Episode 41: Facing Your Fear of Writing

Content marketing requires content—and content requires words. Even if you choose to create videos, or produce podcasts rather than written articles, developing scripts, and building effective stories is essentially a writing and editing task. Could it be that one of the reasons creatives so often fail to market themselves effectively is a basic fear of writing? If you can’t get over this barrier, effective marketing may forever elude you.

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Are you ready to take the struggle out of finding new clients?

Marketing any professional services company, particularly a creative practice, involves content marketing. That means writing has to become one of your essential business skills. Unfortunately most creatives, aside from creative writers, lack the confidence to write—you’re more comfortable expressing yourself through images rather than words. Does that mean marketing for creatives is a lost cause?

Content marketing requires content—and content requires words. Even if you choose to create videos, or produce podcasts rather than written articles, developing scripts, and building effective stories is essentially a writing and editing task. Could it be that one of the reasons creatives so often fail to market themselves effectively is a basic fear of writing? If you can’t get over this barrier, effective marketing may forever elude you.

But if you can conquer this fear, and cultivate writing skills, you’ll have gained an essential resource that can finally enable you to get control of your marketing, so that your pipeline will be full of great creative opportunities.

In order to bolster your resolve to take on this challenge to write let’s consider some of the profound benefits of writing, in addition to its practical use in your marketing.

Let’s not kid ourselves though, writing is hard work. It demands a high degree of concentration, and seriously taxes our mental energy. But just as with physical exercise—no pain, no gain. One of the gains that comes from giving yourself to the hard task of writing is clarity of mind.

Have you ever been talking to a client or prospect, trying to get through to them about a concept or idea you see as the best solution to their problem, but you couldn’t break through? Have you ever caught yourself struggling for words to communicate your ideas? Well, if you want to be persuasive to your clients, you have to articulate your ideas clearly. And to speak clearly you have to think clearly. And there’s nothing more effective than writing to improve your clarity of thought.

When thoughts and ideas are left to bounce around inside our own heads, they become murky and confused. It’s only when we start putting our thoughts down on paper that we begin to set them straight.

Another benefit of writing is the cultivation of new ideas—which can become seeds for future content. That’s because the writing process forces you to get to the essence of your subject, and stay on track with it, until you reach your conclusion. This editorial process leaves many extraneous ideas on the cutting room floor, as you prune your ideas in order to stay focused. But as you critically cut out these tangential ideas—many of those discarded thoughts, while not relevant to the subject at hand, can very well be worked up into separate articles.

Yet another benefit that comes from the discipline of writing is lead generation. Practically speaking, whenever you publish written content online, you add one more item to your overall library of content. Every page you create is a potential in-road for prospects discovering your services. In fact, when you look at search engine traffic distribution of websites with lots of content—while any particular article in the library may contribute just a little bit to the site’s overall traffic—the aggregate amount of traffic from your whole library, often dwarfs the traffic to some of your main site pages. This is called the Long Tail of search traffic—and one of the best things about “long tail” search results is that they usually come from highly specific search parameters, indicating deeper interest on the part of the searcher in what they find on your site. When these kinds of highly specified searches find your content, resulting visits are much more likely to be seriously interested in your services.

Lastly, every time you generate content, you have a new opportunity to post it to social media, and send it out via email, keeping yourself top of mind with your prospects and clients.

There’s so much to gain from writing. Effective marketing requires it. And so in upcoming episodes I’ll share more about the craft and discipline of writing as a means of marketing your creative practice.

Until next time: don’t let the business of creativity overwhelm your creative business.