Today, we have too much information and technology, not too little. And information and tools are cheap and accessible.
You can create value for others by curating information and sharing it specifically and personally. Sure, people share on social media, but it gets drowned out and is hard to consider in the scrolling sea of noise.
Here is what I like to do to provide value to the people I seek to help:
1. Save Helpful Content Using the Google Keep Chrome Extension
I am a heavy user of Google Keep. It’s part of your Gmail or G Suite setup. It’s searchable and can easily hold lists, notes, links and research in a virtual sticky pad environment. It’s also now in your sidebar of Gmail to search as well.
The Google Keep Chrome Extension installs on your Google Chrome browser. When you are reading anything on a website, simply click the extension to save the link so you have it to recall anytime. You can also add notes on the fly and label those notes for categorizing. It’s fast, convenient and you are able to keep moving through information quickly.
When you want to find old information, simply search for what you are looking for. You can do this in your browser or your mobile app. All your knowledge, research and gathering ready to be found.
When you are seeking to be helpful to a prospect, client or friend, review content in your Google Keep to share. Be sure to share personally. If by email, add your insight, opinion or advice.
2. Read Blogs on Feedly
Feedly became the go to RSS feed reader after Google shut theirs down. It’s convenient in your web browser and mobile app. I like Seth Godin’s exhortation to Read more blogs and what the value is for you personally.
Blogs are deliberate, thoughtful and keep you current on your interests in your industry and in the world. Save articles. Share them with people you care to connect with and help. It’s easy to do with the social sharing or email controls in Feedly.
Organize your Feedly by topics and carve out a few minutes each day to gain insights and read powerful articles. You can add my blog from my RSS feed.
3. Keep a List of Article Ideas
When I am in conversations, engaging the world or reading, new article ideas pop up all the time. I keep a list on my Gmail Tasks called “Articles” and add to it regularly. It keeps me attentive to what is going on around me. I am a writer and I love finding insights and creating content around those insights.
I like Anne Lamott’s thoughts on being a writer, thus an observer in the world:
If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, this is how you spend your days – listening, observing, storing things away, making your isolation pay off. You take home all you’ve taken in, all that you’ve overheard, and you turn it into gold.
You notice more by keeping thoughts in a convenient, accessible place. Letting your eyes observe and your mind wander and make connections happen when you are out in the world. Having a system where you keep ideas for content is powerful for keeping a pipeline of worthy content going. You can write an article or an email to someone elaborating on your thoughts.
Being Valuable to Others
There are a few ways to create value, but having resources that you can share in personal ways does require a process that is easy to manage. I keep my resources continually building and try to match those in timely ways for my clients and friends. I try to add a bit more than might be reasonable to each interaction with people.
You can share resources in one-to-one emails, newsletters, blog articles and on social. In a crowded world, it is valuable to bring solutions, insights and focus to people’s problems. Be that resource and you become valuable. You become that person people know help them and not waste their time and attention.