You haven’t been creating content for your business. You know you need to but you keep coming up with reasons not to. You say things like:
- I Suck at Content Marketing
- Everything Good Has Already Been Said
- I Don’t Have Time to Create Content
Sure, what you’re saying might sound good to you but really, these are excuses. Excuses are mindset issues in disguise. If you don’t tackle them, they will choke the life out of your content.
I don’t want that to happen to you. So, let’s put on our big girl pants and bust through these excuses so you can get back to creating awesome content.
You can read (or watch!) the most popular excuses I hear from clients and how I recommend tackling them…
Excuse #1: I Suck at Content Marketing
This is one of those thoughts that I discussed with Kimberley Wiggins of Inspired Women, Amazing Lives. When you’re struggling to create content, your first thought might be, “I suck at content marketing”.
The problem with this thought is that it limits you. It re-enforces the belief that you aren’t good at something and should just abandon it halfway through.
But let’s flip the script a little bit here. What if the situation were different? What if you were teaching your son to ride a bike or your daughter to drive a car?
When your little one says, “I’m not good at this”, you’d probably reply with compassion and grace. You’d say something like, “Hey, you’re learning here. Everyone stinks at this when they first start. Keep going and don’t give up. It gets better.”
Content marketing is like learning to ride a bike. Why? Because it’s a skill and a skill can be mastered by anyone at any time.
That means you can learn to be good at content marketing, too. Sure, it might take some time and a lot of practice (just like the whole bike thing). But you could do it if you’re dedicated and determined.
The next time you find yourself thinking that you’re not good at content marketing. I want you to patiently respond by saying, “Content marketing is a skill and I’m learning to develop this skill.”
Excuses #2: I Don’t Have Any Ideas
I’m going to say something here that will be very disappointing if you don’t know much about creativity here:
Ideas are not magical beings that appear when you hold out your hand and wait for them.
I know, I know. There are all of these interviews with writers/artists/creatives and when they’re asked where they get their ideas, they simply say, “They just come to me” or “Ideas are everywhere”.
The truth isn’t that ideas come more readily to creative people. It’s that creative people have a well of ideas and they’re constantly adding to that well.
They do this by consuming content all day long. They read books, articles, blogs, newspapers, and magazines. They binge-watch shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. They listen to the radio, podcasts, and webinars.
By filling this well, they always have a vast supply of interesting ideas to pull from. If you don’t have one, you need an internal well. You might even start a “swipe file” – write down the things that are inspiring and challenging you.
Keep in mind that the content you consume should be both stuff you like and stuff you vehemently disagree with. Let all of these ideas brew for a while then start asking, “What if…?”
Your “what ifs” can be pretty wild and crazy. In fact, the more out there they are, the better. Keep coming up with the zany ideas. Most of them probably won’t work or make great content. But some of them will and those are the ones you’re after.
Excuse #3: Everything Good Has Already Been Said
Yep, everything that needs to be said has already been said. I agree with that but here’s the thing: it hasn’t been said by you.
And you, my dear, have a unique voice. You are a collection of experiences and memories and personality traits and you’ve been shaped by so many wonderful (and terrible) things.
All of these elements combine to give you a voice that can never, ever be duplicated.
The trick then isn’t finding something new to say in your content. It’s figuring out how to say the same thing in a way that’s totally unique and completely yours.
If you’re struggling with this concept, I highly recommend Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. It’s motivating and challenging in the best way.
Think about it like this: you wouldn’t not paint a picture of a tree because someone else has already painted the same tree. But knowing hundreds of other artists have already painted the same tree should inspire you to make yours stand out!
Excuse #4: My Spelling & Grammar Stink
You don’t have to be an expert at either of these things to create amazing content. In fact, I’m a professional content creator and I regularly Google how to spell everyday words.
I look up the definition of a word then I pull up Thesaurus.com to find another word that will be create a bigger impact for my audience.
I’m a HUGE believer in putting great content in the world that’s as error-free as you can make it. But you don’t have to struggle with your spelling and grammar on your own either. There are plenty of tools like Hemingway that will help you strengthen your skills.
Download a few different programs. Paste your blog posts into them. See which ones help you create better content. Be willing to experiment with your word choices. When you second-guess yourself, stop and Google…that’s what true content experts do.
Excuse #5: My Content Sounds Stuffy and Boring
When a client says this to me, I usually have a pretty simple response, “That’s because you’re not being you in your content. You’re trying to be what you think your audience wants to hear.”
The problem is you create a disconnect in your writing and videos. People sense you’re not being genuine. Instead of trying to be what people want, be YOU.
I know that sounds easy on the surface but relax! Don’t take yourself or your business so seriously. It’s OK if you stumble over a funny word or you don’t have it all figured out during your tech tutorial.
I messed up during a recent video. I totally didn’t know the bit of code to make it all work, I stumbled on through and my audience forgave me.
The people listening to you aren’t expecting you to know everything and be everything. They get that you’re human and you make mistakes and mispronounce words and don’t quite have it all figured out. Well, OK, 99.99% of people do.
You will occasionally come across the 0.01% who want to rip you down because they’re living a miserable life and this is their only joy or because you’re doing what they want to do but they don’t have the guts to do it too so they’re insanely jealous of you. In these cases, I recommend thanking them for their opinion and moving on with your life.
PS: Yes, there is a run-on sentence in the paragraph above. We’re calling it a “stylistic choice” since we’re content creators. 😀
Excuse #6: I Don’t Have Time to Create Content
There’s something called the “10,000 Hours” rule and the general idea behind it is that in order to become an expert on a topic, you need to spend 10,000+ hours studying it and engaging in it.
Now you’re sitting there thinking, “Great, I have kids/a spouse/a job/a cat/etc and I can’t afford to spend hours and hours creating content.”
I get it.
But you’re overthinking this.
When I started learning to create websites, I knew it would take weeks, months, and years of learning. Heck, I’m still learning and it’s been over a decade since I started coding.
I didn’t start out with this idea that I had to dedicate hours and hours. I simply picked up 10-minute tutorials.
It’s true that you won’t become an expert in creating content in the next ten minutes. But you could use the time to brainstorm 3 new topic ideas. You could take 15 minutes to outline an upcoming blog post.
Creating content doesn’t have to be this huge, overwhelming task unless you make it one. A helpful nugget I got from a coaching call with Kimberley Wiggins was that she sits down to do a task and simply asks, “How long do I want this to take?”
So if she only wants to spend one hour editing a podcast, she sets that as the goal and uses the right tools to get the task done in her budgeted time.
It’s the same concept. You simply look at how long you have to write a blog post or fill a video and you get it done. There’s no procrastination, whining, or drama. You simply do it and you move on.
New Mindsets Take Time
We’ve tackled a lot of mindset issues in this post and I enjoy getting to dig deep into these problems. But keep in mind that for most people, you’re not going to bump up against a mindset issue just once, repeat the right phrase, and carry on.
You’ll come up against this mindset again and again.
That’s because changing your underlying belief is a process. It takes time and that’s to be expected.
Be patient with yourself and if you need help, book a 20-minute sesh with me (totally free). I LOVE coaching my clients through these problems so they can create and publish AMAZING content.