Content marketing is an incredible way to earn the attention and trust of potential customers before they ever think about working with your company. However, there’s one HUGE mistake that can completely derail your content marketing efforts…and, it’s really easy to make.

What’s the biggest mistake a business can make when it comes to creating content for potential customers?

In essence, it’s communicating in a way that is beyond the knowledge level or pain points of the intended audience. Some people call it the curse of knowledge. Many times, it shows up in the form of assumptions, jargon, and logic that seems like second nature to you but will confuse people who are outside your field.

In the end, the curse of knowledge completely undermines your content marketing efforts, because readers don’t know how your ideas apply to them or what they should do next.

How to Avoid the Curse of Knowledge from Impacting Your Content Marketing Efforts

When you know something, you forget what it’s like not to know it.

So, how do you protect yourself from the curse of knowledge when it comes to creating content for your potential customers? Here are a few keys:

1. Ask someone who doesn’t work at your company to read the content. Creating content in a vacuum might ensure your content is on brand, but it won’t help you identify any potential jargon or miscues. One of the best ways to avoid the curse of knowledge is to have an outside perspective read through the content. Ask a friend to give your writing a once over. He or she may not be your target audience, however, a friend’s perspective can still serve as a barometer for comprehension.

2. Tell a story about a personal experience or client success. Stories have been the primary way we’ve spread information for centuries. We love stories because they help us see the world through different lenses. Stories are a great way to help readers “see themselves” in the content and understand the key decisions that influenced the extraordinary result.

3. Be clear and concrete. We all love to sound smart. Unfortunately, we can sometimes overthink it. Company mission statements are an obvious example of this. In our efforts to tell people everything that makes us unique, we end up confusing them by using vague generalities that don’t really mean anything. The more clear and specific you can be in your writing, the better.

The curse of knowledge isn’t easy to defeat. But, if you can figure it out, its one of the most effective ways to set yourself apart from competitors. When you write about your area of expertise, try to channel the less-informed version of yourself, and remember the questions your customers are really asking.