This is a repost of a previous blog post that somehow disappeared into thin air. But we think it's fitting to repost since we're reoffering our Braid ECourse Shape Up Your Content: Tame Your Ideas and Tell People How to Buy You.
One incredibly common anxiety for the creatives we work with, is a feeling that their content is in a state of chaos. When we say content, we mean the words, messages, images and even conversations that they are “putting out there” about themselves. And when we say chaos, we mean:
“I have so many ideas, which ones do I talk and write about? I feel like my copy is all over the place. I know I need to write, but I hate writing. I love to write, but I need to self-edit. I am embarrassed by the content on my website because I know it could be better. Ugh, I know all my facebook, twitter etc. could be more consistent. I want to blog more but I am trying to strike a balance between personal and business. I don’t want to blog, but I want people who visits my site to understand what I do. None of it is connecting the dots. I have content chaos.”
Two Creative Content Quick Fixes:
1. Play “Which of These Things Do Not Belong”
Take visual screen captures of all the places your content exists online. That could mean your website home page, about me page, and services page. That could mean a few sample blog posts, and definitely your blog profile and side bar info that’s up all the time. Don’t forget your Twitter page and profile description blurb up at the top there, and your Facebook one, too. Just do a screen grab of all of them, then take all the images and put them up on your computer screen at the same time, or print them out and spread them out on the floor where you can see them all at once. Now play “which of these things do not belong?” When you see your content all together it becomes pretty clear which ones aren’t consistent, and you can ask:
- Is my business or personal name the same in all these places? (You’d be surprised.)
- Is my basic profile description the same in all these places? (Or even close?)
- Does my content (pictures, tweets, posts) look & feel like it’s coming from the same point of view? (Is your blog or site all soft and stylish and your tweets are all wacky and sarcastic?)
Now, technically, to make this a “quick-fix” as advertised, I’d say just focus on fixing your profile description. That blurb of copy up top or on the sidebar, usually next to your picture. Pick the one you’re currently using that you like the most, and change all the others to match.
As a matter of fact, I just did this exercise for our Braid online content. And even though we are on our Facebook and Twitter pages all the time, we hadn’t realized we had failed to update those profile descriptions to match our new content on our newly updated website. Yikes! It’s so easy for content to fall behind and get inconsistent pretty fast if you don’t take a second to take stock.
2. Pick Just One Word You Will Never Use Again
This content fix, is more like addressing one bad habit to give you confidence to do more. It is a mini-version of one of our ECourse exercises, which is to create your own lexicon. You basically take all the generic words (or words that don’t really fit your true personality but you use anyway because you think they sound “professional”), and replace them with words that actually sound like you, are more specific to what you really do – and have more authentic personality.
So the quick fix version of this, is to pick just one word that you hate, you overuse, or never sounds quite right, or you think is a cop out word to what you really mean – and going in and making the conscious effort to replace or eliminate it.
Maybe your business is a creative product. And you say “beautiful” all the time. But really you mean “airy” or “sentimental.” Maybe you are selling your creative service, so your own expertise is what’s being described. You might find yourself using the word “idea” all the time. When really you mean “fuel” or “dreams.”
Our Braid ECourse Shape Up Your Content: Tame Your Ideas and Tell People How to Buy You is open for registration and will be in session from January 11-20, 2013. The biggest question we get from people interested in registering is, “is this for me?”
Our purpose for this ECourse is to take this one particular aspect of how we help our one-on-one Braid clients and offer it in a lesson plan of sorts. We want to help other creatives professionals, bloggers, entrepreneurs and aspiring-to-be’s wrap their head around all their ideas, focus on the ones that are content-worthy, weed out the ones that cause distraction and confusion – and make what they are writing and saying less generic, more authentic, and supportive of their actual vision for themselves and their creative business.
Why creatives love-hate their content.
Content creation and sharing is one of the most powerful ways to attract your dream customers to you and your creative services, products and point-of-view. When we say content, we mean words, messages, images, stories, and even conversations that you are sharing – on a blog, a website, a series of social media platforms, and even face-to-face.
But along with the wonderful ability for content to bring your ideas and voice to life, and to connect you with others – it’s also a huge source of anxiety for creatives. It can be a challenge to figure out when your content is a “gift” that you’re sharing, and then when that content needs to get down to brass tacks and tell people how to hire or buy your product or service.
We want our course to help you tame your ideas, wrangle your words, make your messages more authentic, make you more buyable and hireable – and help you love your content (or at least love it more than you hate it).