“There are no original ideas. There are only original people.”
– Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
“Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.”
Focus Your Originality on the “How”
Many content marketers and content creators stress out about trying to come up with unique content that no one has ever seen before.
Look. It’s important to have original ideas, so do your best to come up with as original ones as you can think of.
But it’s also important to realize that HOW you craft and present your ideas is what really matters when it comes to originality. Why? Because it’s the only real way for you to create anything that is new.
Otherwise the chances of you coming up with a completely brand-new idea are pretty slim. As King Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the new!”
That means that your focus and concern should be more on your HOW than on your WHAT. What I am telling you is this…
“Originality is more likely to be found in HOW you present your ideas, than in WHAT ideas you present. So don’t be tortured by having 100%, original ideas. Instead, be focused on the most original presentation of your ideas possible.”
– Scott Aughtmon
What Do I Mean by “How?”
You might be wondering what I mean when I say you should focus on the “How” and the most original presentation of your ideas that’s possible.
When I am talking about “How,” I am talking about things like:
- 1. Personality – The style you use to present your ideas
- 2. Stories you use
- 3. Examples you use
- 4. Structure – The order and way you present your ideas
- 5. Attitude – The tone you use to present your ideas
- 6. Perspective – The viewpoint you take or the angle you use to present your ideas
These six areas are the real ways to create content that will be perceived as original and that will stand out from your competition.
“He who resolves never to ransack any mind but his own will be soon reduced from mere barrenness to the poorest of all imitations: he will be obliged to imitate himself.”
– Sir Joshua Reynolds in Discourses on Painting and the Fine Arts, Delivered at the Royal Academy
Think of the 80/20 principle when it comes to content creation.
Focus 20% of your time on coming up with original ideas (the WHAT) and focus 80% of your time on crafting and presenting those ideas in unique ways (the HOW).
When you focus the majority of your energy and creativity on being creative with HOW you present your content, then that will change everything.
You will be able to stop being tormented by the fear of originality and your content will begin to stand out in your market’s mind.
A Powerful Example of “How” in Action
I have a really powerful example that will show you how focusing on your “How” can make your “What” seem completely original and unique.
The first video below is one of Justin Bieber’s latest songs called Love Yourself. Listen to at least the first 57 seconds of it…
Justin Bieber – Love Yourself Lyrics
Pretty catchy isn’t it? Ok, great.
Now that you have that melody in your mind, take a listen to the first 1:20 seconds of Postmodern Jukebox‘sversion of the song in the video below…
Love Yourself – Vintage 1929 Postmodern Jukebox Justin Bieber Cover ft. Sara Niemietz
It sounds like a completely different song, but the words and underlying melody (the “What”) are the same!
How did they make it sound so unique? Postmodern Jukebox focused on the “How” more than on the what.
And the result is a song that sounds totally different, but just as catchy and original sounding.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that you use the same exact words and content as someone else.
That’s illegal and lazy.
But I wanted to show you these two videos to show you that if Postmodern Jukebox can take the exact words and basic melody of Justin Bieber’s song and make it sound totally different, then you don’t ever have to worry again about your content ideas not being 100% unique and one of a kind.
All you need to do is what Postmodern Jukebox did. Focus your creative energy on the “How” and your content will be a sweet original sound in your prospect’s and customer’s ears.
“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.”
― Abraham Lincoln
“All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson