Ever notice how much noise is out there these days? It’s deafening.
Content is tossed to fans like candy from parade floats (or at least that’s how most content creators envision the interaction). Videos are uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo in record volume. Look at your newsfeed. People are constantly stealing small moments from their day to fill you in on what’s important to them. Food porn and cat gifs sneak their way into your daily life.
It’s a loud, loud world. So loud in fact, it’s hard to hear yourself think.
This year, the online course industry is expected to hit record new levels. Experts of all shapes, sizes, and education levels are gearing up to sell their wares (myself included) and teach you something new. This type of influence is helpful but only when it inspires you to find your calling.
There are millions of voices out there, how do you find you?
This is a problem I struggle with daily.
I write in so many different voices for so many different brands, it gets confusing. Creatives understand it better than anyone. We’re constantly changing hats, putting on new glasses through which to view the world, so when it comes time to find our own voice? We’re silenced.
The other problem with so many voices? So much judgment and contradictory advice.
One influencer I follow and adore says to never, ever, ever use your personal name as your business. Another says personal branding is THE most important thing you can do for yourself moving forward.
How do I know which one to follow? What’s the right choice for my business? For me?
Have you ever experienced this type of head spinning chaos? I’m willing to wager a bet you have because as humans, it’s only natural for us to compare ourselves to others. You see a stunning website and suddenly, you want to have the same look for your business. You read someone else’s writing and immediately you beat yourself up because you’re not putting out the same words she did.
Content marketing and sales copy is trickier than it looks.
There’s no such thing as “just” writing a blog post anymore. You have to add value if you want to get heard.
There’s no such thing as throwing together a few sentences and putting them on a webpage. For them to get read, you need to say something different. Something that matters.
The key to wading through the swampy content lands and getting back to a crystal clear reflection of yourself is understanding this:
You’ll never be all things to all people.
Forget what others say matters. Forget how others write. Silence the tips, tricks, and hacks you’ve read online. You can sprinkle those in later. Put yourself in a spot where the only voice you hear is your own.
The other day, I was asked to fill in and write the President’s letter for the local Chamber of Commerce where I serve as Vice President and Communications Chair. I started it with “Dear members,” and the words poured out of me. I was writing to a specific person in the Chamber (they don’t know who they are). I imagined myself sitting at a local coffee shop talking excitedly about what we discussed at our annual retreat. It was easy. It was me. I wrote quickly, feverishly, and with the type of excitement you get anytime you come up with a thought-provoking, inspiring new idea.
It’s not always this easy to pour words onto the screen, even for me, a writer. I stumble over subject matter that doesn’t excite me. I stutter when talking about something I’m not sure about. When it’s not a genuine passion or interest, I’m lost.
If I’ve ever turned down your project, please don’t take it personally. I was actually doing you a favor.
I cannot be all things to all people and knowing that is freeing beyond words.
Are you trying to appeal to the masses? Chances are, you’re facing the same writing demons I do.
Take a breath.
Imagine yourself at a table with your best friend.
And start talking.
The words will pour out of you faster and easier than ever before. Your voice will be YOURS. You’ll feel better. You’ll feel confident. You’ll love what you put out. And best of all? The world will want to listen. Because trying to fit into a mold is boring. The world deserves to hear from you – not a watered down version of yourself.