“I don’t know what to talk about.”
I hear this statement a lot when I start working with new clients. But after digging in and asking questions about who they are, what they love to do, and why they do it, we very quickly have a list of topics to talk about.
Many people who want to start talking about their business online are stuck with the "I don't know" and before we can begin putting a content calendar together, we have to address and chip away at the three common fears people have when writing online.
Three Common Fears About Writing Online
These are the three common fears I hear from new clients:
There are too many people in my industry talking about the same topic;
People already know about the subject I’m talking about;
There’s too much noise, so how will I ever compete?
Hands up if you’ve experienced these?
Too Many People In My Industry
Let me ask you this question. If you were worried about an intense industry competition, then why did you pursue your career? #hardtruthswithrio
Why this comes up as a fear is because the client’s expectation is that they need to be reaching EVERYBODY to be successful. This audience is called, “The General Public” and it should only be used by politicians who lack any knowledge of their voters. People want to target this figurative group because it means they’ll be reaching more people than their competitors. Logical? Maybe. Right? Not a chance.
The main reason people are stuck in this fear is that it feels like you’re missing out on something or there’s not enough: not enough time, energy, people to sell to...the list goes on.
Let’s assume you’re in a highly competitive market. How many people in your industry are kicking butt with their online content? I bet there’s only a handful. And the reason they’re kicking sweet online butt is that they are not talking to the general public.
They are talking to the people they want to work with. Example: a vegan restaurant doesn’t want to talk to people interested in meat-only BBQ. The likelihood of convincing the BBQ goer to eat at the vegan restaurant is super low, so why waste time?
Keeping with our restaurant idea, how many restaurants are in your area? Your city? The world? If there wasn’t “enough,” we wouldn’t be stuck trying to decide what we want for dinner every night. Regardless of industry, there’s always enough of the proverbial pie to go around.
I challenge you to think of what your piece of pie looks like and if you can’t think of one, I’ll lend you my brain for an hour!
**Side note: if you’re having that “what do you want?” conversation right now, here’s a tip. Pick the first thing that comes to mind. We always try to pick the thing that we think will bring us the most satisfaction. Maybe you haven’t eaten it for a long time or you should try something new. That’s a trap. You will be far more satisfied with that first option, even if you’ve had it 100 times before.**
People Already Know What I’m Talking About
This fear has nothing to do with if your audience already knows what you’re talking about. Don’t operate from the assumption that everyone knows what you know because they don’t.
It comes from your inner self-saboteur, whispering in your ear, “You don’t want to look stupid, you don’t want to annoy people. Don’t say anything and you’ll be safe.”
Now, if you’re talking about something in which you have no knowledge or background, you run the risk of looking unintelligent. But, if you’re speaking from years of training, work, and life experience, you look pretty darn smart.
So, what about being annoying?
I think the basis of this fear comes from not knowing how often to post content online. With the internet full of articles urging you to post every day on each platform, it can feel like you’re being the annoying toddler asking for their parents to look at them, repeatedly, for hours.
But the toddler also needs to be told repeatedly to do or not to do something before it sinks in. How many times have you had to explain to a client how your product/service works or what you need from them next? Our brains comprehend only a little of what others tell us because we’re trying to figure out how what they’re saying, relates to us.
Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself. The same message can be read or heard multiple times before it means anything to your client. And trust me, unless you’re playing Lamb Chop’s neverending song, you’re not annoying anyone.
There’s Too Much Noise, How Will I Compete?
I separated this fear from fears one and two because this is based on the pre-determined expectation that the world already has too much stuff so there’s no value for you to add. Would you be in your current spot if that were the case?
The truth is, you will be white noise to some people. And that is not a bad thing. Go back to fear number one: the vegan restaurant will be white noise to the meat-only BBQ eater. It’s not relevant, so brainpower will not be wasted recognizing it.
I like to say, “people are ready when they’re ready.” How you compete is by being ready for when your clients are. When they are ready to tune into your station, you have everything they need to make a decision; a searchable website, great social media content, and an easy place to connect with you.
Know your competition but play your own game and I can guarantee you that doing that will give you far better results than trying to out-compete everyone.
I Was Serious…
I mentioned that I would lend my brain for an hour if you need to identify your piece of the pie, and I don’t joke about pie. You can book a meeting with me here, tell me what you’re looking for, and let’s come up with some rad ideas.