The Messiah complex is the one reason why so many people fail at content marketing. It is when your entire content marketing output is about you and your company. It’s the difference between providing value and providing a pitch.

Let’s say you’re creating a webinar as part of your content marketing strategy. You invite as many people as possible, many of them already customers, some new prospects. Things go well at the start of the webinar. You offer advice on a topic and begin to take questions.

Then you throw in a quick mention of the company and how it can solve the problems your attendees are talking about. Give it a few more minutes and you mention your company again. Before you know it, the webinar has turned into an advertisement for your company. What’s worse, you develop a smug, condescending air that generally presents you as some kind of Guru.

Or the Messiah, even.

Your next webinar has two attendees, and one of them is your mum.

Content marketing is never about you

Your content marketing can never be about you. Too many companies feel that they have to present themselves as the all-in-one solution to the customer’s problems. This carries into their content marketing sometimes, even in blog posts, where the company is presented as being a cool and a hip place, almost too cool to think about the customers.

At times, certain established content marketing websites and blogs have been guilty of this. Listen to the Copyblogger podcasts, for example, and you may be forgiven for thinking that these people are so good at what they do, we mere mortals could never afford them.

Show confidence in your customers or prospects. Give advice and tips, and insight that they can use, and leave it at that. If you’re going to sell to them do it outside content marketing. You may well be the solution to their problems, but let them make their own decisions. They are not sheep.

And you’re not the Shepherd.