• Mark Hannafin

The Search for Perfcetion is Flawed

First. Stop seeking perfection. So many of us get caught up in trying to make things just right. This can mean holding off on posting a video because it’s still not right after the 16th take and in the end we still we don’t post it, even after all that work. Designers are especially subject to this way of thinking and it’s not their fault entirely. College and most online design courses (at least the ones I have taken) focus on “form”, creating something that looks beautiful and appealing to the eye. They teach us about how typography should be used, how colour evokes emotion, how to layout a page so it is easily read, so on and so forth. It is easy to see why designers stop themselves putting their work out there. This also applies to non-designers too. Yes, everyone, what is perfection? In the words of Salvador Dali,

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it”

Done is better than perfect, as Chris Do of TheFutur says, your first is going to be awful. Remember that first kiss… yeaaaaahhhhh, I’m sure you tell your friends it went great but realistically it was terrible. Just like your first Video, Blog, Post, Podcast etc. the point is they will be terrible, and that’s OKAY. If you don’t start you will never learn and as for perfect, forget about it, just get sh*t done.

In marketing there is a term, “Content is King”. You have to create content in order for your audience to grow, you will get back what you put out. As I look back on my first blogs I did in 2018 I remember thinking how great they were, now, I think a little differently. I am glad I started, however, now in 2020 hopefully I’m getting better at creating blogs that actually help people… I suppose you’ll be the judge of that. However, in 2022 I hope to be even better at creating content and will be able to look back again at my “accomplishments”. The point is if you have an idea a desire to do something, to write a blog or start video content, please just start. Get it done, get it out there, even if you know the only person who will read it is your mam and possibly your friends. If you don’t put wood on the fire you can’t get heat or something like that.

In his book, How to Use Graphic Design (not including the full name as it’s waaaay too long), Micheal Beirut talks about the content being more important than form. When asked by a client to create two invitations, one for “Progressive Architecture International Furniture Awards” and the other for “NASA News for Now: Space Planning in Outer Space”, he had spent time crafting designs for both only to be told that the budget was cut and they could now only afford one invitation. Asked if he could combine the invitations into one, to which he protested that the two topics were completely opposite, in his frustration he created the image below to show how ridiculous the idea was. Actually, what he had come up with was an ingenious and creative solution to the problem.

Although type, colour, layout and everything else are important tools when creating if you spend too much time on the aesthetics of the post the content can get lost. Although we can sometimes spend hours crafting a post or a blog in my case, it can still perform poorly. For instance, I could make this an image-heavy blog or add infographic and make the font 8pt to fit nicely, spend hours on the layout and so on. It would probably perform just as well as it is now. Plain black and white, 11pt front with one or two pictures. Doesn’t take long and although it is not very outstanding or different, it illustrates my point. I got it done.

This may also appear as though I’m trying to fool not only you, but myself, into thinking that less effort equals more results. This is not the case. I have learned that effort is necessary to create anything and if you are after a certain result, say 20K followers on Social Media, then more effort is most certainly needed. If you think to post one awesome blog will equate to an increased following, then get in line to be disappointed. This blog is for Day 20 of my 30-day social media content change, and although I’m coming to the end, the goal I set out to accomplish at the start is much further off in the distance. Like way off. I would describe my desire to increase my followers like an incredibly drunk person playing darts, the effort is there, he is willing to do it, but his accuracy is way off.

That being said, I won’t stop creating content, I am learning more about Social Media than ever before, I am working to develop new skills and even though the content might not be great, it may in fact be ‘tearable’ and it’s certainly far from perfect, but at least it is done.

Thanks for reading.