See if you can relate:
“When I am delivering a webinar, workshop or talking with clients, I show up with warmth, presence and the intelligence, even wisdom, that the situation requires… but when I am creating new content on my own — blog posts, videos, or even a course — it’s as if I don’t know anything anymore. What shall I do next? What can I say? Will they like it? …and other doubts appear.”
An audience member sent this question to me, but I bet many of you can relate to this.
I too have had the same experience.
When I’m teaching a live session, or with a client, I am intuitive and it’s much easier to find flow, compared to writing or recording on my own.
Yet, I’ve now written over 1,000 blog posts, and recorded over 1,000 videos without the benefit of real-time audience interaction, and I hope the tips in this article will help you to do the same.
Indeed, it is an important skill to develop: the ability to generate creative flow on demand when we are working on our own, without the benefit of another person’s immediate feedback.
There are 3 strategies I recommend, which can be combined.
Strategy 1: Mindset Practices
Strategy 2: Publish Content in Stages
I think of my content as an ever-evolving, ever-improving process. Each piece of content has many potential versions of improvement, but I publish each version or stage as quickly as possible to get feedback, before working on the next version or stage.
For example, I limit myself to just 1 hour for each blog, from draft to publishing, with the mindset that I have no idea if it will land with my audience.
With years of content marketing experience, I’ve learned to be unattached about results: any blog post, any video, could either succeed wildly, or completely fall flat. It’s not just a spiritual practice, it’s a real-world observation: I’m frequently surprised to discover that what I thought was going to be well-received, is not… yet what I think would be obvious and unremarkable, becomes some of my greatest hits.
This is why I work in 3 stages of content.
I publish a draft (such as this one) as quickly as possible, with as little effort as possible, i.e. just 1 hour total. If it gets a good response from my audience, only then will I mark it for further development and republishing a few months later.
For course development, I do beta course sessions. I prepare only a couple hours for each beta session, then I teach a raw/draft version for free to a few people, then I develop it further before I teach it officially. And, each version of my course is also a prelude to a future, more developed version.
I also approach it from the other direction — when I answer questions via email, or commenting in a group, or after an insightful client meeting, I copy/paste those ideas into a document where I keep blog post ideas, so that during my next 1 hour of scheduled blog writing, I already have some starter ideas.
For example, this very blog post started as an email thread with an audience member.
Strategy 3: Content Co-Working Session
Perhaps you can collaborate with other people who also want to create content and find it much easier to do so with an audience.
Here’s a sample plan to create a blog post, and also a video if you’d like:
- Schedule 1 hour with a friend to meet via Zoom.
- Start by having each of you talk for 5 minutes about what you want to blog about.
- Then, record the session. Each of you speak your ideas for 5 to 10 minutes. Before you start recording, you may want to open a new google document and turn on voice typing so it automatically transcribes what you say. Also, when it’s your friend’s turn to speak, stop the recording and allow your friend to record. After the meeting is over, each person’s recording will be on their own computer.
- For the final 20–30 minutes of the hour, you can then edit the Google Doc voice transcription into a blog post. Perhaps spend a few minutes brainstorming titles for the blog post and getting your friend’s feedback.
My MasterHeart Group members are now starting to do this. Give it a try with a friend and let me know if it helps!