4 Ways to Find Your Voice and Develop Your Best Content
When I finally made the choice to focus on content creation and training, it was like a huge weight was lifted from my spirit. I felt free. Free to do what I’m best at, free to be myself, free to write and express myself in a way I’ve never truly explored fully.
It took a long time for me to finally settle on the thing I love doing the most. I spent a long time doing things I thought would produce revenue, only to find out, I didn’t enjoy them and was not passionate about them. I was busy looking at other’s blueprint and comparing my plan to theirs. I was using their success as a barometer for my own success and it was painful, as I was not getting the same results. I learned there is absolutely no one size fits all solution for entrepreneurship. You truly must find your own voice. It is okay to be aware of what others are doing, you can implement some of their best practices, however, what is most important is that you develop your own voice, simply because your voice is the only thing you have that is uniquely YOU and it is sustainable. Using your own voice to deliver content is sustainable because it’s authentic. The content will come to you easily because you think about it all the time. It’s the conversations happening in your head, the thoughts keeping you up at night driving you to move your business and vision forward.
When I started developing my voice, it was like knowing everything and knowing nothing, at the same time. I was overwhelmed, frustrated and unsure where to start. Then it hit me. Just be me. Easier said than done. Will being myself resonate with my audience? Are my thoughts valuable? Does anyone really care about what I have to say? Those were the internal questions holding me hostage and keeping me from moving forward with developing content. Eventually, my survival mechanism kicked in and I began asking myself the following clarifying questions instead:
Questions to Uncover Your Voice:
- What’s your area of expertise?
- What topics do you talk about incessantly (related to your industry)?
- What does your target audience want to know?
- What does your target audience need to know?
- What problem does your business solution solve?
- How can I help my audience view the solution through my eyes?
Once I was able to clearly navigate through the answers to the above questions, I had a starting point. I began to frantically write notes regarding pain point topics and solutions. It took approximately three months, but I finally outlined an entire year of content using my unique approach. Now, I’ve gotten past throwing obstacles in my own way and I am actually developing engaging content in my own voice. I’m in heaven. Part of the excitement surrounding solving your own problem is being able to toot your horn and share the solution with others. My journey has led to developing content to assist my audience with overcoming fear, developing strategy, growing businesses and embracing positive experiences.
Today, I will share 4 ways to develop engaging content (with your unique voice). Before I share those tips, I want to make sure you’re mentally prepared. First, you must stop listening to the voice of doubt in your head. Block it out. Every time doubt rears its head…tell it to STHU (shut the hell up). Second, stop worrying about how many people will hear or read your message. Just deliver the message and be consistent. Third, even when you have the urge to give up when you think no one is listening or engaging…KEEP GOING. Fourth, you must know you are an expert in your field. If you aren’t an expert then you need to do whatever it takes to either become an expert or build your confidence to believe and prove your expertise in your industry via your content. Your content establishes you as an expert and it helps you build relationships. Important relationships with your audience, potential customers, collaborators, and partners.
Stop constantly worrying about who’s listening and focus on what you are saying. People taking notice and engaging is not the problem.
Tips for Engaging Content:
- Confessions make great content! My experience with authentic situations, best practices, and lessons learned has been to use them as teachable moments. Sharing your authentic experiences makes you approachable, believable and human. When people can relate to your struggle with a problem, cheer for you as you champion your challenge, and then trust you because you were compassionate enough to share a solution AND be vulnerable…that’s when you are developing a community or tribe!
- Share an industry secret! I mean something juicy. Something that will really help someone. Not YOUR secret, instead share something that an outsider wouldn’t know. For example, many people don’t know trainers have a specific way to ask questions to participants. Ask the question, ask the Asker, ask the group. The purpose of Ask the Asker is to help the participant think through what they have learned and attempt to formulate an answer for themselves. This can help you if you are training employees. Don’t be quick to give the answer make sure your participants are processing the information you provide and doing some cognitive thinking to arrive at a solution. This is a technique/secret you may not know if you aren’t in the training industry. Share a secret with your tribe. Make it something they can use!!
- Create and share a process! This one is a little tricky depending on your mindset and confidence this tip will help you grow your business and build a loyal tribe. Consider creating a process for something in your business in which you get maximized results. Develop steps, compile resources, identify the problem and detail the solution for your audience. There are 3 different approaches to distributing this information to your audience: A.) You can give the game away for the purpose of building a tribe, adding tangibility, and value to your expertise. B.) You can give part of it away and profit on the rest. C.) Additionally, there is the option of strictly profiting on your content. There is nothing wrong with asking for something of no consequence that is mutually beneficial. You give information, you ask for an email address, come to an event, follow your business page, and/or join a group. There are multiple ways to approach the distribution of that type of content. Choose what gives you the most benefit or traction. Hell, you may have to be like me and try all 3 approaches. That’s okay as well! Be sure to document results, analyze the data and your efforts. Determine what gave you the desired results. Tweek the process and relaunch. It’s all about maximized effort.
- Create a culture! Creating a culture through content development is all about understanding the experiences your target audience desires to have with your message, product, organization and/or service. Even more important than the content is your expression of passion for your industry. Your ability to define the experience of your organization and deliver that message on platforms such as your blog, social media, training programs or website will build trust between you and your audience. Be sure to develop a culture that epitomizes your vision of the Experience you really want people to have. Creating a culture is all about how you communicate your expectations via the content you deliver internally and externally.
Remember, if you are saying something worth hearing, then you are the SOLUTION and your audience will notice. YOU have the answers. YOU are the answer. Whatever you have in your data bank of knowledge is the answer to unlocking the mystery of how to engage your audience. Be consistent with your message, even if you feel no one is listening…truth is.. someone is listening, growing, learning and watching your expertise!
Copyright 2018. Tiffany Taylor-Hicks. All Rights Reserved.