It’s interesting how this topic turned into a 3-part series…
Let’s do a quick recap.
In Part 1 I shared the plain truth about the rate at which I created content for my business.
To be honest, it makes me cringe when I think about it.
I went from being consistently visible and building a pretty good fan base for someone just starting off. From there my content took a nosedive.
I went from creating content and showing up everyday to creating sporadic bursts of content or nothing at all.
Despite it all, I learned a couple of things along the way and in Part 1 I shared why it is important to create content consistently.
In Part 2, I spoke about what exactly consistency meant and I went into detail there.
Why I Stopped Creating Content
Last year was a crazy year for me and it seriously affected the rate at which I put content out there and showed up in my business. I had to grapple with school, family, my personal problems and work at the same time.
When I was done with everything relating to school, I broke down and took 4 months off to find out what the hell happened and put my shit together.
I must admit that it was a painful process. So much happened within such short span of time and I got to the point where shit hit the fan and I was on the brink of giving up on everything – even life.
After speaking to a couple of people including the amazing Amanda Rivera, I got to work. These are what I discovered were holding me back from creating content and showing up to my audience:
- Lack of zeal
Behind every successful business is a strong ‘why’. That is what drives the business owner to keep going no matter what smacks him or her in the face.
When you do things with your why in mind and you live life with a mission, it makes it a whole lot easier to keep working. A why and a mission give you a sense of purpose and acting on your purpose is what fuels you to success.
In my case, I lost sight of my why and I realized I had a foggy mission. What this did was to put a heavy strain on me every time I wanted to create content. It was like two opposing forces were pulling me apart.
On one hand I knew I had to create content to keep me on top of the game but on the other hand, I didn’t have the drive to do anything and even if I managed to create content, it was too flat and had no soul and your readers can see straight through that.
Pill #1: Find your why and flow with your mission
2. Bottled up emotions
Who doesn’t go through depressing times, right? But when you fall, the next thing you need to do is to stand up, dust your bum and keep moving forward. It’s easier said than done, I know. But that’s the truth.
As a business owner or thought leader in your space, your personal life is intertwined with your business. You are your business and you are your brand. Whatever affects you, affects your brand and business.
When things aren’t working out in your life, it is your responsibility to keep moving or everything you built would crumble.
There were times when I created great content while I was experiencing deep pain. I struggled a lot with depression in 2016 and 2017 which got worse at the tail end of the year. It showed in some of my content, but it added personality to it.
If I didn’t allow myself to be so steeped into my issues, I could have used my low moments as a point to share my story and deeply connect with my audience. Together we could have gone on a journey to self-recovery. They would be my reason to get better.
Pill #2: Be open about how you feel, even if you have to be a little vulnerable online.
3. Focusing on making a living instead of living the life
I started my business because I wanted to be able to provide for my family. When I hit my goal, it felt amazing! I was able to help around in the house, get my family gifts and meet their needs.
Soon new expenses sprung up and the need for more money arose. When my business hit a shaky ground the pressure to make more money increased.
There were a lot of complaints, arguments broke out and the pressure heaped up. Soon I spent everyday looking for potential clients to pitch to and I got stressed out. It got so much that it developed into acute aches in my body.
It came to a point where I would dread waking up in the morning and facing my computer. I was afraid to check my emails or answer messages because I dreaded new projects. But deep down I knew I needed to get more projects in order for me to earn more money. But doing that made me feel so stressed out.
Can you tell I’m going around in circles here?
You see, the problem was I put earning money above living a life. Because I chased the money instead of chasing the dream to live a full life, I lived a miserable life.
It was at that moment when everything was falling apart when I got to talk with Amanda Rivera and she helped me put my priorities straight. Money is just energy and the only thing I was attracting was the lack of it.
She made me realize that there are things that are more important in life than just earning money. I had to live a life and live my life to the fullest. I had to go after my dream and mission and everything else will fall in place.
Pill #3: Mission first, money later
Okay, I’ll make this quick. I’m a perfectionist…a low-key one. People who know me can hardly tell I am a perfectionist but when I sit in front of my computer to write an article for my blog or a post for one of my social media accounts I either freeze thinking of the right angle to start from or nit-pick on every line to make it “flow”.
Can you guess what happened in the end? I gave up midway because it felt “too hard” and I just couldn’t bother doing something that felt like…work. This was meant to be a business that I enjoyed doing, remember?
Yes, you may want your content to be perfect, crystal clear and something that people will fall in love with but that only stops you from taking action. It’s better to take steps towards your destination than to sit down and pick the perfect means to get there.
Pill #4: Get started. Embrace your suckery. Improve from there.
Can’t you work any faster?
This is just a waste of time.
Did I tell you that you suck? Well, you need to hear it again. You really suck.
Having such words ringing in your head everyday is a pain in the ass and it shatters your self-esteem.
I remember how many times I would start writing a new article and stop after the first two paragraphs because my mind kept bitching about how much I sucked.
You are your own worst enemy. The only way to defeat your enemy is to stand up against it and keep pushing on no matter what.
So what if you feel like you suck?
It’s just a feeling. You only think you suck.
What fuels that feeling of insecurity is the fact that you allow yourself to stay with that feeling for too long. You’re only human and of course, you have the desire to be the best.
That feeling should only push you to keep improving and exploring your potential and challenge yourself to hit higher goals.
But when you allow yourself to dwell on the feeling of inadequacy, it’s going to eat you up until you give up on your dream.
Pill #5: Don’t dwell on your inadequacy, surpass it.
When I was about two or three months in my business, I was getting clients and they turned into stable retainers. Before my sixth month in my business I had a pretty stable and predictable income.
Let me back it up a little. The day I decided to start a business of my own was the same day when I resolved to show up in my business everyday.
I made posts on Facebook about freelance writing, I shared tips about what will make a killer article and commented in a hundreds of Facebook posts just because I genuinely wanted to make connections with entrepreneurs. Little-by-little, the jobs started pouring in.
But when the jobs became regular and I had a couple of retainers, I relaxed. The rate at which I showed up in my business reduced drastically. And then one day, I stopped entirely.
I didn’t worry much because I still had my retainers and a couple of referrals coming in once in a while. But looking back, I know that I could have grown so much more than that if I had not lost steam.
Pill #6: Keep pushing yourself to get more.
Here’s The Message That My Content (And Lack Thereof) Sent About My Brand…
While I was on my long hiatus, I received a couple of messages from people who appreciated my content. Some even asked me why I disappeared and if everything was alright. Like real legit care.
There were some posts I made on social media where people commented about how happy they were I showed up and how much the post encouraged them.
Some reached out to say that they were huge fans of my content. A girl even spotted me out when I was at the Supreme Court.
All this got me thinking…
Why did people still care?
What made them interested in reading what I write online?
Why did they reach out to me and ask me to keep up with creating content?
The answer is simple: I laid a good foundation. When I first started my business, I made it a priority to build relationships with people.
I commented more than I posted and messaged more than I broadcasted my content.
All this helped me nurture a steady readership of people who read because they valued the deeper connection.
You may be posting online, writing on your blog everyday or guest posting in a zillion high profile publications but nothing pays as much as good relationships.
If you can build relationships and use your content to nurture your audience it will take you a long way, such that even if you disappear for a while there will always be people who love you waiting.
This does not mean that you only make friends just so that they act as a cushion when you want to go on a two-week vacation. Consistency is key, remember?
But put people above content. If you are genuinely interested in people it makes creating content for them easier and more enjoyable. The returns are impressive.
My brand is nowhere close to the picture I have in my mind but the fact that there were people who cared about me enough to reach out showed me that my brand mattered to some people.
Bottom line: make genuine relationships and create content because you genuinely care about those who are reading, listening or watching you. Show up daily and add heart and soul to your brand.
Author: Vicky Law
Freelance writer and content marketer on a mission to kick ass, touch hearts and pick your target audience’s pockets with my writing.
Interested? Click here to hire me…before I’m fully booked.