Many of the blocks to creating content can be solved by one mindset shift:
Make your content for just 1 person at a time.
Don’t write for “the world”.
Don’t make videos for “your audience.”
That kind of approach can easily cause performance anxiety, which blocks you from showing up consistently.
Instead, imagine that you are talking to just 1 person… someone you feel comfortable talking to, someone who loves your ideas.
It might be an ideal client, a kind friend, a supportive colleague, a true fan.
What might they want to know about your area of expertise?
Create a piece of content with only them in mind.
After you’ve created the content, share it with them: “I was thinking of our conversation, and made this… let me know if you find it helpful or have any questions!” The usual response is that they’ll feel honored and cared for.
If they find it helpful, ask them if they would feel OK if you shared it more widely — assuming that in your content, you didn’t mention any personal details about them.
Once they give you permission, post it on your social media. It will help others who have similar challenges!
The benefits of this method:
(1) You’ll reduce your performance anxiety by being in conversation with only 1 person, someone who already likes you.
(2) That one person feels special that you made the content with them in mind.
(3) If you share it on social media, that piece of content will attract and resonate with others who are like them. This will grow and nurture your ideal audience.
Do you already work with clients? Start practicing this — carve out 5 minutes after each client session to jot down a quick note. What was the client’s core problem or question? Did they have an “aha!” moment in the session? These are content ideas that are relevant to your audience too!
Do you get questions via email? Email a thoughtful response to your client. If they find it helpful, transform that into a blog post!
Video instead of email. Try this: instead of writing, record a short video to respond to your client (without mentioning their name.) You can start the video saying “So the question is XYZ and here are my thoughts about it….” (so that you keep their name out of the video.) See if your client finds it helpful. If so, ask them if it feels appropriate for you to share the answer publicly so others can benefit.
No clients yet? Then make some time to talk with a friend and have them ask you questions about your work and your core message. If you’re both comfortable, record that conversation so you can speak without having to take notes. Your answers can be turned into one (or more) new pieces of content!
I enjoyed reading this public speaking book: Be Heard Now by Lee Glickstein. (I’ve linked you to the Audio version — the author reads the book in his compassionate voice.)
The advice I remember most: when speaking on stage, don’t look at the “overall” audience, trying to take them all in. Instead, find one welcoming face in the audience and look at them, talking as if only to them for 15 seconds. Then, find another welcoming face and talk to them for another 15 seconds. And so forth, connecting with one person at a time.
Of course, those individuals you connect with will feel appreciative that the speaker is looking at them. They’ll brighten up, which positively affects those around them. It uplifts the speaker too.
What’s magical is that the whole room will feel the connection you are having to that 1 person. The fact is that you are more resonant when you are talking heart to heart, mind to mind, being in relationship with just one being. You’re natural, conversational, and authentic.
I also heard that this is how Tim Ferris wrote The Four Hour Workweek. At first, he wrote it as a “book”, but disliked the formality and deleted the draft! Then, he wrote it as if writing an email to a specific friend… and it became the book that made him famous.
When I first shared this a few years ago, one of my readers, Trevor Sutton, commented:
“I recall the exact advice given to me some years ago when I had the pleasure of presenting live Jazz programs on radio. Our trainer emphasized ‘speaking to one familiar person’, not ‘everyone out there in Radio Land’. It worked. The thought patterns changed and the voice came over as more personal. Many audience members would meet me in the street and say that they felt they knew me well.”
Another commenter wrote:
“I know from experience whenever I put this into practice, it works so well. Writing gets easier, connection becomes established, and courage is in flow!” — Susanne Dahl
So make your content for just 1 caring person at a time.
Then share it publicly so others just like them can benefit!
- Content Co-Working (another method to help you unblock your content creation)