To blog or not to blog, that is the question!

To blog or not to blog‘I haven’t got TIME to do it!’ ‘I wouldn’t know what to SAY anyway!’ ‘I can’t write!’ ‘It’s scary putting myself out there!’

As business owners with SO many possible ways of using our limited time, it’s not difficult to come up with LOTS of reasons for NOT blogging!

I’ve probably used ALL of them myself at some time because to be honest, it took me a while to ‘get’ blogging but once I did, there was no turning back! And the fact that it has become something I now really enjoy, is an unexpected bonus – but MORE than that, blogging has become one of my most valuable marketing tools!

So to all of you who’ve wondered, ‘Is it actually worth it, or is blogging just a waste of my time?’ – this blog is for you! I’d like to share three of the many benefits blogging can bring to your business, after which you’ll be able to decide for yourself if it’s worth the effort!

A fantastic way to connect with potential clients

Blogging helps you connect with potential clientsSo just imagine for a moment, that someone who’s vaguely familiar with your work comes across one of your blog post. It really resonates with her and she decides to take a look around your website and perhaps read a few more. She starts to feel a connection with you and your message and, slowly but surely moves from being ever-so-slightly-interested to genuinely interested. As a result, she may then decide to subscribe to your newsletter or freebie and bit by bit, she gradually gains enough confidence and trust in you to move to the next stage on the journey to becoming a paying client. Such is the power of a blog!

Our blogs give our potential clients a real taste of who we are, what we stand for and what we have to offer through our paid-for products and services. AND…. it also allows us to have a dialogue with those who leave comments (….hint, hint!) and give us feedback on the things that really resonate. I absolutely love this interactive aspect of blogging for its ability to make us feel connected and aligned.

Time invested in your business blog is time well-spent

A blog takes both time and effort to produce for sure, but that effort is rewarded many times over in the days, weeks, months and even years to come! I like to think of my blog posts as hard-working ‘ambassadors’ beavering away ‘out there’ representing me, my message and my brand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! In fact, most of the traffic each month on this very blog comes from old posts written a good few years ago.

And how’s this for an example of a blog being a great investment in more ways than just time:

Back in 2013, Lesley wrote a blog post about her relationship to the song True Colours and how it has formed the foundation of the work she now does. Fast forward 5 years and Lesley’s blog post is picked up by a BBC researcher who then invited her to be interviewed for the Radio 4 programme, Soul Music, to talk about her relationship to the song! And… it just so happens that the interview coincides nicely with the impending launch of Lesley’s new book – so that one little blog post turned out to be worth its weight in PR gold!

A great way to showcase your ideas and expertise

Blogging allows your voice to be heardBlogging is a fantastic platform on which to share your ideas with the world – some post of mine have been read hundreds of times, which I find both exciting and humbling.

Each blog is an opportunity to develop your ‘voice’, hone your message and be HEARD. With every post you publish you’re raising your profile, building your reputation and credibility and showing up as a leader for your Tribe, all of which helps potential clients really get to know who they’re doing business with and be confident that you, your product or service is right for them.

These are just three of many reasons why I see blogging as such a worthwhile business investment. I should add that it’s not going to reap these rewards overnight – it’s about the long game. It requires a regular and consistent commitment for which you will be generously rewarded.

So I’m hoping this will encourage you to give blogging a try – or maybe to give it another go. And if so, let me offer you these 3 tips to help you on your way:

  • Build a topic bank
    There’s nothing worse than ‘bloggers block’….. staring at a blank screen or piece of paper trying to think of something interesting to write! To overcome this, I recommend creating a dedicated place to capture ideas and inspiration for future blogs. At the last count I had over 50 ideas in my Topic Bank in various stages of readiness, so I won’t be short of something to write about for a while!
  • Create a list of your ideal client’s recurrent questions and challenges
    The most powerful topics for your blog posts are the type of questions your clients naturally ask you, so previous conversations, consultations and client sessions are a great place to start.  Listen out for the things being discussed and asked on the social media forums where your ideal clients hang out or cast your mind back to the questions you had when you were first getting started.
  • Identify your core messages
    Create a list of your key messages and always have them front of mind when you start creating your content – this really helps you to position yourself and provides you with something solid to help you anchor your message.My core message for example, is that creating business is a fantastic opportunity for 50+ women to transform their lifetime’s experience into something valuable and purposeful and I aim to express this in different ways in each blog…. by offering information, inspiration, motivation, support and encouragement.

Now let’s hear from you…

To blog or not to blog? Love it…. or does the whole idea stresses you out? If you blog, how’s it going? If not, what holds you back? I’d love you to leave a comment below…

When the Green-Eyed Monster Came to Call

My mouth went dry.

My heart started pounding.

And I suddenly felt VERY, VERY uncomfortable.

It was as if someone had punched me in the solar plexus – and the strength of it, in that moment, completely knocked the wind out of my sails.

What exactly happened to cause this strong, physical reaction?

Green-Eyed MonsterWell, I was happily scrolling around on facebook, (as you do) when I came across a promotion being offered by a fellow entrepreneur. Nothing unusual about that you might think…. except what happened next was totally unexpected and it definitely wasn’t pretty!

Before I knew it, I found myself experiencing the full force of an insidious bout of ‘comparison-itis’ which quickly triggered feelings of dejection, defeat and downright despair!

Arghh!

The green-eyed monster had come a-calling!

They say that ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ and sure enough, in that moment, some VERY joyless thoughts were racing through my head along the lines of…. Oh my god, she’s so much BETTER than me…..so much MORE than me – maybe I should just give up! As I said, it WASN’T pretty!

Thankfully, I eventually recognised that this was green-eyed monster at work and managed to regain control before I disappeared further down this destructive spiral, never to be seen again! The thing about comparison-itis is, KNOWING about it doesn’t make us any less immune to its effects… it can still catch us unawares and it STILL has the power to:

  • Completely undermined our confidence
  • Make us feel downright inadequate
  • Distract us from what we should be focussed on
  • Send us into a panic of self-doubt
  • Erode our expertise and self-worth in a matter of minutes (…..or less!)

 

Once I’d calmed down and composed myself, (I think wine might have been involved!) I tried to unpick exactly WHY I’d had such a visceral, gut reaction to this woman and her business – something this strong HAD to be telling me something!

So what was it?

Was it something about the person herself… her image….. her message… her programme or offering….or was it something else? What was it she was doing that I could recognise and appreciate? What was it that I was actually jealous of?

And then the penny dropped.

I realised that what this whole experience was actually telling me was something very valuable – I was envious of the clarity of her message and the way she conveyed what she did in her copy – it was clear, concise and compelling.

And it was something that deep-down, I knew I needed to work on – I needed to have a clearer message. The light I saw in her was mirroring something back to me. So, in a round about way I’ve come to realise that there IS a positive side to comparison-itis! 

Comparisonitis!Yes I needed to be MORE…. but more like ME – not more like HER!

I was so busy comparing myself that I had completely bypassed my greatest asset – MY uniqueness. This whole experience has actually done me a favour by reminding me to own MY value, understand MY uniqueness and importantly, make this clear to the world.

We may know on an intellectual level that the “grass is always greener” on the other side, but that DOESN’T always stop us from making negative comparisons with others. And let’s face it, Social Media can play a huge part in exacerbating this by presenting us with shiny ‘impressions of success’ but I realise that ALL of this was the result of MY interpretation, based on nothing more than words and pictures on a page!

What all this has taught me is that there will always be someone out there doing something similar, in a different way, and there’s plenty of room for all of us. We have absolutely no idea if they are ‘better’ or more ‘successful’ than we are – whatever that actually means – but nor is it important. But I’ve also learned that when the green-eyed monster appears (as it surely will) it’s ALWAYS worth digging into the discomfort it triggers because it can tell you such a lot about what you want for yourself.

Comparison is indeed the thief of joy BUT finding inspiration and learning from others is an entirely different proposition! We just need to make sure we recognise the difference.

Over to you…

Top tips for dealing with the green-eyed monster most gratefully received – please leave your comments in the box below!

A to Z of being a PRIMEPRENEUR: F is for FLEXIBILITY

F is for FLEXIBILITYWelcome to the A to Z of being a PRIMEPRENEUR – a series of short, one-minute videos illustrating the joys and challenges of starting a later life business!


Whilst we are certainly NOT ready to say goodbye to the world of work, we ARE ready to start redefining what ‘work’ looks like for us.

And for many of us that means being able to wake up every morning and choose to work where we want (yay!), when we want (yay!) and how we want (yay!)

We want a business that fits our life – NOT the other way round. A business that takes full advantage of the amazing opportunities the internet has made available to us and gives us the all-important quality of life, autonomy, independence and freedom we seek.

For me, this means being able to…. walk the dog, go to regular yoga and exercise classes, meet up with friends and families…. and I have even been known to go to the cinema on a Monday afternoon! There are days when I work more, (MUCH more!) and days when I work less or not at all, and having this degree of flexibility makes me a very happy bunny.

What does flexibility mean to you?

As always, I would love to hear from you, so please leave your comments in the box below to share your views.