The doctor’s children are sick. The cobbler’s children have no shoes. The copywriter can’t find the words for her own website, and the content writer’s blog hasn’t been updated in months.
The doctor’s children are sick. The cobbler’s children have no shoes. The copywriter can’t find the words for her own website, and the content writer’s blog hasn’t been updated in months. So, why is that? Click To Tweet
So, why is that?
Maybe it’s lack of time
I think in the doctor and cobbler’s case, it’s because they’re so busy working for their clients/patients so their children get a little neglected. And that can definitely happen in copywriter land. I’ve often been keen to write myself a blog but have been too bogged down in client deadlines to get it going while it’s fresh in my brain. (And yes, I’ve probably neglected my actual children a bit.)
But maybe it’s mindset
In a lot of cases, unlike the doctor and cobbler, I think the problem lies with mindset. It’s the real reason why writing and sharing your own content is so flipping hard.I think the problem lies with mindset. It’s the real reason why writing and sharing your own content is so flipping hard. Click To Tweet
Mindset is tough. Now that I’m aware of it, I’m finding that my mindset is something I need to continually work on. I break through in one area, get to the “next level”, come across a new challenge, and I have to do the work all over again.
And as someone who writes content for clients – especially thought leadership content that can be quite personal – I see this come up again and again.
Signs your mindset is holding back your content
So, what are the signs of a content marketing mindset issue?
- Knowing you need to share content but not creating it
- Avoiding booking a briefing call to start the process
- Putting off reviewing the content
- Spending hours editing and re-editing content
- Fear that someone will disagree with you
- Ignoring the schedule
- Delaying posts that are ready to go
- Feeling uncomfortable about sharing your experience or expertise
- Obsessively checking the stats
- Worrying about what feedback you’ll get
- Fear that someone will unfollow or unfriend you
Any of these sound familiar? I know they do for me and probably for a lot of my clients. But these are all symptoms. The actual problem or root cause you need to look at is your mindset, or your limiting beliefs. So let’s talk a bit about that…
Limiting beliefs that stop you from sharing content
Let’s talk about some of the common limiting beliefs people run into when they go to create/post content. What’s a limiting belief? It’s any thought or story you’re telling yourself that’s holding you back – or in this case, stopping you from creating or sharing content.
As a copywriter and content writer, I recognise that I’ve experienced the following limiting beliefs at some point OR seen them come up for my clients:
- It’s all been done before
- I’m not qualified to speak about this
- I can’t do a good enough job
- I don’t deserve attention
- I can’t write well enough to post a blog or LinkedIn update
- I don’t have enough time to create content
- People like me don’t do this sort of thing
- I can’t handle that level of success and attention
- No one will like me if I do that
- No one will see it or comment, so what’s the point?
- Everything that comes from my brand has to be perfect
- I have to create content that appeals to everyone
The struggle is real
And let’s just be clear here. I am 100% speaking from experience. You can look back on my blog, my LinkedIn, or my Instagram. You can see periods where I’ve had a gap in content and times when my consistency dropped away. And yes, I’ve been crazy busy (and I’ve used that excuse plenty), but that’s not the real reason I stopped posting.Yes, I’ve been crazy busy (and I’ve used that excuse plenty), but that’s not the real reason I stopped posting. Click To Tweet
Nearly all of these times were triggered by a limiting belief (listed above) that made me want to shrink, become invisible, or go quiet. But to get the content going again, I had to take a hard look at my mindset and work through the issues.
Heck, it’s something I’m doing right now by posting a blog after a month or two off. Yes, things have been busy with client work, but I’m kidding myself if that’s the only reason I haven’t posted. Just personally, I’ve had quite a few limiting beliefs come up. Here are a few of them and some of my thoughts as I’ve worked to overcome them.
Promoting myself while I can’t take on new clients is inauthentic because I can’t help them right now
Why it makes no sense
While it comes from a good place (wanting to be authentic and not give people false hope about my availability), it’s totally illogical. Sharing content is a FREE way I can help everyone, and if I can’t help them personally, I do my best to hook them up with another writer who can help them.
Plus, it’s actually less authentic to not blog or share my own content while my clients hire me to help with their content strategy!
Everything I share has been talked about before, so what’s the point if I can’t add anything new?
Why it makes no sense
Again, this doesn’t make sense because:
1) My audience know they can find the same info from 1000+ other sources if they want, but they choose to follow ME
2) I have my own story and experiences to share that’s unique to me
3) I’d rather spend my time creating useful stuff and sharing what’s on my mind instead of obsessing over whether it’s been done before (there’s nothing new under the sun anyway)
4) My audience is unique and I can tell the story and share the info in a way that’s specific to their needs and gives them the best experience
5) If you’re good enough, people WILL notice and someone WILL eventually accuse you of copying – this has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with their insecurity (unless you actually HAVE copied, in which case… don’t copy)
Everything I share needs to be flawless because I’m a copywriter and people will judge me if I don’t share my best work.
Why it makes no sense
It’s good to have high standards for myself, and good to use my own content as an example of these standards. But really, my ideal clients won’t get hung up on a couple of typos. Plus, I can stare at a piece of content for DAYS and still not spot the typo until after I hit post.
Writing these beliefs out helps me see them for what they really are. It’s quite powerful. You should try it!
Overcome your limiting beliefs
So, what can you do about it? First of all, it helps if you can give yourself a “why”. Mindset work isn’t easy, so knowing what you stand to gain from working through these issues is a good first step. Ask yourself:
- What change do you need to make? (e.g. I need to post my first piece of content in a month!)
- Why do you need to make it? What will be the benefit? (e.g. It’ll remind my audience that I’m alive, know my stuff, and available for hire)
Next up, try to understand your mindset issues from a really non-judgemental perspective. Ask yourself:
- What’s the real reason why you’re not taking action? Keep asking why until you drill down to this. (e.g. I’m not posting on LinkedIn because I’m worried that my competitors will say something negative about me publicly or in private.)
- Look at why you’re doing it – what are you afraid of? What are you trying to protect yourself from? How is this belief valid? (e.g. I’m afraid I’m not smart enough, experienced enough, or knowledgable enough to contribute to the conversation. I want to protect myself from criticism and public failure. There is a slight chance that this could happen as I’ve seen it happen to my colleagues.)
- Where did this belief originate from? What story have you been repeating to yourself? (e.g. When I was 6 years old I did show-and-tell in class, dropped my toy, and my friends laughed at me. That means if I stay quiet and don’t share my passions and knowledge, no one will make fun of me.)
Then test your beliefs and see if they’re really serving you or holding you back. And if they’re holding you back, find an alternative belief that’s actually true and will help you move towards your goal. Ask yourself:
- Does it really reflect reality? (e.g. No. I have X years’ experience in my field, am respected by peers and clients. I have a lot of knowledge and insight that would be useful to my audience if I shared it. Yes, I may face some criticism, but it’s not likely and it probably won’t affect me negatively unless I allow it to.)
- What’s a truth you can start to believe instead? (e.g. It’s my duty to share information that might benefit my audience and grow my business – this could be the only way myself and others will achieve bigger, better things.)
- What’s something you can do today to start writing or sharing your content again? (e.g. I will spend 5 minutes editing that post I’ve got sitting in drafts and then I’ll post it up on LinkedIn.)
You CAN do this 🙂
I hope this post helps inspire you if you’re struggling to share the content you’ve got planned, struggling to make a start on your website, or feeling stuck with writing your own content. It’s normal to feel this way, you’re not alone, and you CAN do this.
Start with a little inward reflection and then take action – that content ain’t gonna share itself.
Start with a little inward reflection and then take action - that content ain’t gonna share itself. Click To Tweet
P.S. This post is about as “woo” as I go 😉
P.P.S. MASSIVE shoutout to Linda Perry who runs an incredible mindset course for copywriters, Master Your Mindset. I took her course earlier this year and there’s no way I could’ve figured this stuff out without her guidance – certainly not till I was very old and much greyer.
If you’re a fellow copywriter who wants to dig deeper into mindset, please check out Linda’s course – I highly recommend it! I’ve just BARELY touched on the concepts here (and probably muddled them up a bit, to be honest). Linda is my go-to authority on all things mindset and even if you’re not a copywriter, you should follow her on Instagram to get her regular 15-minute videos with branding and mindset tips.