It’s January 3rd and 2018 hasn’t lost its new car smell yet. Some of us still haven’t even gotten the kids back to school or cleaned the cobwebs (and errant Christmas cookie crumbs) off our desks.
I love January, despite the sub-zero temps we get here in Chicago. There’s an undeniable feeling of fresh starts, do overs and new habits. In this new year, I’ve committed to respecting my time – both my “on” time and “off” time – and letting less of it fritter away each day.
After all, as business owners, time is a constant worry. Whether we’re full-timing it or working a successful side hustle, squandering our time can be more detrimental than squandering our money.
What I hear over and over from the coaches, designers, shop owners and consultants I work with is the distressing amount of time they put into creating marketing content. Their sales letters, web content, social posts, newsletters and the like drain their time and energy.
- There are the minutes that tick away staring at a blank screen not knowing what to write.
- The lost sleep and midnight oil burned because they didn’t get around to writing this month’s newsletter and it’s supposed to go out tomorrow.
- Feeling like they are starting from scratch and recreating their messages every time they open a Word or Google doc.
I totally understand their pain. When you don’t consider yourself a professional writer or marketer, content creation feels like a slog.
But it doesn’t have to be, nor do you have to become a full-time writer to easily handle this important part of being a business owner. You just have to know what pro writers know.
When you understand and start using a few simple tools, you set up a good foundation for being a better writer for your business. These earlier Well Said Wednesday blog entries speak to some of the foundational elements of good content practices.
Plan Like A Pro
If you only have a handful of hours to focus on writing (because you're also, you know, running a business), a content calendar makes that time meaningful. It tells you "here's what you're writing about and it publishes/posts/sends on this date, so get going."
And there are still a few spaces left in my Q1 Content Calendar Build Workshop next week. Read more.
Who Are You And Why Should I Care? Introductions Matter
If there's ever a time to be on message with a strong intro that captures what your business does, it's at a conference. It's a no-brainer question you know you're going to get. Repeatedly. And, you know your business better than anyone. There's no reason to mumble or shuffle or blather.
Think Like An Editor And Win At The Content Game.
Despite my years in corporate communications, my career role models have always been editors-in-chief. They are the people who set and protect the overall voice and point of view of a publication, who have the ultimate responsibility that all content says what it is supposed to say to the people it’s saying it to. They keep the medium on message. They are the public face of the publication (or e-zine or blog or podcast or Instagram feed or whatever channel they come up with tomorrow).
And By The Way, Yes You Really Are A Writer
I hate to break it to you, but when you string words together into messaging that supports and propels your business, you are writing. When you string words together into content that teaches or enlightens or sells, you are writing. And that makes you a writer.
Finally, be sure to check out 6 Big Reasons You Hate Writing For Your Business (And What To Do About Them.) You download it here.
Wishing you clarity, consistency and good messaging in 2018. Here’s hoping that this the year that you get really awesome at writing for your business.