“Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
When it comes to creating content consistently, the biggest barrier many people face is coming up with strong content ideas and knowing what to write about. Couple with this a desire to create the perfect piece of content and you have a recipe, right there, for some serious writer’s block. It’s my feeling that we often feel as though the creative process is one that asks simply too much of us, so much so that publishing a piece of content, rather than be a simple task, becomes an insurmountable one.
I’ve struggled with this very thing myself at times and something that changed everything for me was a concept I first heard from Gary Vaynerchuck, which is the idea that we can document rather than create. On the face of it, that might seem almost too simple, but it’s actually a huge idea that can, if you let it, shift everything about how you create content for your business. What Vaynerchuck is pointing to here is the idea that we can share our process or journey with our audience rather than try to present a polished image of who we think we should be. He says this:
“Documenting your journey versus creating an image of yourself is the difference between saying “You should…” versus “my intuition says…”. Get it? It changes everything. I believe that the people who are willing to discuss their journeys instead of trying to front themselves as the “next big thing” are going to win.”
What’s so liberating about this idea is that it’s far easier to be ourselves and document what’s really going on than it is to create the perfect piece of content that will position us as the expert. People have enough of this type of content and in reality most people crave a more honest approach. I see so much more respect and admiration for those people who show up authentically than those who try to present a polished image. In my personal experience, the content I have created in which I am sharing my experience is always my most well received content.
So, whilst you might get the concept, I understand that you might be wondering just what it means to document your journey and what it even looks like to do so. In this post I just want to share with you a couple of ways I do it and some examples.
But before I do I want you to consider what you do. Perhaps you’re a coach or a teacher, perhaps you’re a healer or wellness practitioner. Whatever your gift, you have your own personal journey with it. Let me explain, as a Business Coach, I not only have my experience of coaching business owners, but I have my experience of being a business owner, both are rich with lessons that it benefits my audience to share. Sometime I have a really great session with a client who has a big breakthrough that helps them see an old problem with a completely new, and far more helpful, perspective. When this happens, I’ll share it with my audience, of course protecting the identity of my client, but sharing the learning from the experience.
There are other times when I have a personal breakthrough as part of my own entrepreneurial journey and when this happens, I do the same. I take some time, while it’s still fresh in my mind to create a post or make a video and I share the learning with my audience. When we open our eyes to how unique and important our own journey is, especially to the people we’re trying to help, we begin to see more and more ways to document our journey for others rather than create content from a far less authentic and personal place. In this blog post I show you how I combine both a client story and a personal story to illustrate an important lesson.
“One of the biggest mistakes people make when creating content for their personal brand is trying to oversell themselves because they think that’s what’s going to get people’s attention. Whether you’re a business coach or motivational speaker or artist, I think it’s much more fruitful to talk about your process than about the actual advice you “think” you should be giving them.”
Another way to document vs create is to share your point of view, when something in your industry comes up that you have an opinion about, rather than keep it to yourself or save it for private conversations, share it with your audience. Why? Because doing so sets you apart from others in your industry and shows what makes your business, and the services you offer, more unique. Here you can read an example of something that I had seen another business coach putting out into the world that goes against everything I believe in. I simply let loose and wrote a short rant about my experience on my business Facebook page and it got more engagement than anything else I had posted in a long while.
The key to this approach is to share the content as close to the experience as possible. If you leave it too long, rather than it be a piece you document, which tends to flow out of us with ease, it feels more like a created piece, which inevitably takes more effort. My suggestion is that you raise your awareness of the opportunities that are present every day to document and share your journey with your people.
So there you have it, a fairly simple but mighty approach to content creation and one that calls on us to be our most authentic selves, what could be better right? Do you have experience of these two modes of content creation? Does your experience tally with what I’ve shared here? Either way, I’d love to here from you, so do let me know in the comments below.
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