In this article I share my ideas around why developing a writing habit when starting a business is so valuable. Also I share simple steps to get you taking advantage of such a powerful business tool. In the next 3 minutes you will see not only why but how to establish a writing habit for your business.
Full discloser I am NOT a writer but I do write just like I am also not Bode Miller or Michael Phelps but can ski and swim. So needless to say I am no Benjamin Graham however I do like to share my thoughts and ideas with the written word.
Starting a business? Communicate
Over the years I have learned having the ability to communicate clearly through the written word is a game changer and when starting a business, it can be the most valuable tool on your belt. Writing is a great way to establish trust and begin a business relationship with potential customers, vendors or partners.
In general writing can often construed as a creative artsy-fartsy skill and beyond the realm of any “real” businessperson. Moreover, what non-writer in big business has been praised on their writing skills. Sure, there are a couple of best sellers but often those that try to enter this world get shammed into second guessing why they did so in the first place. So, the reluctance to becoming a writer is understandable. However the upside is so big for someone starting a business it is not something you can ignore.
We live in a world where more than 10 million blog posts are published every day in 2020. So why would you want to compete with that? Well because it is becoming expected. When people are picking who they want to do business with who are they going to call first? A starting a business with zero web presence? Or someone starting a business where the owner has shared their thoughts, ideas, failures, and success?
Starting a business? Build complete web presence
Your web presences goes way beyond just having a way for people to find you. They want to know who you are. Writing can be a used as a springboard to get in front of your market. By writing you can start to gain trust with potential customers before you even have your fist phone call.
I have had a dozens of client contact me just from my “Is IT holding you hostage” article and was literally handed the keys on the spot many times because my article outlined exactly what they were going through so much so more than one of them said it read like I was writing about them. Sharing that I have solved this problem more than once created an instant trust. There is no reason why you can not do the same thing when starting your new business.
Bottomline, by writing I was able to build a rapport with customers before I even met them. With the preestablished trust the sales cycle was shorter and I could get to solving their problems faster.
Two things that get in your way when developing a writing habit: time and fear.
It is simple as carving out a consistant time of your day and week. You have to sacrifice something else because time is the most limited resources outside of cash when starting a business. But if you change your mindset it is no different than your morning shower or brushing your teeth at night. You must get into a mode that you HAVE to do it. So, just like trying to go to bed with yuck mouth you won’t feel comfortable until you write.
Develop the writing habit
Set a word limit.
I set a word count of 500 words and stop when I get there give or take 75-100 words depending where I finish the current thought.. Then I give the draft a quick read and with a sharp eye I cut as much as I can that is verbose, redundant, off task or all the above. I start writing again to the 500-word limit and repeat the process until it “feels” done. Having a limit of only 500 words gives me an obtainable goal every time I sit down. At the same time, it gives me enough room to just go with the flow until I have enough down that I can rework it into a final piece. If this works for me then it can work for anyone starting a business.
Set a time lime Say 30 mins
Again, time is finite and when starting a new business every minute is precious. If your writing starts to become a time suck, you are going to stop doing it and move focus to the other tasks require to starting a new business. With this 30 minute limit I never feel guilty taking the time to write. Some days I can go start to finish on an article, but with a 30 min limit I can produce at least one per week which is more than you need when starting a business.
Use a trigger that tell you “Time to write”
Another a most useful thing I found is finding that green light that says its time to write. It could be when you grab your fist cup of coffee or finish your breakfast. It might be the 30 minutes after your workout or the half hour after you put your youngest child to bed. We all know starting a new business is a 24hr a day job so find a trigger that fits into your day no matter when it is.
I actually have two. One is when I first wake up and have my coffee. I grab my tablet and read my daily news, blogs and what nots. Most of the time I find some thought provoking topic. If not I find a time after everyone has gone to bed. Not only is this time a good to reflect on the day but it allows me to clear my head before trying to beat my self-diagnosed insomnia
Whatever it is, make it consistant. Eventually this trigger will always put you in the frame of mind that will make your 30 mins as productive as it can be. For someone starting a new business productive means success.
Starting a Business and Fear go hand and hand
The two biggest hurdles are fear of picking topics and the fear of someone calling you out because they didn’t like what you had to say. Both of these can leave anyone starting a business staring at a blank screen.
Understand many people starting a business are unsure what to write about. Ideas will come and go and failure to pound on the keyboard is imminent as one ponders if the topics are good enough. But that is not really for you to decide, it will be up to the readers.
The fact that you are starting a new business you must be doing something you feel you are good at or you have a certain skillset that will fit this new business. Everyone is an expert about themselves and their experiences, so this is what you should be writing about. Write about what you know and write as much as you can about it. Just go for it an see what sticks. mPut yourself out there! Starting a business is the bravest thing someone can do. So why would you let fear prevent you from sharing who you are?
When starting a business, representing yourself with a certain level of professionalism is important
When starting a business, representing yourself with a certain level of professionalism is important but it doesn’t mean you should write like a drone. You only create value and and loyal following if your audience get to know the real you.
I try to write the same way I would write to a good friend that I am comfortable talking with as this is the type of person I want to attract and work alongside. I want my words to resonate with people that are dealing with the same experiences I write about. It makes my writing more personable and when potential customers read my stuff they feel like I am talking to them.
Now there is a line. You are writing for your new business and not trying to find a pen pal. Stay away from polarized topics that could compromise your new startup. You want to keep your market reach as wide as possible so express yourself freely, share opinions, experiences and failures but make sure they are pertinent to your business and it doesn’t alienate a possible revenue stream..
When starting a business developing a writing habit is a fast way to build trust with potential new customers. To develop this habit, you need to break through time constraints and fear. To do this establish a trigger that tells you when it is time to write, set a limit on how much and write about what you know and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Doing these things will help you create a strong writing habit and build trust with all the potential customers while you start a new business.
Comments & Questions
I would love to hear about what you think about this in the comments below. Do you write? What are some tips for others?