I swear it was like pulling teeth.
Writing for my business, that is.
Every time I sat down to create for myself, a complete brain freeze happened. Every second word I typed was “blah.” Literally. A sample sentence if you will:
“Content is blah blah blah. This is why blah blah blah. So when creating blah blah blah…”
And on and on. This isn’t even a sh**ty first draft. This is trying to understand Charlie Brown’s teacher!
So…I asked myself:
Self, why in the world am I creating content that is so boring and painful to write?!
And then it hit me! I wasn’t doing what I did for my own clients. I wasn’t creating content that:
- Shone a light on my originality
- Supported my larger business goals!
WHAT IN THE WORLD?! How did I miss this? It was the very crux of how I support my own clients.
With that brain explosion (and following internal embarrassment), I sat myself down and stopped trying to write. I tapped right into my gorgeous Produce through Process value and built out a strategy that allowed me to easily create moving forward.
Why are these two things so important for any business to create content ease?
Shining a Light on Originality
Business friends, I’m sorry to say this (in a Canadian “sorry” way), but we really are all fairly similar when we’re stripped bare of the fancy gadgets.
What makes every single business unique – whether it’s just you or a multinational corporation – are the individual souls within. These are who make up the personality of your business. This is your true “secret sauce” to connecting with YOUR audience and clients.
If you’re not creating content that highlights your originality – your unique voice and the secret sauce within – you’re going to get lost in a sea of mundane same old voices with the same old blogs and “insights.”
Supporting Your Larger Business Goals
If your content doesn’t tie into your larger business goals or purpose, it’s content you’re wasting your time on. You’re confusing your message and will attract those who are NOT your clients. Clients who will disappear when your originality comes to the surface.
What, oh what to do?!
If you’ve seen a recent picture of me, you’ll know I have a big smile with all my natural teeth (as of writing this post). Clearly, I found a way to write content with ease again.
Yet, and this is where so many people get tripped up, content creating didn’t start with “what topic shall I write about?” It came in three defined steps:
- Understanding my voice
- Recognizing my brand’s category pillars
- Creating based on connection
Understanding My Voice
I come from a corporate background. Very particular with little room for “quirk.” I convinced myself that for my branding and content strategy business to be successful, I had to use “corporate” Lindsay. Well…to be as nice as possible to her…she’s BORING! She’s UPTIGHT! And she’s NOT ME!
When I listened to my clients, colleagues, and community, it’s the quirk that they connect with. THIS is the original voice that they hear and learn from.
So, I stopped trying to be oooooooooooh so corporate. And the writing, the connection, the ease in what I was trying to support them with just started to flow.
By doing this, I’ve been able to shine a bit more light on the WHO, connecting deeper with clients and colleagues that The Write Harle is a fit for and vice versa.
Recognizing Brand Category Pillars
We cannot write about everything that is happening out there in the world and how it relates to our audience. It’s simply not possible.
However, we can connect on key concepts and ideas based on our specific areas of passion/interest, audience interest, and relevance to our larger goals/purpose.
When I sat down and understood exactly what I speak to as a business and individual, it came down to three categories:
- Leadership and Entrepreneurship
- Mental Health, Wellness and Psychological Safety
- Branding and Content Strategy
These pillars allowed me to focus my energy on topics that fell under them. They also pull directly from my experience in Public Relations, Small Business, Recruiting, and Marketing. Anything that didn’t…well that goes on my private Instagram page (pictures of puppies and pinot didn’t really seem to add anything to my business goals).
Creating Based on Larger Connection
Connecting with these pillars, I’m able to focus on topics and conversations around my larger business goals, which creates future-focused and actionable content. Armed with my pillars, topics began to floooooooowwwwwww. And I brainstormed, brainstormed, and brainstormed.
And after the brainstorming fun?
Connecting the topics to the larger business calendar. Key items that help build out the topics in alignment with both the category pillars, business goals, and calendar year involve:
- Seasons / Events: Are there any special events or times of year where a topic makes more sense to write about?
- Goals: Is there a specific goal you’re working towards (e.g. launching a service) and you’re looking to create content that moves you towards the goal?
- Audience Questions: What questions do customers ask? When do they ask them? Why do they ask them then?
Your answers give a greater understanding of why you’re writing something, when you’re going to write it, and who is going to be looking and sourcing your content. All of this stems from understanding who you are, who you serve, how you best serve, and where you’re going based on all of this.
Knowing these well ahead of having to create the content in alignment with the brand removes that pain. For me…it definitely removed the brain clog that was stopping me from creating content that has had any real depth through original connection.
No longer do I dread my own blank white page and the cursor blinking away as time ticks by.
I sit down, confident in my voice and how it connects. Confident in the larger message I’m sharing. And trusting the topic supports the larger questions of my audience in a way that’s true to my voice.
Plus…my teeth are still fully intact since I’m no longer tempted to pull them out while writing!
It’s funny how we forget there’s a reason we do things in the order we do. Okay…me…it’s funny how I forget to do the things for myself that I do for others for them to produce at their most optimal level!
For branded content, it’s about remembering the beautiful process that allows us to play with creativity in sharing our knowledge in our original way.
Have you experienced the struggle that comes with creating content? Connect for a wee chat and share where you are struggling most!
FYI – this also goes if you feel as though you’re pulling your hair out, would rather watch paint dry, or count the stucco pieces on your roof.