It feels so good to write in the voice of a cause you believe in, or to write a kick-ass contributed article on behalf of your boss because you know you’ve made him look great.
You can really get behind that sort of writing – because you are behind it. You’re invisible.
It’s another thing entirely to be out front, writing as yourself – in your own voice – especially when your voice is also the voice of your business.
There’s so much riding on it.
You’re out there! Vulnerable. Exposed.
And while you’re shakin’ in your boots, this stuff starts messing with your head:
- Your writing isn’t good enough…
- You don’t have anything valuable to say…
If you have a freak out and don’t start scribbling soon, your reputation will be AWOL and your website will be…nasty. 🙁
Fortunately there is (always) a way to flip fear on its head.
Here we go:
1) Not being good enough (a.k.a. perfectionism)
Being human = being imperfect.
The only person who had perfection nailed was Mary Poppins and she was only ‘practically’ perfect.
(c Walt Disney Productions)
You and I are more like the kids, Jane and Michael – stubborn, messy and inclined to giggle. 😉
When it comes to your writing, you don’t need to wait until it’s perfect and the stars are aligned. That’s not gonna happen.
Your writing is good enough now. Just get it out there. You can always do a follow-up post or an edit, later.
Remember, the longer you wait the more likely it is that your ideal clients have wandered over to another site with similar information.
Yeah, the clock is ticking but there’s always time to be yourself.
Clients don‘t want you to be perfect, they want you to be human.
TIP: If it makes you feel better, give your writing to an eagle-eyed editor or friend – just to check typos and punctuation. Then post it ASAP. In-depth knowledge and expertise beats “perfection” every time.
2) Having nothing of value to say
You don’t think you have anything unique to say that will provide real value to clients?
That’s normal. You downplay your own expertise, in part because you are too close to it. You don’t know what you know.
If it comes easily, you may think you are stating the obvious. Doesn’t everyone know that?
But it may only be obvious to you.
If you read something similar online, remember that no one says it like you do. And as you write – in that engaging, unique voice of yours — you’ll attract a following.
TIP: Dig into your expertise by creating a list of questions about your business and then ask a friend who is not in your industry, to interview you. With your friend’s help, brainstorm your answers into 10-15 blog titles that he or she would be curious to read and — get writing!
3) Being vulnerable
Vulnerability is for babies, small animals and love songs. Not business.
Business is where you look strong, capable and professional – especially when you are running your own company. You’ve got way too much on the line to let your vulnerability show through.
With all the competition out there, you need to stand out and one of the best ways is by showing that you’re vulnerable.
That means telling stories that show your personality and life experience – even the embarrassing bits.
If you’re a fitness trainer talk about when you were overweight and always got chosen last for the team. If you help women with their finances, share a story about a time when you were not in the black and what you did about it.
Being vulnerable in these ways won’t detract from your credibility; it will make you more relatable and clients will realize that you’re exactly the one they need.
The writing won’t be as uncomfortable to do, either. 😉
TIP: Only share vulnerabilities about yourself, your life or your business that are relevant to what your audience needs and wants. This will keep your writing on-brand and on-message.
Ever have those days when you think your writing is garbage? Share how you beat back those rotten little gremlins in the comments below.
If you’d rather get the writing off your plate altogether, head over here to see how I can help you.
c 2014 Kathy Barthel