It’s like shouting into the void.

That’s how I felt last Sunday as I sat down with my cup of coffee to reflect on my life.

I love creating content. I love the act of sitting down, synthesizing my thoughts, and creating a meaningful piece of content that I can put out into the world. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. 

And yet, very few people seem to care. Sure, my content has generated leads (and also job opportunities). I have also built deep relationships, specifically through LinkedIn. 

But am I making the impact I could? Why do I feel that I am not making the impact I could?


I took a walk down the memory lane

If I look at all the meaningful relationships I have built in my life—both personally and professionally—they have been facilitated by a two-way interaction. It’s never been the case that I spoke, the other person listened, and instantly, a relationship was born. There was an exchange of information, sharing of feelings, and collaboration, and the end product was a beautiful relationship. 

In other words, all the meaningful relationships in my life have been built by a conversation. 

Sadly, over time, I forgot to have conversations. My entire focus shifted to creation, and conversations stopped. In the absence of conversations, people stopped caring because it was just me talking and them listening. 

But what exactly is the issue with content creation? 


Content is one-way traffic

Suppose you publish an article that tells me how to generate leads for my business. It’s helpful, but only to a certain point. Beyond that, I want to implement those strategies for my business. I want to brainstorm with you and take your advice. I want to tell you my specific context and see how these strategies apply to my business.

‘I don’t want to know how to generate leads.’

‘I want to know how to generate leads for MY business.’

Content can start these conversations. However, content has limitations. It cannot be personalized and contextualized beyond a certain extent. Content is inherently broadcast in nature and cannot address the nuances and specific situations of our audiences. 

Okay, now that we know that conversations create connections, how can we use conversations as a strategy to build our personal brands? 


Different types of conversations

Conversations can be synchronous or asynchronous. We could also bifurcate based on the medium – virtual or offline. Here’s an X-Y grid that distributes different types of conversations.

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous conversations

Both synchronous and asynchronous conversations have their roles to play. Asynchronous conversations offer convenience and scalability.

Unlike real-time (synchronous) conversations, asynchronous conversations allow me to participate when it is convenient for me. Mediums like email replies, community engagement, and social media comments enable me to engage with more people than I could ever connect with synchronously.

That being said, synchronous conversations often facilitate deeper relationships. They allow a rapid flow of information without delays and tend to create much more open and vulnerable interactions, thus fostering strong bonds.


Asynchronous conversations have a crucial role to play

Here’s an example that clarifies the importance of asynchronous conversations that lead to synchronous conversations.

As I started publishing content, one guy (Gaurav, name changed) started commenting and engaging with it. Clearly, he resonated with what I was saying. We then started DMing each other, eventually got on a call, and have been good friends ever since.

Gaurav referred a client to me a few days ago. I have been working with the client for over two months now.  In this example, my content led to asynchronous conversations (Commenting on social media and DMs), which led to powerful synchronous conversations. 

Asynchronous conversations create a strong ground for more powerful interactions. 

Without my social media content and asynchronous conversations, Gaurav would have never gotten to know more about me. The synchronous conversations would have never happened. 


Will I stop publishing content?

No way! I love content creation way too much, and as I just said, it leads to better conversations. Content + Conversations is the cocktail that I want to drink. Content creates the foundation, and conversations are built on that.

Next step:

As a next step, I intend to publish a guide on having synchronous conversations and making time for them. I also want to explore if “conversations” as a strategy is even scalable in the long run.