There is a very real reason why the professional development industry is covered in bad press about useless clichés and unactionable hype…
Many of us can relate to receiving great information, finishing a book or walking out of a seminar ready to conquer the world. Within hours or days, we’re usually caught up in the daily grind called life and quickly realize that while we are inspired, we don’t know what to do with the information, or don’t know how to implement most of what we got excited about.
This is in large part caused by a lack of clarity between information and content. Understanding the difference will save you time, and it will have you consciously aware of the investments you are making to your personal and professional development moving forward. If you have ever felt like you know a lot of things but can’t seem to do anything about it, you are exactly who we wrote this for.
It’s easy to understand the confusion because information and content are both data, meaning you are getting facts, figures, and gaining knowledge on a particular topic, solution, or idea. Although information and content are similar, the difference is subtle and powerful.
Think of information like an encyclopedia, full of interesting facts. Content on the other hand, is like that trusted consultant or coach that presented the information in such a way that you went “ah-ha” and had the ability to apply it and take actions. While an encyclopedia provides you with a bunch of knowledge and yes, it’s exciting, new, and relevant; Content is delivered in such a way that you were able to make a clear decision to move forward and/or take the necessary actions.
Check out this example on sales for some context…
Average Dollar Sale (ADS) is a retail metric term used to calculate the correlation between sales and transactions for a given period of time.
The sales conversion rate is the number of conversions your company got out of the total number of inquiries.
A sales projection is the amount of revenue a company expects to achieve at some point in the future.
ADS (Average Dollar Sale) = Total Revenue / Total # transactions
e.g. $100,000 total revenue for your business divided by the 100 customer transactions equals $1,000 ADS.
Sales Conversion = Total # inquiries / Total # transactions
e.g. 1000 inquiries for your product or service divided by 100 transactions equals 10% conversion rate.
Sales Projection = Desired Revenue / ADS = X X / 0.10 = Y
e.g. Want to double your revenue to $200,000? With ADS of $1,000 and a 10% conversion. You will need to have 2,000 (Y) inquiries to close 200 (X) transactions to achieve $200,000 revenue.
In this context, having information is good, but knowing the content allows you to decide how you will improve your marketing strategies, increase your inquiries, and achieve your new revenue target of $200,000. Alternatively, you can now look at how to either increase your ADS, conversion rate, or the number of inquiries you currently get. You can now decide what other content you need, what to do, and what actions you can take to move forward.