Stop making excuses for poor content marketing.
It’s a fairly common trait that we make excuses when we don’t want to do something or we’re scared. Excuses are different to reasons though and you have to be careful not to confuse the two.
Excuses can hold us back and I’ve been making excuses for months!
In my business, I spend time telling clients that they need to get out there with their content marketing if they want to grow their creative business.
Be on social media, blog regularly, share your story, let people get to know you, show your face. But if you took a look at my website and social media accounts (pre-October 2018), you’ll soon realise that I haven’t been so great at doing any of those things for my own business. Ridiculous, huh?!
Some of you might think I shouldn’t own up to this but it would literally take you about five minutes to figure it out for yourself, so there’s no point in pretending that’s not the way it’s been. I’m also a big advocate for honesty in business, I can’t bear people who only show the good stuff. You know as well as I do, that running your own business isn’t always a smooth ride.
Last summer I started to work on curing my rather severe case of imposter syndrome and improving my visibility, with the help of lovely, Kirsty Carden. As a result, I have lots of things in the pipeline that I’m excited to share with you but it took a while to get here, and it’s still a work in progress. So I’m going to be honest and share the excuses I made.
You’ll notice that a lot of them are comparison- or fear-based but all are completely self-inflicted. Nobody actually said any of these things to me, I placed all of these restrictions on myself.
1. I’m not as pretty as Kirsty Carden or Carrie Green.
2. My voice is horrible, I don’t have a nice voice like Hollie Ellis or Melyssa Griffin.
3. I’m not as successful as people like Janet Murray and Kate Toon – nobody will listen to me.
4. Sometimes people think I’m much younger than I am, so they won’t take me seriously.
5. I don’t have the same level of authority as someone like Rand Fishkin.
6. I’m not as confident (particularly on video) as Chris Ducker.
7. People will laugh at me.
Granted, 1, 2 and 4 can’t be changed but they are purely a matter of personal opinion.
Most importantly, 3, 5 and 6 take TIME. There’s no point in comparing the start of your business journey to that of someone who has been doing it for years.
As for number 7 – who cares?! I won’t regret trying to do this but I would most certainly regret not trying.
All the people I mentioned above are people I admire and respect. I should actually look to them only for inspiration and confirmation of the incredible things you can achieve if you stop making excuses.
You won’t regret trying to build yor business, but surely you would regret not trying.
Here are my 5 tips to stop self-sabotaging and start creating content consistently:
1. Care less about what other people think.
Of course you want your dream customers to love your content but outside of that, you don’t really need to worry about other opinions. If an ideal customer tells you a workbook you created was of no use, then you should ask why and try to improve it. But if your sister tells you she thought it was rubbish, unless she’s in your ideal market, take that opinion with a pinch of salt.
2. Accept that it’s okay to feel scared or nervous.
Putting yourself out there in front of an audience can be terrifying and everyone is nervous the first few times they publish a blog post or do a live video. Nerves are good, it shows that you care and you want it to work, which is exactly how you should feel about your business. Some people even acknowledge these feeling directly in videos and openly admit to being nervous – it makes them more relatable and real.
3. Your appearance really doesn’t matter.
Okay, so maybe you might want to run a brush through your hair before you decide to do a Facebook Live but ultimately, people aren’t buying from you because they think you’re pretty. Yes, I think Carrie Green is beautiful but I didn’t join her Female Entrepreneur Association because she looks good. People buy from you because you can help them, add value for them, design a stunning house for them, teach a new skill, entertain them etc.
People don’t buy from you because you look good, they buy because you can help them, add value for them, resolve a problem or teach them.
4. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just start!
Every successful business owner started with no customers and maybe no real clue as to how they would grow their dream into a sustainable business. You don’t need pristine photos, bells and whistles for your website or fancy equipment, those things come with time. Start small – write one blog post a week, or start to be just a little more active on social media, it doesn’t have to be an overnight transformation.
5. Be patient.
Growing your stock of content will take time. A couple of blog posts and a few dozen posts on Instagram won’t have your bank balance hitting six figures in the space of a fortnight. But keep going, and slowly but surely, you’ll see your audience grow and engage with you and those leads will begin to turn into customers.