Do You Get Stuck With What To Share With Your Blog Posts Sometimes?

In today’s blog post, learn 7 ways to get out of writer’s block.

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What can you do when you are just staring at a blank screen or sheet of paper?

I’m usually pretty good at coming up with new ideas but very occasionally I’ll get writers’ block.

Here are 7 things to try when you’ve got writer’s block.

  1. Phone a friend – maybe literally but I ask my close friends if they can inspire me. It might be business related, or it might just be the complete break from business that gets those cogs going again.
  1. Do something completely different – I attended a Neuroscience for Coaches webinar a few years ago and it was fascinating learning how the brain needs ‘restful activity’, so it’s engaged in something that’s not related to what we’re trying to solve/figure out. Going for a walk, reading a book, taking a shower etc. All of these things allow our brains the restful activity we need and when you think about it that’s when we often come up with our most creative ideas.
  1. Create/use swipe files – Have you heard of a swipe file?  It’s what graphic designers, creatives et al use to save images/content etc. I use all sorts of things as my own ‘swipe files’. Some of these might be useful to you too, so I’ll share. I don’t know why I have so many to be honest.
  • A notebook – Write it down! Carry a little notebook around with you in case inspiration strikes. It’s amazing how quick your muse disappears. Capture that amazing idea as soon as you can! I love having my little notebook – I get to pretend to be a super creative person, kinda artsy!
  • Pocket – I love the Pocket App – Like Pinterest you can save lots of links to blog posts and it’s easy to search – Not sure why I use both but hey, it works for me!
  • Evernote – fabulous little app for capturing snippets of info and completely searchable.  You know those little links or quotes that you don’t want to lose, but know if you write them down it will take forever to find again?  That’s where Evernote comes in.
  • Data Bank – I have a folder on my computer for magazine articles, scanned cuttings from Psychologies, People Management, that kind of thing, divided into subfolders and then when I’m stuck I can read a quick article and get inspiration
  • Asana – A project management tool where you can save all of your ideas

There’s loads of apps and tools out there, it’s just about finding what you enjoy.

  1. Read blog posts/books – both related and unrelated to what you do.  It’s always great to learn new things. I read a lot so books are a constant source of inspiration for me.

Don’t always think blog posts have to be about your area, often there are links (ok sometimes tenuous links in my blog posts!) that you can make to lead into your subject.  

As I read books I take notes in pretty little books, it helps me retain information and gives me ideas for later posts. Plus the added bonus is you’ll have lots of useful info you can use later!

  1. Brainstorm – write down headers for everything you know about your field of work and see what comes up. You’ll be amazed at how much you know about your area when you start pulling together a big list and getting some ideas down on paper.
  1. Rehash/repurpose content – remember that blog post you wrote a while back about confidence or something related to your coaching? Write something else on the same subject, just write it from a different perspective, do a bit more research around it and beef it up.
  1. Change your location – sometimes you need a change of scenery to get those creative juices flowing. Move into another room, work in the garden (weather permitting! I’ve just moved to Scotland so not sure there will be so much working in the garden!), go to the local cafe (my personal favourite!)

So in today’s post I’ve shared with you some hints and tips to get your mojo (motivation) going again. I hope it’s helped you.

I’d love to hear what you do when your brain doesn’t want to play and you’re on a deadline. Let me know in the comments below. I love learning lots of new ways to move away from writers’ block.

Remember to check out my Visibility Quiz to find out whether you’re a Visibility Lady, Countess, Princess or Queen. If you’re a guy then please change the names to Lord, Count, Prince and King) Once you’ve got your score I’d love for you to come on over to my pinned post on my business page and tell me what score you got. There’s a chance to win a little prize each month.

Also, I would love to interview Ladies, Countesses, Princesses & Queens on my podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz. I’ll be asking you all about what you do on visibility right now, what’s working for you, what’s not and where you’d like to be. If you’re interested then apply for your spot here – http://bit.ly/PodVisQuiz. In order for your application to be considered, you’ll need to have completed the quiz though as I’ll need to know what you’ve scored etc.

Don’t Bully People Into Working With You!

In today’s blog post, I will talk about how allowing business to flow, instead of hustling will help you to come across as someone to work with, rather than being seen as being a bully.

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Have you ever had a chat with someone and made to feel less than because you’ve not signed up with them? I had it a while ago with a product I was buying and I really felt like I was being backed into a corner. I felt ever so uncomfortable and wanted to leave the venue as quickly as possible because it all became so awkward.

I had the other person coming on so strong saying they wanted the best for me, but the best for me was actually them getting a sale and they just wouldn’t drop it. With a little bit of a people pleasing background I almost reverted to spending a lot of money on something I didn’t even want! Thank goodness for all of those phrases I practiced over the years that meant I kept my ground.

My post today might be a bit controversial but it drives me crazy how people treat people in business sometimes. Yes, we’re in business and want to help people make the decision to work with us, but it shouldn’t mean that you have to bully people into working with you.

When you’re in the place of wanting clients it can be easy to get sucked into pushing people to work with you. This will never work in reality. When you allow your business to flow instead of hustle you’ll get more dreamie clients.

What do I mean by pushing?

Let’s say someone has jumped on a call to find out more about working together. There’s nothing wrong with getting the next date in the diary to follow up with them, giving them the space to work out if what you’re offering is the right fit, but don’t badger them! There’s a fine balance between great follow-up and being so visible that they start considering a restraining order!

Then there’s that one where they might say they’ve got no money to work with you right now, your first reaction shouldn’t be to tell them to put it on the credit card. How about offering a money-making brainstorming session with them to help them come up with the money? (Only if they really do want to work with you though!)

You can do so much damage to relationships if you’re too pushy.

This also applies to all of the ways that you show up as part of your visibility strategy. Maybe you’re sending out 20 newsletters a day telling people how their life is going to suck because they aren’t buying from you.

Why do we need to scare people into buying from us? There are lots of psychological buying factors that help people buy from us, but does bullying need to be one of them? I personally don’t want people to buy from me if I’m made them feel bad about themselves in some way.

Maybe you’re doing videos and find yourself really plugging your new programme. Drop it in as a comment or explain how it works at the end, for sure, but bombarding people with the information all the way through isn’t providing value and you’re less likely to get that dreamie client to buy into what you’re offering anyway.

I’ve had to have a few challenging conversations with people over the years about working together, where people have assumed that I’m their client but I might not have made my mind up yet and then it’s become really awkward. Like the person that said my website was terrible and it was no wonder I wasn’t getting clients at the time. Surely there would have been a nicer way to help me become a client?

I’ve noticed a lot of people stepping on other people’s toes to get to where they want to be. Sad really, because we’re all unique, there’s enough business out there for everyone. Do we really need to step on toes to get there?

What I’ve learned over the years is that way more business comes my way when (excuse my language) I chill the fuck out! Seriously, the more I hustle, the less business I get. When I share content that’s relevant to my dreamie clients without instilling fear in them, my posts get liked.

When I talk to people about how we can co-create something in their business together, rather than me making out that I’m the big ‘I am’ that has the solution to solving their every problem, I sign up clients.

When I simply come from a place of service and connect with people on calls, over time that creates new business for me.

Have I been guilty of pushing? Totally. I’m not perfect. I still make mistakes too. I just feel that we’ve lost our way a little bit when it comes to business now. We’re constantly worrying about someone else getting our dreamie clients. As one of my good friends always says, ‘Nothing will pass you by that’s meant for you’.

How different would your business be if you stopped worrying about what other people are doing?

What would it be like if you stopped the hustle and worked from a place of flow, trusting that your message will be heard by the right people, the ones that need your help and love what you do?

How much would your anxiety levels decrease, your sleep increase, and your whole business be easier to run, if you just chilled out, and allowed people to come to you?

You need to get your visibility piece right – that’s about having the right message, with the right offering, to the right people.

You need to be consistent with your visibility.

You need to have content out there for people to connect with you, and then want to find out more about working with you, but if you recognise yourself as someone that’s pushing all the time though, maybe it’s time to change that. Allow your business to flow. It can be magical 🙂

Your call to action: Notice where you need to chill out a bit in your business. Where are you hustling? What would the impact be if you ran your business with a softer energy? I know mine has come on in leaps and bounds since I changed things around.

Remember to check out my Visibility Quiz to find out whether you’re a Visibility Lady, Countess, Princess or Queen. If you’re a guy then please change the names to Lord, Count, Prince and King) Once you’ve got your score I’d love for you to come on over to my pinned post on my business page and tell me what score you got. There’s a chance to win a little prize each month.

Also, I would love to interview Ladies, Countesses, Princesses & Queens on my podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz. I’ll be asking you all about what you do on visibility right now, what’s working for you, what’s not and where you’d like to be. If you’re interested then apply for your spot here – http://bit.ly/PodVisQuiz. In order for your application to be considered, you’ll need to have completed the quiz though as I’ll need to know what you’ve scored etc.

Have You Eaten Your Frog?

In this blog post, I will share 8 ways that you stop procrastinating and get things done in your biz

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Procrastinating can be fun. Until it’s not! It can dent your confidence, where you keep putting things off and not achieving what you want to achieve.

I do think there are positives to procrastination too though. What I mean by that is sometimes you’ll be procrastinating because you don’t have all of the information you need, or the timing isn’t right etc. This blog isn’t about that! This is about not doing the things you’re meant to be doing. I’m going to share a few ways to beat your procrastination.

This is a little list intentionally. If you’re a procrastinator giving you yet more to read or learn isn’t going to help you crack the habit of procrastinating!

  1. Clear Your Energy Drainers

There are things in life that we tolerate, we let them build up.  It might be a blown light bulb, a shredding bin that needs emptying, some paperwork etc.  Each time we see this pile or list of jobs to do it can drain our energy. It also has quite a powerful impact on how we feel about ourselves.  If we can’t achieve the simplest of things then why would we even bother trying the bigger stuff?

Write a list of the top things you are putting off and work through them one by one.  Your confidence will grow as you achieve them.

  1. Don’t Over-Think It (Less Time Thinking, More Time Doing)

This is pretty straightforward – don’t over-think it. I’ve just finished the book, ‘The 5 Second Rule’ by Mel Robbins. She has a fabulously simple little strategy of counting down from 5 to 1 and on 1 doing that thing you’re putting off. It helps you get loads done! (Read her book for more info)

We spend so much time thinking about tasks that need doing and yet put them off.  Less thinking, more doing = more time doing the things you love.

  1. Eat Your Frog

As Brian Tracy says in his book of the same name. Get the big jobs (that one you know you’re totally going to put off) out of the way – it makes the day way more fun.

  1. Most Important Tasks

Set yourself up for success.

Set your top Most Important Tasks for the Day or MIT’s (I first learned this from Leonie Dawson, I think it might be from Stephen Covey originally, I’m not sure)

  1. Use the Pomodoro Technique (Check Out This Link For More Info)

Set a timer for 25 minutes to see what you can achieve. Break down the task (Pomodoro) (set a 15/25-minute timer, put in 100% effort on that task.  When the timer goes off, put it away – just take one step at a time).

  1. Don’t Wait For Perfect (I know, this one is tough if you’re a perfectionist)

Sometimes you just need to take a risk and put it out there. Remember mistakes are ok. There will also be mistakes that you make but it’s how you learn from those mistakes and what you do differently next time that will make all the difference.

Often the fear of it not being perfect can result in procrastination.  There is debate about this but I know certainly for me I put off things because by not putting them out there means I can’t get it wrong.  I’m a work in progress.

Choose a ‘have a go’ attitude.

 

  1. Give Yourself Permission

You need to give yourself permission to make mistakes. If someone else made that mistake we would encourage them to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and try again – we ‘give them permission’. Not so easy when it’s you, I know.

  • Give yourself permission to be you
  • Give yourself permission to change your mind and go in a completely different direction
  • Give yourself permission to be happy

If you have learnt something from the mistake and want to keep going that’s great – but conversely if it’s really making you unhappy then it’s ok to give yourself permission to change your mind!

  1. Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously
  • Lighten up!
  • Take responsibility for your own life
  • How can you bring more fun into your life?

Recommended Reading:

Call To Action: I’ve shared lots of different ways to stop procrastinating. Now go and eat that frog!

Remember to check out my Visibility Quiz to find out whether you’re a Visibility Lady, Countess, Princess or Queen. If you’re a guy then please change the names to Lord, Count, Prince and King) Once you’ve got your score I’d love for you to come on over to my pinned post on my business page and tell me what score you got. There’s a chance to win a little prize each month.

Also, I would love to interview Ladies, Countesses, Princesses & Queens on my podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz. I’ll be asking you all about what you do on visibility right now, what’s working for you, what’s not and where you’d like to be. If you’re interested then apply for your spot here – http://bit.ly/PodVisQuiz. In order for your application to be considered, you’ll need to have completed the quiz though as I’ll need to know what you’ve scored etc.

Rock Your Visibility Interview With Alexandra Franzen

I’ve been following Alexandra Franzen’s work for a while now. She is such a beautiful wordsmith, and creates amazing content. Lots of lovely links to check out below.

In this juicy episode, we talk about:

  1. What to do if you don’t feel good enough
  2. What to do if you don’t want to blog
  3. How your body image can affect your visibility
  4. Overcoming perfectionism
  5. How Twitter could be costing you 3.4 years of your life!

Want to connect with Alexandra? Here’s her links:

http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/
http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/shop/ (where you can find out all about her fab book, “You’re Going To Survive”
http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/2014/08/08/35-things-you-can-do-instead-of-starting-a-blog/

Remember to check out my Visibility Quiz to find out whether you’re a Visibility Lady, Countess, Princess or Queen. If you’re a guy then please change the names to Lord, Count, Prince and King) Once you’ve got your score I’d love for you to come on over to my pinned post on my business page and tell me what score you got. There’s a chance to win a little prize each month.

Also, I would love to interview Ladies, Countesses, Princesses & Queens on my podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz. I’ll be asking you all about what you do on visibility right now, what’s working for you, what’s not and where you’d like to be. If you’re interested then apply for your spot here – http://bit.ly/PodVisQuiz. In order for your application to be considered, you’ll need to have completed the quiz though as I’ll need to know what you’ve scored etc.

7 Questions to Improve your Visibility Through Blogging

In this blog post, I will share 7 questions you can ask yourself that will help you when considering blogging/more blogging.

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Do you like to blog? I do, but then I like to write so the two go hand in hand. As my hubby would tell you I also like to talk, which I why I also my blog and podcast show in combination to share my message.

Whatever stage you’re at with your blogging, it’s worth doing a mini review. Here’s a few questions to get you started.

1. Do you like blogging/writing?

These questions are important. Do you like to write or not? If you don’t like to write, then maybe blogging isn’t for you.

Yes, it’s good for visibility and yes, it builds your credibility but if you’re kicking and screaming every time you sit down to write one word then maybe a different form of visibility would be better for you. Perhaps you’re a master at FB Lives (okay, so maybe not a master, but you enjoy doing them) or maybe you just like sharing on Instagram. It’s all about finding what works for you and what works for your dreamie clients too.

PS. This isn’t about making excuses though. I’m not letting you off the hook that easily!

2. What are you doing so far in terms of blogging?

Maybe you’re just starting out and haven’t written a single word, or you have a document full of posts ready to go live ‘one day’. You just don’t want that one day to come too soon because it scares the life out of you sharing your message online!

Perhaps you’ve been blogging a little while but you haven’t checked out what ROI you’re getting (return on investment) as in is it even worth your effort. (I’d add a note here though, we get caught up on the number of comments on our blog posts, and lack of comments doesn’t necessarily mean that people aren’t reading your posts.

Sometimes people just don’t take the time to comment, but love everything you’ve written. I’ve been to many a live event and had people saying they love my blog. I usually reply with a ‘Yay, someone’s reading it’ because if comments were anything to go by with mine I would think it was just me who saw my posts!

3. How often do you share a post?

This is a good one to check in on. We are aiming for consistency here so far better to share consistently once a month, than to share once a week and then disappear for ages. I know you like to hide away, I do too but that doesn’t create consistency! There will be times, a bit like I’ve had lately, when your blog isn’t as much of a priority and consistency doesn’t happen, but it’s fine. Life gets in the way and it’s about getting back on track as quickly as you can.

Consider what good consistency of posting would be for you. You want it to be one that makes you feel calm and in control, rather than wanting to tear your hair out as you try to come up with new ideas all of the time.

4. Where are you sharing your posts and where might be good places to share?

The loaded question – Where to share. Quick answer, where your dreamies are, but play around with this over time. It’s worth checking because we can get into a rut of always sharing in the same places.

Also, are you maximising the blog posts that you write, or do they just get written once and left to slowly drop further and further down the pages of your website?

Save yourself some time, dig out some old blog posts that you like and get them scheduled in for sharing. You don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel! It doesn’t mean you share the same content over and over again and drive your tribe crazy, but it does mean you could repost something you shared 6 months ago.

You will have new members in your tribe by then, and remember not everyone sees what you post and/or needs what you post at that time, so it never hurts remind people. Think of your own habits, sometimes you need to hear something a few times before taking action.


5. What’s working with your blogging so far?

As business owners, we often talk about what’s not working. We’re on a lifelong mission to fix all of the problems in our business. Let’s flip that and focus on what is working and do more of that.

For example, I know I get lots of sign ups when I do guest posts. Now, there are two strands to that, one I am writing very targeted posts which work really well with the companies I write for. What I hadn’t connected though was that I write slightly differently when I do guest articles, they’re often a bit less chatty and more succinct. So, it’s then about testing different options to find out why something might be working and reviewing what you could do differently.

6. What posts do you enjoy writing?

If you are really connected to your passion, then allow that message to come through in your writing. If you’re enjoying what you write, it’s likely that your dreamie clients will enjoy it too. If you find yourself screwing your nose up when you talk about a particular aspect on your blog, then don’t write about that. Find something that you find exciting. Allow that passion to shine through.

7. What have you learned about the way you currently blog?

I know that I do my best writing when it’s last minute. I’ve tried writing loads of things in advance. I sometimes go through phases of batching, but it’s a bit of a push for my creative muse. She doesn’t like it. She likes to fly by the seat of her knickers! She thinks it’s great fun stressing me out and not giving me much creativity until the last minute.

That’s taught me that too much structure doesn’t work for me when it comes to blogging. I like to talk about what inspires me in that moment. What I do have though is an editorial calendar that I use in Asana (a fabulous project management tool that I use) I’ve plugged in lots of different titles so that I have some inspiration to choose from – that feels like a more flexible plan to me (Bonus that it doesn’t upset my creative muse too!)


If you’re not sure whether to blog or not, why not test it for a bit and see how it works out for you. In my Rock Your Visibility programme we focus on, and test, one area of visibility for one month. That way you can decide if it’s something you enjoy or not, and whether it brings you any results. Obviously any form of testing takes time, but this way allows you to try things on for size.  Sometimes we make excuses for not being visible, other times we might not be playing to our strengths so doing this form of testing helps with that.

Blogging can feel scary, like you’re baring your soul to the world, but actually it’s just you sharing information to help others. One of the ways I got into the blogging habit was to complete Sarah Arrow’s 30-Day Blogging Challenge. This is where you blog for 30-days consistently. It was REALLY full on, but once you’ve completed it and you’re mucking around telling yourself you can’t write a blog post, you get to remind yourself that you pulled off 30 posts in 30-days so it’s nonsense that you can’t pull off one. Move over mindset monkeys!

If you enjoyed this post, then you can get the freebie that goes along with it, one I normally only share with my Rock Your Visibility Members. You get a simple worksheet you can use to work through these questions, plus 7 steps to a great blog post and more. Click this link to get access. (NB. You’ll also get added to my newsletter list too where I share exclusive weekly hints, tips and strategies to help you get more visible in your business)

What Modelling Taught Me About Writing Blog Posts

In this episode, Ruby shares what modelling taught her about blog posts, and how it can help you write your own.

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Okay, so the title was a bit of a teaser. I mean you didn’t really think I’d done modelling, did you?! This is going to be a slightly different post to normal in that it’s more of an interview.

Click the play button below to listen, or scroll down and click ‘Read full transcript’ if you prefer to read the post.

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No, the kind of modelling I’m talking about is NLP. If you’re not sure what NLP is, it’s a powerful way to communicate. I thought I’d let Wikipedia explain it better instead of me bumbling my way through it, so this is what it says:

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States in the 1970s.

NLP Modeling is the process of recreating excellence. We can model any human behaviour by mastering the beliefs, the physiology and the specific thought processes (that is the strategies) that underlie the skill or behaviour. It is about achieving an outcome by studying how someone else goes about it.

Thanks, Wikipedia, you made that much easier for me!

So a couple of weeks ago, I had a session with a lovely coach in one of my groups, who wanted to ‘model’ how I got into a creative flow with my writing. I’d said at one point that I find writing quite easy and she wanted to understand the kind of beliefs, behaviour, physiology and thought processes I use that help me to write.

Once you understand those things about the other person you imitate that behaviour, you can start to piece the information together and model their behaviour to see if it puts you into a similar state. After time you then do it in your own way, it just triggers you to get into a resourceful state.

I have never been modelled before, so I found the process fascinating.

It’s so interesting how we all have our own particular strengths, and it’s only when you break them down with someone that you realize there are lots of very specific and different things that you do, so I thought it would be useful to share what I learned about myself and how I write in this modelling session.

If you want to become a more creative writer, listening to this interview can really help you. You can use the exact processes to put yourself in a resourceful state to write like you want to.

As you go through the interview, ask yourself the same questions:

  • What’s your writing like?
  • How do you feel about your writing?
  • What do you think about it?
  • What’s the best part you enjoy about your writing?

Compare your answers as you go along. You never know what you might learn about yourself too.

The session lasted about an hour, and the coach asked me lots of very specific questions. I’ve listed the main ones. It’s not verbatim, as I couldn’t type that much text, but it should give you a flavour of the call.

How do you feel about writing?

 I really enjoy it. It’s nice to be able to express yourself. If you’ve written something, you can go back and edit, whereas, with something like Facebook Live etc, it’s out there.

What’s the best part you enjoy about writing? (Is it about your audience)

For me, it’s all about business writing. I wouldn’t have a clue where to start with writing a novel or something like that. I always have a person in mind that I write to. Her name’s Sally.

Where do you usually write when you write?

I get into the flow of writing when I’m in cafés. There’s a background noise, you’ve got a buzz going on around you. There’s noise going on, but you’re completely focused in on what you’re doing. I completely zone out when I’m in a café. If there’s a lot of background noise, then I’ll pop some headphones in, listen to some music or a creativity track to help keep me focused.

If I’m at home, I’ll end up checking out Facebook or being distracted by other things, unless I make the decision to get up early when the house is quiet. That quiet space before I start client work, or at the beginning of the day. It’s about not having distractions. If I’ve got client work, then I’d be more in client zone than writing zone.

Can you remember a time when you wrote a really great post that you felt really pleased with?

 I was writing a guest post article for someone, and as I was going back over the content I felt it came across as very serious. There was something not quite right about it. I’d spent ages writing it. I talk about ‘Ruby-fying’ my content, as in making it sound like me, and what I realised was that because I knew it was going out to about 12,000 coaches I thought it needed to be a bit more serious, but whenever I try to be more serious with my writing it doesn’t work, my writing doesn’t flow. I sent it over to one of my business besties and she told me it wasn’t Ruby-fied. I knew she was right, so I went back to the beginning again, worked my way through it and made it fun.

What did you tell yourself as you finished that post?

When I got to the end I said, ‘Yes, that’s the post I’m meant to write’. I said to myself, if they don’t like it then that’s okay. They’ve asked me to write for them because they like my style of writing, so I need to do my style of writing. It was really well received. It felt like I’d been true to myself, I was very authentic and not too super serious. It still gave a really good message to people

How do you know that you’re finished with a post?

I think there’s an element of you thinking you can do more and more, but there has to be a cutoff for a post. Sometimes there will be a deadline, so there’s the time pressure of it. I think I go through a tell-tell-tell process, so I tell people what I’m going to talk about. I talk about that thing and then I tell them what I’ve told them. Other times, I’ll think to myself, ‘Yes, I think that sums up everything I have to say, and I’ll just see where it takes me and what comments I get back on that post. I think when you’re sharing a story, there’s clearly a start, middle and end so that helps. There’s a mental set process that I go through, rather than a written one. I don’t always do that, but I often do, so when I do the process of tell-tell-tell I usually know that I’ve finished that post. There will be 2-3 key points and then I summarise those at the end.

If there’s a story I want to share, the idea might be bubbling away for a while, and I might write a few notes about it, but won’t share it until there’s a purpose for it, in a Facebook group, blog post etc. Then I’d share the full post

Do you constantly think about your posts throughout the day?

I’m constantly thinking about posts, not necessarily consciously, unless I need to write something specific for the next day. I might be having a conversation with someone, perhaps doing a client interview to understand my ideal client, and they might say it’s great to know they’re not on their own. That would trigger a spark in my mind, and I’d be thinking that would make a great blog post – something around you’re not on your own, other people feel like this too.

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There might be something that I want to share around being needy, so I would think to myself, ‘Okay, how can I relate a story around life/business or something that’s happened to me about being needy that might relate to business?’ So, for that one, I related it to a story around an ex-boyfriend from about 12+ years ago who was really needy, to the point that he sat outside my house on a bucket wondering why I wasn’t declaring my undying love for him. So, that then relates really well to being needy with your clients, where we’re not ready for that longer relationship (That post hasn’t been written yet, so watch this space!)

It can be a word that triggers me, and I’ll be relating it to something for my business. I’ll often do a mini ‘Ooh’ squeal as I realise something could make a good blog post and then I quickly write it down so I don’t forget it. There’s an excitement around it, so I know it’s something I need to write, so for example what I might write down a title, in this case, it might be ‘needy client – desperate for clients’. I’m always linking it to business, so I’ve shared all sorts of random ideas as blog posts, down to bubble bath being described beautifully and how that help you in your marketing message, to odd names that I call my hot water bottle! Even my daughter inspires me, I’ll tell her I’m going to use that for a blog post! I get the usual teenager reply of, ‘Really Mum, you’re using my stuff again for a blog post?!’

I keep a little book or add things to Evernote as I go, to make sure I don’t forget them.

What do you think about your writing?

When I’m too serious, it doesn’t come across as authentic. It’s not grammatically perfect. If you went through it, you might be saying, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t have full stops here and there’, but I just think I don’t care. I want my writing to be as I sound. If you meet me, I want my posts to be as if I’ve met you and we’re chatting over a coffee. I want my writing to come across as conversational. I can write in an academic way, by background is in HR, I used to write policies, procedures, manuals etc. but I want to inject fun into my business. I like to have fun with my writing.

I wouldn’t say I’m an amazing writer, but my feedback from people has been that they can connect with me, my writing is fun, and it inspires them to take action, and if I can get people to take action I’ve done my job. I say I don’t care about the grammar, but you’re not going to see me writing ‘them’ things or using slang, but you will get me using the word ‘so’. I’ve been told I say it a lot, and I just think, ‘Well do you know what, if you met me, I’d be saying it, so if you don’t like it then I’m not your person to work with, because I say it all the time and I can’t help it! I’ve got Grammarly on my MacBook so that helps me correct the grammar.

So when you press that publish/send button, what happens then?

I go off and do something else.

Do you just press it, or do you read it again?

I always read my posts all the way through out loud, before sending. I do that because I want it to sound like me, if it doesn’t then I change it. (Obviously not in the café though!) In the café, I’ll read it, but in my head only! I will read it all the way through, I’d have probably gone through sections as I go through it, but I will always read it through one final time, then I know that it’s as if I’m talking to you over a coffee and then it feels more relaxed.

I then think, well it’s out there and if I get feedback on it I can then choose what to do with that feedback. It’s not the end of the world, it’s a blog post. It’s about keeping it in perspective. It’s just a blog post.

Someone will read it and then go off and do something else, it’s not going to ruin your life if you got a bit of punctuation wrong or it’s something people disagree with. If people do disagree with it, then they’re not your ideal clients or it opens some great conversations and there’s nothing wrong with that either.blogging-visibility-biz

Once I hit publish, it’s a ‘Good, that’s done, what’s next’ and I’ll go down my to-do list to check what’s next. Once it’s done, it’s just publish. I will preview it to check it to make sure it looks pretty, it’s important to me that it looks good aesthetically because I’m visual and then I’d move on. I won’t ever read it again, there’s better things to do with my time. Don’t do that – Publish-move on. I don’t minimise the tab, I just publish, click close of the website and get onto the next thing.

When do you know it’s time to go back and check on it?

I don’t. I used to get really hung up about comments. I hardly get any comments, but I get loads of feedback and I just think it doesn’t matter. I almost took my comments off, but now and again people like to leave comments and get annoyed when I’ve turned them. I don’t get loads of comments, and I don’t worry about it.

I repurpose all of my posts. I write the script as if it’s a blog post, I’ll then record that as a podcast, so I’ll know it’s chatty. That goes onto my website, and I use my transcript as my post. People can listen or read the post.

If it’s a Facebook post, and you get notifications what would you do?

If someone’s commented on my post I will want to know, they might have said something awful so I do want to know, but equally they might have said something amazing. My first reaction is, ‘Ooh, I wonder what they’ve said. It’s more out of curiosity to find out what they’ve said. It depends on how busy I am as to how often I check my posts.

Take the pressure off. If someone comments on my blog and I get an email notification, if I answer that day they’re very lucky as I just don’t have the time to do it. It might be that I’ll answer the next day, but with Facebook, it’s more conversational so I might reply quicker. I won’t necessarily jump on it. It just depends on how busy I am in that moment.

I think it’s about trusting. You’ve put it out there for a reason. Somebody needs to see it for whatever reason. You’ve got that message that you need to share. They’ll see it at the right time and if they’re meant to respond to you they will, or you may never hear from them. I’ve gone to networking meetings, and someone will say, ‘Ooh I love reading your blog posts, I’ve been reading them for the last 3-4 years’ and I jokingly think, ‘Well you could comment, couldn’t you?!’, and I’ll joke with them and say something like ‘Yay, I’ve got one person reading my blog!’. It’s just about putting your message out there, and that’s helping you build your business

How often do you write?

Blogging I do weekly, the newsletter I do weekly. I link those together so they go out on the same day. Storytelling posts are usually when the mood strikes. I’ve got lots of social media set up and scheduled to go all the time, and then if I think I’ve got something important to share then I will. Because it’s a story about you or something you’ve learned that you can flip back onto your business. When you want to do the heartfelt ones, just think about something that’s important to you, and then think, well I could turn that into something that would really help my audience too.

What do you love about writing?

It feels like you’re sharing a bigger message. You can reach people through your writing. It’s something they can go back to, even when you’re not there. Even when people can’t afford to work with you, you can still help them through your writing. There are people who can’t afford to work with me, and I’m okay with that because I provide other ways to help them. I’ve had people come to me and say, ‘Oh my goodness, I’ve just done this, that and the other, and it’s just because I’ve been reading your blog posts’. That to me is ‘Yes, I’m hitting the mark, that’s fantastic. Whether you’re working with me or not, I’ve still inspired you to take action.

What’s the trigger for you to know when to start writing?
Truthfully, it’s usually a deadline. I work really well to deadlines, and although I’ve had coaching and mentoring on it, I still can’t seem to pull things off way ahead of time. It’s just not how my brain works.
What’s your physiology like?

I’m quite intent, everything is zoned out. I’m completely focused on my piece of writing.

When I write, I’m very much about getting everything out of my head onto the screen, then I’ll reorganise things like this is the introduction, this is what I’m talking about, this is the summary. I’ll be tapping away madly to get it all down.

Quite often I write in that order anyway because I’m going from start to finish. If I get stuck, I will walk away because I know that when I get stuck with something it’s not going to work. If I’m in that space, I’ll get as far as I can and leave it until another time.

If there’s writers’ block, I get it sometimes but not very often, I’ll go back through old blog posts. I’ll ask my audience, I’ll go into my group and say I’m actually stuck right now, what would you like me to write about? That’s given me some amazing results, which ended in fabulous joint ventures. I’ll ask my friends for some ideas, and now more recently I’ve started using my oracle cards to inspire me. Sometimes I only need a couple of words to trigger an idea.

Another thing that might help is to share how I get content ideas. I used to keep a little book of blog post ideas, that kind of fell by the wayside where I didn’t have it with me, so I use Evernote where I add a couple of ideas, I also use the Pocket app to save inspirational blog posts, so I might give my thoughts around a particular article I’ve read, or it might just be a topic title that will trigger something for me creatively.

Final message

Take the fear away from it, and just think that by me not sharing, who’s missing out on this?

You’ll be amazed, even just a little image with a message on will get the result of ‘I really needed to hear that today’, and I think to myself if I’d just hidden away and not done anything then you wouldn’t have had that message. For me, it’s just about sharing the message you’re inspired to share.

Oh and PS. Did you notice how I turned something into a blog post?!

CTA: As you go about your day, notice different things that might inspire you to write a different blog post, it could be a feeling you’ve had that inspires you to share, a random item or something that you’ve watched on TV, a conversation you’ve had over coffee (I had to get caffeine in there somewhere) Drop me an email when you’ve done it and I’ll check it out and leave a comment. I’ll leave my email address in the show notes for you.

There were so many things that I learned about writing blog posts, things I would never have thought of if it hadn’t been for modelling. If you’ve been asking yourself similar questions throughout the interview, you might find that you have some new ideas too. My little brain cogs are whirring, wondering what I want to model now! What about you? What would you want to model?

NB: Ruby’s email address is ruby@rubymcguire.com

One Big Reason For Why You Need To Write In Your Own Voice

In this episode, I’m sharing how writing in your own voice can help you in business, and talking about how procrastination might be holding you back.

Link that Ruby mentions in this podcast: 7 Things To Try When You’ve Got Writer’s Block.

In this episode, Ruby shares how perception can teach you a message about being more visible in your business

Click the play button below to listen, or scroll down and click ‘Read full transcript’ if you prefer to read the post.

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Read Full Transcript below...

When you start running your own business you want to become known for what you do. You want to attract clients and you have this vision of having a lifestyle of freedom that will work around your family or other life commitments/dreams.

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To become known for what you do though, you need to stand out from the crowd. There’s a lot of noise ‘out there’ so you need to set yourself apart somehow.

One of the things that I have done over the years is get into writing, whether it’s writing a blog post or newsletter or recently being a co-author of a personal development book. Writing has been a skill I’ve been working on and developing over time.

The problem is, that sometimes there’s a part of you that’s scared to share the real you, what will people think if you’re different? What if they don’t like what you put out there? What will your friends, peers, old work colleagues say/think about you when they read what you’re up to, or what you think about now that you’re running your own business? It can hold us back.

I write the majority of my own copy. I do work with copywriters from time to time, but what’s interesting when I do is that my good friends will notice it’s not my writing. They will tell me that it hasn’t got my ‘Ruby sparkle’ as one friend says.

Recently, I needed to write an article for a big coaching blog. The readership is high, the articles are fabulous and I had one word to work with in terms of inspiration. I had lots of different ideas about how I could approach this piece of work, with my usual little mind maps scoping out my ideas.

The trouble was I couldn’t start. I had it in my diary one day, and then it moved to the next day, and the next and the deadline was slowly approaching and I didn’t have a single word down on paper.

Now, let me explain, my natural writing style is that I write very last minute, that’s when my best ideas flow, but with other things needing to be done I wanted to get ahead of the game. I’ve had coaching and mentoring around my last-minute-itis but have come to the conclusion that it’s when I do my best work so I just need to factor in a bit of buffer time to make sure I have a contingency plan, but back to this article, where were the words? There were just no words.

As I work on procrastination with my clients, I had a few tricks up my sleeve on how to manage it, so firs7t I reached out for some support. I shared in my Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp that I had hit a block and that I was declaring this article would be written. (By the way, It’s ok to share your vulnerabilities with your clients/tribe – they like to know you’re human, and it makes them realise they’re not the only ones, plus it kicks your butt!) My Rock Your Visibility Bootcamp is all about being visible in your business too, so it was a great one to share.

So, my next strategy was to question what was really going on. Why was I so blocked on this article? Maybe it was because it was just one word that I had to work with, and I had too many directions I could go in. Maybe it was because I just needed to start, writing one word might have got my creative juices flowing. Maybe it was that I needed to write last minute and not so early.

So, having shared what needed to be done, and gathered some accountability, I decided to just write. I decided to write whatever came up and see where it took me.

I got a page written and then did what I call a harsh edit to get it nearer to where I wanted it to be and I messaged my friend to ask her to read it for me.

She said, “It’s a great article, but you need to ‘Ruby-fy’ it.”

Hmmm. Bingo, I realised what had been going on. I was trying to fit into what I thought the person wanted for their blog, to fit in with what everyone else was writing – their style. I was trying to be ‘professional’ and missed the point that I might have been asked to write because my style is different.

So the one big reason for writing in your own voice is this … It will help you to stand out from the crowd, to be more visible (plus there’s the bonus of it being soooo much easier when you do!)

So I went back to the article and the words starting flowing, the article got ‘Ruby’fied’ and I hit send on the email. What was interesting too, was that one of my top 3 values is authenticity, so of course if I wasn’t writing as just ‘little old me’ then I wasn’t being authentic either. No wonder I couldn’t get anything down on paper. I like to show up online in exactly the same way as I am offline, so there’s no mismatch.

As Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Big Magic, says, ‘All procrastination is fear’. So what was I really afraid of? I was afraid that if I wrote in my own voice, and shared my quirky side that people would think I wasn’t professional enough, or worse I might not be asked to write again. Is that true? I don’t know, maybe I won’t be asked to write again. What I do know though is that my article felt so much better once I’d put my own spin on it, once I’d thrown out all of the perceptions around what it ‘should’ be and replaced it with what I wanted it to be. When I read it back it was definitely more me.

Writing is a fabulous way to build 5visibility, for you to be viewed as credible in what you do, and to become the go-to guy or gal for your particular field – whether it’s writing your blog posts, a script for your podcast, or guest articles. It’s especially great if you are one of those introverted solopreneurs that doesn’t want to do the whole face to face thing, like video, Periscope etc. Just because others run their business that way doesn’t mean you have to. It’s your business, run it your way. Find YOUR thing.

You can build your business through writing

Sharing your expertise with the world through your writing is a great way to build rapport with your ideal clients, plus you can educate them in areas they might not yet know.

If you’re finding it difficult to write that blog post or newsletter, or even a single LinkedIn or Facebook post then gather your troops, share your challenge and get support. Then ask yourself what’s really going on. Maybe, you’re trying to fit into a perceived mould, like I was, and once you start just writing authentically, just as you, the words will flow for you too.

Where are you procrastinating with your writing?

If you get writers’ block, you might like my article, 7 things to do when you get writers’ block. There’s a link in the show notes for you.

Your call to action this week is this – Find YOUR voice, forget what you think you should be sharing and share content that’s completely you. If it feels uncomfortable, start by just sharing one thing. As you start to step into that place of feeling more comfortable, you really will find things so much easier.

 

 

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