Today is the 20th anniversary of the first episode of Sex and the City. Which is an unlikely topic for 4.23 Communication to talk about.
After all, I was only a casual watcher of the show and only truly enjoyed two seasons out of six.
And, the coaches and solo business owners I work with have never, ever identified themselves as “a Charlotte,” “a Samantha,” “a Miranda,” or “a Carrie.”
And yet, I see them slip into one Carrie-like mindset that holds their businesses back.
As the anniversary approached, I couldn’t help but wonder (see what I did there…) why so many smart business owners treat writing for their business like it was a freelance writing gig with a guaranteed payoff per word?
Carrie to Charlotte:
“And for the record, I am aware that I have some financial messiness that I have to clean up, and to that end, I am looking into some freelance magazine work. I have been offered $4 a word at Vogue. That is a lot. Most people get $2.”
Sex and The City, Season 4, “Ring A Ding Ding” written by Amy Harris
They want the time they put into content creation – writing a blog post, a warm letter to a prospect, a proposal – to payoff. Instantly. In a straight line from keyboard to bank account.
Don’t get me wrong. I consider the ROI of everything I do for my business. I know I have to make smart investments of my money and – more importantly for solo business owners – my time.
I also know how agonizingly long it can take to put together good content for your business. Especially if you are an inconsistent writer who always feels like you're starting from scratch or isn't super clear on your business's core messages.
It’s natural to want something to show for the effort. But here’s the thing: writing for your business is not writing an assignment for Vogue.
Content is not a transaction; content is a conversation.
If you’re doing it right, your content is warming your audiences to who you are, what you do and why you do it. It is taking a machete to the overgrowth of noise and starting to clear a path so your ideal client can find her way to you.
That means it’s eventual ROI, not instant ROI*.
Annoying, I know.
But your business is not hawking once-and-done impulse items someone will toss a couple of dollars at and then move on to the next thing (even if Carrie tried to convince us that $400 shoes were impulse items).
Your business is about creating value, about driving transformation, about creating that thing your clients can see in their heads but can’t figure out how to create on their own.
That requires a story to be told, trust to be built and connections to be earned.
You get that through conversation – your core messages consistently and regularly delivered in content that is highly attuned to your customer’s biggest needs.
When you start writing on purpose, you see how individual pieces of content add up to a bigger story for clients and prospects, even if they don’t add up to money in the bank (yet.)
Your words are focused and you don’t waste time staring at a blank screen every time you sit down to write.
You start to understand where the money is in your message, even if it's more of a pathway to the ATM, not an instant winner at the slot machine.
Curious about making the shift from creating content for content’s sake to creating content that builds conversations? Let’s set up a Zoom call or phone call to talk about where your business, and writing for your business, currently is and where it could go.
*My business coach always reminds us that it takes some people years of being on her list before they buy. I always laugh when she says it. I was one of those people!
Need another taste of messaging advice? Try these previous Well Said Wednesday posts…