I have had this conversation more times than I can count recently. It takes place in a number of different forms, but at the core it is always the same.
There is a huge change that you want to have happen in your life.
However, you are not willing to change anything yourself in order to make it happen.
Then you’re annoyed and frustrated because things didn’t work out for you.
Changes? They don’t just happen magically.
That may seem really obvious, but if you stop and think about it? How many times have you expected magic changes to take place in your life? In your business? In how things work?
I first woke up to this fact when I realized that approaching dieting from a place of punishment was never going to be successful for me. It isn’t something I just do for a month or two and then I get to return to my former way of eating.
(Logical, right? Yet it took me like 20 years to figure it out.)
If You Want Blogging to Help Your Business, You Have to Write
As I work with my coaching clients, when blogging to help grow their business comes up, I get a push back that is similar to my old attitude about dieting.
“I tried it. It never worked for me, so why even bother?!”
Then we dig in. What did they think about blogging? How did they approach it? Was it about sharing their stories, their thoughts? Their feelings about why they were in the business they were in, or even about their every day life?
No. For most people, it was just about talking about their services.
“I did my job for my client, and here are the results.”
“I now offer these services, here is why you should hire me.”
“I am launching a new product / course / class / coaching program, you really need it for these reasons.”
Take Advantage Storytelling on your Business Blog
Think of the blog posts that you enjoy reading. Are they dry and boring? Not likely. Seriously, no one wants to read that crap.
Turn it around. Change it.
Blogging isn’t a punishment. It is an opportunity! You started your business because you LOVE what you do, right? Blogging is the chance to share your stories with people that are interested in YOU and why you do it!
Since the beginning of the human race, we have used the power of stories. Stories are how we share the knowledge that we have with other people.
Use your blog to GIVE those stories to your readers. Give them what they need to say to pass their knowledge about you along to others.
You could bury your stories in your social media posts on a daily basis – or you can put them on your blog. Do you know which one is better for your business in the long run? Your BLOG. Twitter flies too fast. Facebook actually hides posts if they do not receive enough engagement, even from you! (Try it. I posted things within the past month or two that are not showing up on my Facebook page anymore.) Instagram is pretty, but most people will not scroll beyond the first 6 or 7 rows of photos.
Blogging is the SEO darling. I receive traffic on blog posts I wrote 5 years ago. More than that, if someone is really interested in working with me? They will dig. They will go through archives, suggested posts, categories and tags. They will bounce around my site. They will read, and read.
When I first talk to my clients? They often tell me about posts that they read on my site. They tell me my OWN STORIES. Often they add in how they found me because a friend told them about me. Sometimes a past client, but not always. I’ve also been told how a friend sent them a link, knowing that I would be a perfect fit for them.
It is OK to be Vulnerable
It is ok to be vulnerable. I know, it is scary. In the end? People work with people that they like.
If it comes down to you and two others offering the same products, and all three of you priced in about the same price range? What makes you stand out is what will matter the most at that point. You, and the personal stories you have shared. The things that make you unique. That is why blogging helps you dominate your market.
Be authentically you on your blog. Throw in some personality. Include your stories for the world to read, in the space that YOU control. No longer at the whim of Facebook algorithm changes, or the speed of Twitter and Instagram.
Your blog. All you. Change how you view it, and it will change everything for you.
You’ve got this. I know you can do it – I am here cheering you on!
Have Questions? I’ve Got Answers!
Leave a comment with any questions you might have on blogging for your business. I want to help you with this. All you have to do is ask.
The photograph is this post is from my the most amazing sunset that I experience last week at the Grand Canyon. More on that soon.
If I took your website and made an outfit out of it, and told you to wear it, would you be willing to put it on?
Right now, if I went to my closet and picked out an outfit, there is a very good chance that it would involve me wearing either a black top or something with black & white stripes. I’d then add a colorful scarf for a shot of color in there. My website? Based entirely on those colors in my closet. Matter of fact, in my photo for my avatar? I’m wearing a black & white top – with jeans, and my Kate Spade gold glitter Keds.
This website needs more Kate Spade gold glitter Keds influence.
Otherwise, I’d be more than willing to put it on and wear it around.
How to Pick Your Colors for Branding Your Business
So often, I see people asking about colors, and branding, and trying to be strategic in which ones they should go with to represent themselves. The thing is, if you’re a solo entrepreneur – you are your brand, and your brand is YOU – you’re not trying to be all things to all people.
You are not Coca Cola or Nike in your strategy. You do not need to be worried about red creates urgency while blue creates trust. If you hate blue? You should skip it!
Because you need to be YOU online. You need to brand YOU so that you build trust around who you are, and what you are about.
Your wardrobe? The easiest place to go to find what speaks to you.
If you’re willing to wear it, you should reflect it in your YOU Brand.
You want there to be a fluidness between what people experience when they get to know you online and when they meet up with you in person. That is what builds trust for you.
I didn’t always do this. Matter of fact, for awhile there I used these lovely blush pink notecards for client notes, and I matched the header graphic on my website to that color. They matched a couch that I had my my former photography studio. They were very “boudoir” in color. I paired them with dark gray and gold accents. I wear dark gray from time to time, and I have those gold glitter shoes, but that shade of pink? If I tried to wear it I would just fade away. Think somewhere between blush & bashful. Very much not a color in my wardrobe.
I then tried to transition to dark yellow & dark gray. Oh goodness. Even less “me” which is probably why that redesign lasted only a few months. Oops.
Once I became clear & confident about who I am and what I stand for – and what I wear? The rest of it all fell in to place pretty naturally.
Hopefully this helps you out the next time you go to choose colors or a design for your online presence! Bring YOU throughout it all, and you can never go wrong!
Want to Know More?
For a limited time, I’m doing FREE Brand You Confidence Discovery Calls! Set one up for yourself and we will talk about how you can bring more YOU in to your branding and your business online! If you miss getting a call now, don’t worry – get on the email list and I’ll send out an email the next time I have spaces available!
Orange closet photo by Rubbermaid, via Creative Commons.
I am just going to get this out of the way – I am not at my ideal BMI. I have to shop in the Plus section of the stores most of the time. Ok, I’ll just go ahead and say it. I am … Fat. (Ouch, that was hard.)
But that is no excuse for how I have treated you, thin women.
Weight is not a competition. There is no “WIN” in comparing myself to you.
More importantly, it is not your fault that I am fat. I apologize for all the times that I have said horrible things to you because you are thin.
I never noticed this phenomenon until I caught myself saying it to a woman I had only met an hour or so earlier. There she was at the photo shoot, slender and with the most perfect abs I have ever seen, telling me how she had a 14 month old baby. I simply had to ask, “Oh, please tell me that you work out all the time!?”
I saw her cringe a little. She was almost apologetic as she told me no, she was just built that way. She had not worked out after the baby.
That was the moment that it happened. I felt the thickness of the words about to tumble out of my mouth. I managed to catch them in time, but the silence was awkward. It was obvious that I was about to say something. She looked puzzled.
I looked at the ground for a moment, and then I looked her in the eye.
“I just have to apologize, because what I almost said? It was that I hate you. That is not right. You don’t deserve that.”
She looked back at me, “It is ok. Thank you. You would be shocked at some of the things people say to me.”
As she told me some of those things, we both stood there and cried together.
I should have been shocked, but I wasn’t because I’m sure I have said them at some point as well to a thin woman. Completely oblivious to the pain I was causing her in hearing them. It was all about my pain, my shame of hating myself and my own body.
“Oh, you’re cold? Well … maybe you should eat a cheeseburger. Or a cookie. Put on some weight.”
“You have 5 pounds to lose? Hah! That is NOTHING! Be glad you’re so thin.”
“You’re so thin, I could snap you like a twig!”
And the worst one of all, “You’re so thin … I hate you.”
When did this become OK?!? At what point did we decide that we are allowed to look another woman in the eye and tell her that we hated her? Or that she should gain weight and doesn’t have a right to have body-image issues because she is thin?
Thin shaming is just as bad for women’s body image as fat shaming. Both are wrong.
Over the past few years, I’ve talked to a number of other thin women about this topic. It is something that they are experiencing on a regular basis. Some have told me their stories about how they thought it would change when they grew up, how they never expected that it would continue in to adulthood. How in ways, it is worse now because they can no longer excuse it is a playground taunt.
Everyone wants to be thin, but we vilify the women that actually ARE.
We make them outcasts. Women bond over how much we hate our bodies, the latest diet that we are on, how we will simply never have thigh gap. If you’re thin? We act as if you have no right to be a part of the tribe. You have hit it. You reached the goal we all desperately long to attain, if only we would make the life changes to get there.
So many of the messages today about being body positive are actually talking about accepting your PLUS size body. Embrace the Curves. Eff your beauty standards. Love me as I am!!! No one should say that they are fat. Love yourself no matter what your size. Stop hating your body.
But here is the reality: if we are talking about being body positive, thin women are a part of this conversation as well. Love yourself at any size? At any size means at a size 00 or a size 30.
It is time that we stop attacking the thin women of the world. Tearing another woman down is fighting the wrong battle.
I will never again tell another woman that I hate her because of how thin she is, how fabulous her hair is, how wonderful her life may be compared to mine. It is time we pull this hateful language from our vocabulary.
I would like to be the first in line to say it:
To the thin women, I AM SORRY. I see you, and I hear you, and I embrace you – exactly as you are. Come, join the conversation. Be a part of the circle. You have every right to be here.