In my time as a copywriter I have loved watching (and helping) business owners take hold of their industry with their content and messaging. And make big leaps in their success. Content marketing has been supremely helpful to many of my clients. And it wasn’t because they suddenly got all knowledgeable on marketing. Yes, they learnt along the way. But that wasn’t the catalyst. The catalyst was, that they adopted some critical shifts in mindset.
Over the years and through my own experience, I have seen how not having this in place can impact your growth. Some pieces need to click into place before you can go ‘all in’ with establishing your authority.
It’s not about knowing all there is to know about writing or content marketing. You don’t even need to employ somebody who does if you don’t want to. Before all of that, you will start to see results when you shift your frame of reality in a few key areas.
It all happens on the inside, and it can start right now.
Be willing to show up warts and all
This statement runs pretty deep. It’s not only about being visible but it’s also about being willing to expose yourself. (Not literally lol). In the words of Brene Brown in Daring Greatly, to be willing to be vulnerable. The content marketers on the success path are ready to step into the spotlight. Despite any underlying feelings of shame or unworthiness, they are ready to be seen.
This doesn’t mean revealing every little detail of your life. But it means not shying away from sharing your opinion, skills or processes for fear of someone judging you.
In all your imperfections are you ready to be visible? Despite your fears, we only want to see the real you. Anything else is fake, isn’t it? Which leads me to my next point…
Let go of perfection
You don’t have to be buddha on the mountain top to put out great work. For a long time, this stopped me from doing content marketing. One of the very things I do for others!
Let me tell you, the need for it to be perfect will ruin you before you even start. If you want to delve into this a little more, my last post, What’s Keeping You Small? might resonate.
It’s important to understand, there is no perfect blog post or email. There is no “perfect” way of doing something. If you know a little more than the person you are teaching, then this is valuable to them. If you have a big case of imposter syndrome, then start with sharing your experience. How something is for you, will resonate with someone else. There is a truth to that which nobody can cut down or argue with. Start there.
Be prepared to be consistent
If you’re not prepared to be consistent with communicating, then you won’t see the kind of results you long for.
Apart from the higher level of expertise they offer, consistency is a major reason why those who employ a content marketer or copywriter see success.
Someone is keeping a consistent voice for them, and in doing so, helps to build an audience. They help to hold the business owner accountable for doing what they said they were going to do.
If you’re not at the point of being able to employ someone, or you want to do the work yourself, that is okay. BUT, no one’s going to kick your ass about your content, so you’ll need to do that for yourself.
How often is enough? Well, it depends on your industry, your goals, and your channels. Start with what you can manage and show up on the regular.
Be open to learning and change
A great content marketer is never perfect. They keep learning, keep changing and tweaking. Over the last month, I threw three lead magnets at a piece before the right one stuck. It would have been tempting for me to say “I suck at this.” or “this doesn’t work.” But at the end of the day, it is just about finding what resonates.
If your wellness course or recipe ebook isn’t taking off, what could you do? Is there something you missed with your content? Is there something you could learn to do better? Write better? Do better videos? Were your emails a bit off? Do some research, ask around and document your observations. Keep moving forward and don’t become derailed by setbacks. They happen to everyone.
Fall in love with statistics
Shakira’s hips don’t lie, and neither does the data. Be open to learning about and understanding your statistics. Even if you’re outsourcing. This might be analytics data, your website data, email dashboard and even your business results. Boring? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely. You can’t change what you don’t measure.
Embrace the tech
Get comfy with the tech and life is much easier. I am not asking you to do a coding course! But it’s great to be open to understanding what you’ve got under the hood.
“But I’m not a tech person, I’m a people person,” you cry!
I get it, I do. But even if you outsource your website or another technology, it is good to take notice, and take some time to understand how it works for yourself. Learn what the technology you have can do. It’s your business, and usually, your ideas are on point. Learn how the pieces fit together in your particular case. Don’t let the fear of technology be a blocker. If you know what you’re working with, then you can be more confident and open to opportunities to grow.
Know why you’re in business and who you serve
So why do you do what you do? And how did you get there? Who are you here to serve? What is the problem you are solving?
Painting a picture of your customer, really understanding them and their needs can be one of the best moments of clarity for your business.
If you are a food producer, you may say “but I don’t solve problems, only hunger.” In most cases, this isn’t true. You’re actually solving many problems. The choice to buy one product over another is always there. What does your product choice say about your purchaser? Feel better about themselves? Are they looking for comfort? Or health? Or joy?
A big part of my job as a copywriter is to understand the motivation. Whatever your industry, it’s great to understand it. I know these are big questions, but finding the answers will mean you add real resonance and meaning to every piece of content you create.
I know it’s hard work
Now I’m not telling you this because I have great expertise in all of these areas. To be honest, there are a couple of areas I am very guilty of failing myself on. (The first two pieces of advice particularly). So this is coming out of my lived experience, both as a practitioner helping others, and as a business owner, helping myself.
And I wholeheartedly believe that this process is a little like a combination lock. When you are willing and able to turn all of those keys to just the right setting, the doors open. So now that you know the combination, what are you waiting for?