I could lose my own voice and become corporate, our otherwise inauthentic
  • I could be off-topic all the time
  • I could use only jargon
  • I could just use social media to argue with people
  • I could focus on only promoting myself
  • I could only promote others’ work, never my own
  • I could be South East London-centric
  • I could stick to just one channel, restricting my potential audience
  • I could start a mailing list and mail everyone every day - or never
  • I could give everyone else all the credit
  • I could take all the credit
  • I could only write mega-posts (or 10 hour films) that no one can ever get through
  • I could be gnomic
  • I could ramble incoherently
  • I could pick on others or argue all the time; I could slag everyone else off
  • I could insist my way is the only way
  • I could only make pronouncements from on high
  • I could never track my impact (and never improve)
  • I could use my platform to keep others down (rather than lift them up)
  • I could hire a team to do all my social media, writing, talks for me
  • I could design a process that sucks all the joy out of life
  • I could be repetitive and boring

My takeaways — there’s something about knowing who I am, and who I’m not. Understanding my audience and engaging with them authentically. Producing useful, well-design content and making it clear that I’m available if people want to talk about any of it. That it’s not just to promote me and my work, but if people do want to use my services that’s a thing they can do. To recognise there are many ways of doing things.

As always, comments welcome — what works or doesn’t work for you?