Be Predictable, Be Unpredictable, Be Yourself

Be Predictable

When creating content, being predictable sounds like a negative thing, doesn’t it? When balanced correctly, though, predictability creates momentum.

Predictability can be applied to many aspects. You can be predictable in the subjects your content deals with, your style, or your tone. You can be consistent in the format or the medium you use. And you can mix any number of these aspects and create multi-dimensional predictability. When you manage to do that, your body of work becomes more associated with you. It becomes part of your public personality. If the audience connects to it, there is a good chance they will come back for more — from a random audience; they will become followers.

Be Unpredictable

Predictability is not binary — it is a spectrum. If you are 100% predictable, no one has any reason to come back for more of your content. You must balance the predictable aspects of your content with unpredictable ones.

Each piece of content you create should surprise your audience in some way, even (and especially) if they follow you for quite some time. You should surprise yourself.

Once you decide what aspects are consistent, you have infinite room to play with the rest of them. Keep in mind the balance between the two ends of the spectrum: you don’t want to seem eclectic and random. You want your audience to know what they are going to get and surprise them at the same time.

Be Yourself

The key to balancing predictability and being able to surprise your audience is authenticity. When creating content, you should be yourself — your evolving self.

When you naturally evolve, you keep some aspects predictable while experimenting with others. Evolution creates momentum and surprise.

Don’t try to force it. Explore the directions you feel are interesting while using the consistent aspects as your anchor. With time, this exploration will gain momentum by itself. How you surprise yourself and your audience will become one of the consistent aspects. Your audience will know that they are coming back also to be surprised.

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yellow spice version: 2022.05.0017

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