Are you ever taunted by your diary? Tormented by those brightly coloured time blocks marked ‘content creation’ that repeatedly remind you what you’re NOT doing to grow your business?
if you’re not creating regular content because you have the fear – the fear of being seen, of standing out, of being wrong, please read on. I’m going to land a few truths and tips on you to get you from procrastination to producing.
How often do you think the brilliant blog idea you had at 3am, or the flash of clarity you had after listening to that podcast are now, well, a bit lame.
Let’s get real. Your ideas are not lame (and frankly if you don’t put them out in the world how will you truly know?) It’s just your fear brain kicking in and thoughts of What will people think? Hasn’t it all been said before? and I don’t know what I’m talking about’ has shifted you from creation into questioning mode.
Honestly, what you want to say has probably been said before, BUT definitely not in the way you’ll say it. The majority of people WILL NOT give a hoot about what you say and YOU DO KNOW what you’re talking about, cos it’s YOUR opinion, your truth. Geddit?
Confidence comes from competence
I hate to be a Debbie downer but the self-doubt, the fear of embarrassment and failure that stop you from showing up never go away.
BUT as you start to create, the negative voices get quieter, less paralysing and instead of hearing all the reasons why you shouldn’t write or create, you start to hear a more insistent voice urging you to say something, do something and share your brain. If you honour this voice you can go from being the person that wishes with all her heart she could be like (insert your content-creation inspiration here) to someone who feels the fear, flicks the Vs & flipping well does it anyway.
What’s the worst that can happen?
What do you think will happen if you share an opinion or explain your point of view? You’ll get called out for being a fraud, an ex-colleague will challenge you, or a hater will say something shitty?
Will they though? And if they do, what will happen? Will the sky fall in?
Let me tell you what will prob happen to YOU (you being someone with a small but lovely audience) You’ll get a few likes, some nice comments from people you know, maybe a share or two. BUT more important than all that, you’ll get a huge sense of accomplishment, a boost of confidence, the knowing that you are someone who stays committed to a plan PLUS the kick to create again. Boom!!
And the more you do this, the easier it gets.
If you’re ready to Nike (Just Do It) it, try these 3 steps:
1. Create a schedule that works for you
I used to carve out a whole day for content creation then beat myself up if I didn’t have a winning blog post at the end of the day. It didn’t take me long to realise I’m a little and often kinda girl. Thanks to George Kao and his marvellous authentic creation course, I came up with this schedule.
- Day 1: brainstorm content ideas based on conversations I’ve had with clients, how I’ve helped them or things I’ve learnt (from courses, podcasts etc)
- Day 2: write for 60 minutes
- Day 3: spend 45 mins polishing
- Day 4: spend 30 mins publishing ( on my website or Medium) and another 30 mins drafting & recording a FB live summarising the key points of what I’ve just written.
- Day 5: post on LinkedIn and/or Instagram
Can you see how breaking a meaty business objective like ‘Create Amazing Content’ into snackable chunks makes it much less intimidating and way more achievable? It’s definitely worked for me.
2. Make yourself accountable
Tell people what you’re going to do. Find a business buddy and announce you’re going to create one new piece of content every week and it’s their job to help you to stick to this. (Find someone on the same business journey as you so you can reciprocate and be their accountability buddy) This is sooo useful if you’re a procrastinator like me. It’s too easy to let myself down but would I ever disappoint or fail someone else – no way!!
Accountability can come in many guises, I’m a huge fan of online content creation or productivity sessions. I’ve love GoGoDone – essentially an online session with other business owners who are also committed to creating. You start the session declaring your intention, work independently on your project, then come together at the end to report back on how it went.
My productivity goes through the roof when I book in a GoGo Done session, as does my happiness levels – I’ve met some wonderful people from all corners of the globe (Fun fact: I get my happy’s from connecting with new people!)
3. Just write
So hurrah for having a schedule and accountability, but you still don’t know what the heck to write? Never fear, I got you.
Most of the fear around creating or being visible comes from a loathing of selling or promoting yourself. If this sounds like you, flip this around and think about how you can Market your Message, not yourself. (Thanks to Tad Hargrave from Marketing for Hippies for this notion)
Now, you’re probably thinking, err, I don’t have a message, but I beg to differ. You may not have a fully-formed perspective on why you do what you do but you certainly know why you started your business, what opportunity or gap you saw in the market or what cheeses you off about the industry you work in.
Set yourself a timer for 10 minutes, pick one of these prompts and start writing.
- What inspired you to start your business?
- Why does what you do matter (to you, your clients, your family or community, the world!)
- If you could wave a magic wand and make all clients understand/believe in something. What would it be and why?
- Who in your industry inspires you, why?
- What pisses you off in your industry, and why?
- How do you actually help clients?
- What have you learnt recently that your clients need to hear?
- In what ways are you like your client? What have you got in common and how does that help them?
- Who are your favourite people to work with, why are they such a perfect fit?
- What do you want to be known for? If in 12 months time you could be known as ‘the x guy’ or the gal that teaches x’ what would that be?
Once the 10 minutes are up, have a read-back. I bet this free-flow writing has unearthed some gold? Now, don’t do what you usually do (i.e. criticise what you’ve written and file it away) Keep on going. There’s truth and there’s brilliance there.
There ain’t no short-cut or hack to getting over the fear of being seen. It really is as simple as training your brain so you become totally comfortable saying what is in your heart and mind. It takes time, it takes a ‘f*ck it’ attitude, but it’s what you and your business needs.
As a reformed fear-feeler, I’ve totally got your back. If you fancy sharing how you’re getting or want more confidence-boost tips, please book in for a no-strings chat x