He / she swooped in midmorning.
There was a pink blur and then a splash.
And then, I realized a Roseate Spoonbill had landed 15 feet from our deck (we were at the fishing camp) and I LOST MY MIND.
But quietly, because, duh, pretty bird nearby.
I took photos and videos and just enjoyed the mess out of the 3 or so minutes it graced us with its presence.
I’d never seen one in person.
Somehow I’d had a framed Audubon print of this specific bird and had moved it in and out of 5 houses without actually having seen one IRL.
The moment was special.
Even if he (she?)—I don’t know how to tell bird genders very well, it doesn’t stick— was hanging out near an old Dr. Pepper can that had been tossed in the lake so all my pictures read like “look how we’re ruining nature” PSAs.
I sent a few pics and videos to my mom, dad, and brothers. My dad is a bird watcher of sorts (is there a certification for that?) and he also LOST HIS MIND.
“Wow! Those are really rare. I’ve only seen one my entire life.”
Modern day family connection.
I could feel his joy (and jealousy) clear through the text.
One of my brothers, Rich, chimed in:
“They’re not rare. We see them all the time.”
Thanks for ruining the moment.
Thanks for being so committed to reality that you crushed our father’s excitement.
I’m not mad.
My dad isn’t either (are you Dad?).
But we’ve all been there, right?
Super excited about a thing for our own reasons—because we bring our own context to any given experience—and then someone says, “You’re silly to feel that way.”
How does this tie in to newslettering and content marketing?
Content can create amazing experiences, but it can also be a bubble burster.
You’ll want to be careful how you do both.
When you create experiences for your audience, they won’t be in a vacuum.
Share content you know they’ll love in this specific part of their journey.
“Saw this, thought of you.”
Help them make connections.
Earn their trust with truthful content.
When you’re bubble bursting, educate as you disappoint.
“XYZ is broken. Here’s how to fix it.”
It’s painful, but the message sticks.
And, after they mourn the thing they thought was amazing, they’ll remember it was you who helped them understand why it isn’t.
In either situation, craft your content with a strong goal in mind.
“Why would I create this moment?”
“What am I trying to teach?”
“How can I teach it in a way that respects the audience learning it?”
This is where you get to decide how arrogant your point of view should be.
My vote is to be and stay humble. I know sometimes experience leads to really strong opinions. It’s ultimately your choice how you deliver that opinion.
In other words, try to respect your target audience’s personal build up to the moment a very pink bird lands near them before you step in to teach them something.