Why You Don’t Need to be a Writer to Share Your Story as a Small Business Owner
Do you call yourself a small business owner or entrepreneur? What about a content creator, writer, or storyteller?
In case you didn’t know, you don’t need to be a good writer to be a great storyteller! You just need to be willing to
- get to know your audience,
- put your story out into the world,
- and learn as you go.
I understand that’s easier said than done, especially if the thought of writing about or putting yourself out there freaks you out.
Whether spending a couple of hours writing feels like the best time ever or makes you want to bury yourself in a hole, even the best of us need help from time to time.
So here are 5 tools I recommend to help you make the most of your time!
5 Tools for Writing Your Content Even if You’re Not a Writer
Think of that one person in your life who knows how to spell anything. Now think of that one person in your life who seems to write everything perfectly the first time they try. Maybe they’re the same person.
Regardless of who they are, there’s a good chance even they make mistakes. We all do!
That’s because no matter how many times we read over something we’ve written, we know what it’s supposed to say so we see it as “correct,” even when it’s not. And we know what we’re trying to say so the words always make perfect sense to us.
Grammarly is an online writing assistance tool that provides spelling, punctuation, and grammar support. It can also help you keep a consistent tone throughout your writing.
What’s great about it is it’s always waiting in the background to help you whether you use a desktop word processor (like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages) or an online one (like Google Docs).
Instead of getting stuck trying to make everything you write 100% perfect, let Grammarly help you catch those mistakes so you can go ahead and hit publish!
Google Search Results
Since we’re on the subject, how much time do you spend (or waste) trying to find the perfect words to say to your audience? How often does it keep you from sharing your story and expertise with them?
I used to spend so much time trying to write the most interesting titles for blog posts until I realized I was wasting my time because no one searches for those titles! They search for what they want to know.
Although interesting titles can be helpful if you already have an audience or another way for people to find your content, they just don’t work as well when it comes to searching.
This is where Google Search Results come in!
Google gives us 4 ways to find out what words our target audiences may search for in relation to our fields.
- You can add a space after the last word of a search term or phrase to see a list of predictions based on what real people have searched.
- Above the search results, you can check to see how many results there are on your topic so you know how many people are searching for that particular term or phrase versus another.
- You can scroll down the page until you see “people also ask” where you’ll see a series of questions people searched for in relation to your field.
- You can also scroll down to the bottom of the page to check out other “searches related to” your field.
Each one of these lists can help you figure out if there are terms your audience will resonate with more than the ones you’re using.
Now I’m not saying you’re using the wrong words or phrases when addressing your audience.
Instead, I want you to think about the gap between what someone new to your industry knows and what an expert knows.
It makes sense to want to educate your audience on the right terms to use but using them too much or too soon might be adding to their confusion instead.
When you’re introducing them to your niche or just starting to connect with them, why not try using the words they use to more effortlessly draw them in?
Not only will it become easier for people to find your content thanks to SEO but it’ll also save you hours waffling between the 3 ‘perfect’ words you found in a thesaurus.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean.
If you wanted to learn how to get a nice blurry background in your photos and videos, which one would you search
- how to get a blurry background
- how to get the right bokeh?
Someone who teaches aspiring photographers and filmmakers how to get started may find it best to use a title like “How to Get a Blurry Background”.
Someone who teaches fellow photographers and filmmakers how to improve their skills may find it best to use the industry-specific term their colleagues are used to.
In both cases, they’re reaching the right people by using wording that resonates with their audience.
It’s a good idea you spend some time thinking about what that looks like for your audience and content too!
Ugly First Drafts
U-G-L-Y! You ain’t got no alibi. Your first draft should be ugly!
Obviously, that’s not how it goes but I stand by this statement.
For some reason, a lot of people think the sign of a good writer is being able to sit down, write down everything they need to say, and have it be the final version all in one go.
I honestly think this is the #1 reason most people believe they aren’t good writers. If you’re one of these people, stop torturing yourself and do this instead…
Choose one piece of content and decide what it’s about. For the blog post you’re currently reading, I knew I wanted to discuss why you don’t need to be a writer in order to be a great storyteller.
Make an outline for that piece of content based on that topic. The original outline for this blog post looked like this…
I consider myself to be a pretty good writer but even the best among us need help. So here are 5 things I use and recommend you use to help you with your writing.
I am a good writer but I don’t want to take ten years to complete every post. I used to and guess what. Nobody searching for your cool title.
Share what you know and have experienced.
5 tips for writing your content even if you’re not a good writer
Google Search Results
Ugly first drafts
Hire somebody else
As you can see, I completely wrote my introduction!
Fill in the details of the outline. Your goal here isn’t to be the next New York Times Best-Selling Author. It’s to get all your thoughts and ideas on this particular topic out of your brain and onto paper.
Don’t be tempted to self-edit during this stage. It’s the only time it’s okay to ramble so take full advantage.
(My outlines always look like I dictated every single thought that entered my brain while writing. That’s usually because I did…even if it was off-topic!)
Review your outline. This is where you can start making notes about what to keep, what to delete, and in what order things belong.
I prefer to cross out anything that’s a little off-topic or requires more explanation than I’d like to go into right now. This is important when blog posts seem a little too long or complex.
(It’s also a good way to come up with more blog posts or pieces of content!)
Write your ugly first draft. I like to do this by copying the outline and removing features like numbers, letters, and indentations so it’s much easier to move blocks of text around.
This is important because sometimes the introduction comes to me after I’ve filled in the entire outline. (That’s exactly what happened with this blog post.
No matter what you do, feel free to give yourself permission to do what works for you when it comes to when you add the story!
Video (or Audio) First
If you’ve read through the first 3 tools and find the sight of a blank page still stresses you out, try starting with a video (or audio) instead!
Although I am team “Write the Script First” because it helps me focus, I am also team “Do What Works for You”.
If you’re going to start with a video, make an outline with a few bullet points to keep you on track. After you record the video, transcribe it, and then run the copy through Grammarly.
Most of us don’t write exactly how we speak. Running it through Grammarly can help you get professional but still authentic writing done with less pressure.
If you’re not comfortable showing up on video, try recording yourself using a voice notes app instead!
And if that still makes you uncomfortable, try talking to someone you trust and letting them record you.
Hire a Copywriter
Is there anything more stress relieving in business than hiring someone else to do the work you don’t have the time, ability, or motivation to do yourself?
Have you considered hiring a copywriter?
A good copywriter can take the thoughts, ideas, and heap of words you struggle to clearly articulate and turn them into copy your audience will resonate with and act on.
What makes them different from Social Media Managers (though some are also skilled copywriters) is that they’re trained to write copy that drives people to do something.
That something may be
- immediately signing up for your email or waitlist,
- enthusiastically purchasing a spot in your next workshop,
- or intentionally engaging with your posts so you know your content resonates with them.
The point is, just as you’re an expert in your field, there are people equally skilled in copywriting so you don’t have to do it if you can’t or don’t want to!
Did this post help relieve some of your anxiety or fear around sharing your story? Let me know!
Ready to learn how to use the power of your story to grow your audience no matter where you share it?
Download my free guide so you can learn:
- 7 practical approaches to sharing your story,
- Why each technique is so powerful (& why it works),
- How to use them effectively for your needs,
- And my 4-step method for sharing your story.