A couple of weeks ago, I was coaching/ consulting / just chatting with a sci-fi-fantasy author to write her bio.
She said something that really stuck with me –
She has decided that she doesn’t want to be spending her time chasing after all those “things” people are “supposed to do” online. She has no interest to blog weekly, to crush it on social media, or to create a course.
All she wants to do is to tell good stories – stories that people enjoy reading. Stories that deliver a satisfying reading experience. Stories that respect the readers’ time (and intelligence.)
She said it so matter-of-fact-ly. Nothing apologetic about it.
A stake in the ground. A breath of fresh air. A clear conviction.
More often than not, when I get on the phone with folks, they’d tell me a laundry list of “marketing activities” they plan to do.
Then they start talking about why they’re stuck, what haven’t been checked off the list and how that technology thing is keeping them stuck etc. – often with an apologetic tone.
That apologetic tone is deadly. It makes us shrink. It takes us away from what we KNOW is the right thing to do for ourselves, our clients and our messages.
It makes us conform without enough discernment.
We live in this business-coachy-bubble filled with marketing-should’s.
We’re sent in a dozen different directions, trying to “market” our businesses.
Forgetting what drove us in the first place.
Forgetting that we didn’t start our businesses so we can market some stuff.
Forgetting that at the end of the day, if we don’t create meaning and deliver value, we don’t have anything worthwhile to sell. Then everything you’ve learned about marketing and selling is moot.
More often than not, we’re making things more complicated than they need to be.
Don’t drown yourself in two dozens business strategies and marketing tactics, wondering where to start and get stuck in analysis-paralysis.
Start by DOING GOOD WORK.
Start with your distinct POV, your unique contribution.
Start by creating meaning.
“Doing good work” doesn’t mean getting stuck in perfectionism.
It doesn’t mean you’ve to make it perfect before you sell anything.
Doing good work is an attitude.
Put YOU into the work. No fear, no compromise, no diluting your message because you worry about offending people or excluding clients. Tell the Truth.
As good as you can get it with what you’ve at the moment; with honesty, confidence and conviction.
Good work also means SHIPPING the damn thing. If you don’t deliver the goods, it’s not doing anybody any good.
When you do good work, when you identify the meaning in that work, when you map its relevance to your niche – then the next step comes naturally…
Talk about it.
When you do good work and do enough of it, you’ll know your expertise and offering inside out so you can talk about it in a way that articulates why it’s relevant and meaningful to your clients.
Sure, you may need a different perspective to see all the pieces and some help to massage the language… but you gotta have quality raw materials.