BRAID CREATIVE & CONSULTING
is branding & business visioning
for creative entrepreneurs.

The one thing the designers, developers, coaches, photographers, and even yogis that hire Braid Creative have in common is they all want to write more. But they don’t know where to begin, how to carve out time for something like blogging, or are plagued with self-doubt when it comes to hitting publish. 

I could talk about blogging for days – there’s a lot to cover on the topic. But today I’m going to keep it simple and share the most powerful piece of advice I’ve got for getting your blog on. 



MAKE “BLOGGER” A PART OF YOUR JOB TITLE
As a creative entrepreneur I’ve worn a lot of hats. From designer, to creative director, to accountant, to janitor. But it wasn’t until I put “blogger” in my job description that I started taking it seriously and stopped feeling bad about dedicating time to writing instead of designing, accounting, and even cleaning. 

Now that “blogger” is in your job title you need to make time for writing. Include writing and blogging on your daily to-do list and block off time for it in your calendar. Give yourself deadlines and rough out an editorial calendar. And don’t make it the last thing you do (unless you feel most creative at the end of your day). 

Extra credit: the next time someone asks you what you do say “I’m a blogger. I write about _______, _______, and _______.” Try it on for size and see how the conversation unfolds. 

RELATED:
• See how internet-awesome-maker, Sarah Von Bargen, launched her creative career with a blog.  
• But remember, you don’t have to blog if you don’t want to. There are alternative ways to show up and be seen.
• Brené Brown shared with us her two biggest tips for creative bloggers here.

And on Friday I’ll be sharing more on what it’s been like to take a summer break from personal blogging (and the surprising lessons I’ve learned so far) in our exclusive behind-the-scenes Letters for Creatives. 

If you want to get more clarity and focus for your blog check out our Braid ECourse Shape Up Your Content: Tame Your Ideas and Tell People How to Buy You. It’s now open for registration and will be in-session from July 18 - 27. Learn more and sign up here. 



Or check out our DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. It’s insight delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 4 weeks.

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We work with a lot of creative entrepreneurs who see the value in blogging, but not every creative likes to write. These “I-hate-writing” creatives can get pretty conflicted about this truth about themselves, and it’s not unusual for us to be working with a creative client who will matter-of-factly, but clearly uninspired about it, say “well... I guess I need a blog,” because they do recognize how blog content can help shape and share their expertise, which in turn boosts their business and bottom line. In fact, that’s what our ECourse Shape Up Your Content is all about (it’s in-session right now, but will be back around in a few months if you missed it this time). 

Kathleen here. I believe blogging is one of the most powerful tools for not only shaping your life but also exploring your expertise, and connecting with your tribe. I would not have been able to quit my day job (and convince Tara to quit hers) if it hadn’t been for what started as a little blog about my life. So yeah, I’m pretty passionate about blogging. However, if you don’t like to write, you’re going to muster up all sort of low vibrating emotions such as guilt and anxiety over the self-imposed feelings that you should be blogging – especially when you see all of your peers hitting publish like it’s no big deal on the daily. Nothing kills creativity like bad vibes. And bad vibes are never good for business.

DON’T BLOG IF YOU DON’T LIKE TO WRITE 
There are alternatives to blogging when it comes to generating content that helps you find your focus, narrow in on your niche, and cultivate community. Look at other online platforms you can rock like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or LinkedIn, just to name a few. Where are you already hanging out? For example, if you already have 1,000 Facebook friends but feel like you need a formal blog to share your content you are missing out on a huge opportunity to connect where you already are. 



TRY MICROBLOGGING 
With a newborn baby I haven’t had as much time to post to my personal blog as I used to. So instead of just posting an image to my Instagram. I’ll actually write a couple sentences to share what I’m up to or what’s on my mind. I’ll even ask questions and engage my Instagram followers for conversation in the same way I do on my blog. This is an example of microblogging. It’s a super low-pressure way of connecting with your tribe in a very little amount of time. You could even use Tumblr or Pinterest as a microblog by writing more meaningful captions on inspiration you’re collecting rather than leaving it blank. 

REDEFINE WHAT BLOGGING LOOKS LIKE FOR YOU
One of the reasons you might be hesitant to blog is because you’ve put external expectations on what blogging looks like. For example, you might think a blog has to be super wordy and published every day. But you don’t necessarily have to be a prolific writer to have a blog. You could just post photo-essays that share behind-the-scenes glimpses of what you’re working on once a month. Or you could record an iPhone video blog (also known as vlog) once a week – (I love how Gabrielle Berstein does this). Or maybe hosting a podcast is more your style – your blog can simply share the show notes that redirect your reader to your podcast. There are so many opportunities for what blogging can look like for you – don’t limit yourself with what other people are doing.



“I DO WANT TO WRITE, I’M JUST TOO BUSY / UNINSPIRED / TIRED / ETC.” 
I hear this a lot with my one-on-one creative coaching clients. Writers who really do want to blog but have about a million excuses why they shouldn’t. If you’re making an excuse you either A) really don’t want to blog or B) you’re not being professional. And both of those things are okay, just recognize them for what they are and move on. My advice here to you would still be to just not write and stop beating yourself up about it. Spend your energy making something else. But if you’re a glutton for punishment how about you just force yourself to write for 10 minutes a day every day for a week? Block off time on your calendar, set alarms on your phone, shut down your email and close all distractions – start writing and hit publish. 

You might also like these Braid posts: 
• GAAAHHH! Don’t Make Me Write
• My So-Called Social Media
• Capture, Shape, and Share with Instagram


Our Braid ECourse Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are With What You Do shares a lot more how to when it comes to being who you are on your blog – both professionally and personally. This is by far our most popular Braid ECourse and it will be in-session from May 16-25th. Learn more and register here. 


Or check out our DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. It’s insight delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 4 weeks. 

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Tara here. When I think of myself as a “creative writer” I think of the tools I use, metaphor, memorable phrases and headlines, declarations, emotion, that whole bag of tricks and truths. Some creatives say they hate to write. Some revel in sharing their thoughts and words. And really, even working creatives who say they aren’t comfortable writing, can wing it.

But when I talk about content that shares what you do (not for your clients, but for yourself and your business!) – I don’t mean just copywriting. I mean conversations with potential collaborators or clients, giving a talk to a group, sending out an email letter, writing your “about me” on your website, updating your social media profiles, or yes, composing a blog post.

If you are a creative who writes, but are only creating content for other people and not yourself – you’re selling yourself short and setting yourself up to: 
1. sell what you do “cold,” and 
2. sell your ideas “blind.” 

Meaning that every selling conversation will feel like it’s starting from scratch, and every creative idea you are persuading someone else enthusiastically embrace (because that’s selling too) will have no rationale or expertise backing it up.

Emotion and imagination have their place in your content, but only if you understand the difference between the content you share to inspire and attract others, and the content you create to explain and sell what you do. So here’s two ways of thinking of the content you create and share, so you can get in the right frame of mind before you ever type (or speak) an inspiring, informative word about you… and what you do:



1. WHAT YOU KNOW: “Sharing Content” is knowledge you give away (for free!) that positions you as a creative expert. 

What is sharing content? Well, it’s anything you write, record, speak, email, publish, print, or post – that informs & inspires others. Because “the work” and word-of-mouth can position you as a great creative. But the content you create is what positions you as a creative expert. You want someone to read your post and think “I need this expert to get what I want!”

And oh man, when you position yourself as an expert to a specific dream client, awesome things happen. “They trust you! They want you!”

But if you sneak selling content into sharing content, you muddy the message and the feeling you wanted to inspire. “Nice try. This is just a sales pitch!” So keep your sharing content clean. You need to create selling and sharing content, but know the difference and the right place to share what you know versus why to buy you.



SHARING CONTENT INCLUDES:
- blog posts
- social media posts
- talks to a group
- group emails or letters
- learning content (like ecourses)

SHARING CONTENT SHOULD:
- be insight that informs + inspires
- from a real person (not a company)
- who is willing to share as a creative expert
- and share what they know
But why “give away” your secrets? Because they still want it (i.e. that expertise)... from you.

SHARING CONTENT IDEAS:
When you write or speak what you know, versus how to buy, think:
- inspiration & ideas
- behind the scenes 
- advice & how-to’s
- overcoming mistakes
- seeing patterns
- translating information
- the story & the lesson

When you’re creating sharing content always ask yourself:
“Does it give my insight, to a specific audience around a specific pain,  and rather than ‘dazzle or persuade,’ does it inform and inspire?”  Because if it feels salesy, it probably is.


You can check out Our Not So Secret Formula For Sharing Content post here, for more tips on how to get in the right frame of mind for creating helpful or how-to content for your own dream clients.



2. WHY BUY YOU: “Selling Content” is how you describe what you do, why people should hire you, and what it will feel like to work with you.

SELLING CONTENT INCLUDES:
- your website content
- your offerings, services, products
- case studies, testimonials or examples
- presentations to new potential clients
- emails to potential clients
- direct mail or other information sheets

SELLING CONTENT SHOULD:
- be how to hire or buy you & your offerings
- explained (not overhyped) with reassuring logic
- with a “what you can expect working with us” approach
- if you can make it visual, do it
- if you can break it into steps, do it

SELLING CONTENT IDEAS:
- your clearly defined offerings & pricing
- your case studies & examples
- your behind-the-scenes methods
- your creative process made visual!
- always logical & reassuring

When you’re creating selling content always ask yourself:
“Can I make this visual, make  it real? Am I breaking it into steps can I show real examples? Can I simply explain this logically?” Because if it feels intangible or unreal, it probably is.

3. BLENDING CONTENT: you can “break” the rules and mix the two kinds of content if you know the difference.

It’s more like blending the rules but once you know the distinction between your sharing content and selling content – you can bring selling back into the sharing conversation, but only if you’re telling your audience you are shifting into how-to-hire me mode. No sneaking it in. Think transparency! Or for a visual example, you can scroll to the bottom of the post and see how I am going to clearly tell you how to buy a product from me, sign up for emails from me, or even hire me one-on-one for consulting. But everything above that line… it’s all sharing content. 

If you wanted, I know you could take this post today, and if you spent a week really re-focusing your content based on these few rules and tidbits, would have some shaped up content that gives you a lot of confidence selling yourself and sharing what you know. 

I’ve given you helpful advice, based on my insights, that you could actually use – for free. Would you still want to pay for our Shape Up Your Content Braid ECourse anyway? Maybe. Probably. If the timing is right for you. If it feels like a fit. And if when you read the selling content I’ve created to logically explain it here, feels like you know what you’ll get – versus being dazzled or “sold.”

So just remembering which kind of content you are creating before you begin, can go a long way toward building your own confidence, acting and thinking like a creative expert. And here’s a happy surprise – today’s shared (free) content, really can shape the new products or services you decide to sell in the future.

Again, here’s those two questions to ask before you begin content-creating:
1. If you’re sharing, ask: “does this content I’m creating feel insightful and helpful?”
2. If you’re selling, ask: “do these words I’m using to describe what I do feel like simply explaining?”

Do you feel more comfortable writing sharing content or selling content? Or are you a creative who just wings it every time when it comes to writing or talking about yourself? Tell us on Facebook.

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Do you receive our Letters for Creatives? When you sign up for our letters you'll also receive an exclusive discount to take our Braid Ecourses for creatives. Right now Shape Up Your Content: Tame Your Ideas and Tell People How to Buy You is now open for registration and will be in-session from April 18-27. This ECourse is great for creative professionals, aspiring entrepreneurs, and bloggers alike. Learn more and register here. 


Or if you’re interested in some work/life guidance check out our DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions - insight delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 4 weeks.

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