A few weeks ago, a participant in my Content Calendar Build Workshop asked me a question while we were talking about dealing with our inner critics.
"Yes, inner critics are a thing, Barbara, but what do you do about the outer critics?"
Amy (a really talented parenting coach, btw) made a good point. Not everyone will hang on our every word and think everything we say is sunshine and rainbows. People may disagree. Or be disagreeable.
I directed her to an earlier issue of The 23rd -- my monthly newsletter with tips and ideas for better messaging for your business. Because we've spent this month talking about the many flavors of fear and loathing in content marketing, it seemed timely to share it here, too.
Because it's possible that you sometimes feel like you might lose your lunch when your finger is poised to hit "send" on your newsletter or other outreach.
Worse, yet, maybe you're holding back from any kind of messaging.
I used to get that clenched feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I released a CEO message to thousands of employees during my corporate communications days. Back then, I worried about the message being typo free and the content being understood.
When we are running our own business, the nerves compound.
Part of it is worrying about the typos and clarity. Most entrepreneurs aren't 100% confident in their writing ability because that lies far outside their genius work. (Which is a root cause of writing procrastination.)
But it's not just that. There are also subconscious and insidious thoughts that can stymie us.
"What are they going to think about this?"
"What are they going to think about me based on this?"
If you ever hesitate to turn up the volume on your business's messages, consider that those questions might be holding you back from communicating clearly about the outcomes you deliver for clients. Then ask yourself:
- Who exactly is this "they" you are worried about?
- Does this mysterious "they" even matter to your business or the audience you're trying to reach, or is "they" populated by old bosses or family members?
- On the off chance that one or two of the "theys" did have a snippy or negative reaction, would their opinion cause your entire enterprise to crumble?
Writing (or not writing) for "they" is catering to the lowest common denominator. I can say with absolute certainty that that's not the target market of your small business.
Instead, think of your best customer or the ideal client of your dreams.
What is she going to think about this? What is he going to think about you based on this?
Feels different, doesn't it?
Now go hit "send."
PS - if these fears overwhelm you when speaking about your business and you end up introducing yourself as "just a coach" or something similarly lackluster, I am relaunching my Have Them At Hello: A Hands-On Workshop For Crafting Better Introductions in September. Check it out!