Sharing Content Versus Selling Content

Tara here. When I think of myself as a “creative writer” I think of the tools I use, metaphor, memorable phrases and headlines, declarations, emotion, that whole bag of tricks and truths. Some creatives say they hate to write. Some revel in sharing their thoughts and words. And really, even working creatives who say they aren’t comfortable writing, can wing it.

But when I talk about content that shares what you do (not for your clients, but for yourself and your business!) – I don’t mean just copywriting. I mean conversations with potential collaborators or clients, giving a talk to a group, sending out an email letter, writing your “about me” on your website, updating your social media profiles, or yes, composing a blog post.

If you are a creative who writes, but are only creating content for other people and not yourself – you’re selling yourself short and setting yourself up to:
1. sell what you do “cold,” and
2. sell your ideas “blind.”

Meaning that every selling conversation will feel like it’s starting from scratch, and every creative idea you are persuading someone else enthusiastically embrace (because that’s selling too) will have no rationale or expertise backing it up.

Emotion and imagination have their place in your content, but only if you understand the difference between the content you share to inspire and attract others, and the content you create to explain and sell what you do. So here’s two ways of thinking of the content you create and share, so you can get in the right frame of mind before you ever type (or speak) an inspiring, informative word about you… and what you do:

1. WHAT YOU KNOW: “Sharing Content” is knowledge you give away (for free!) that positions you as a creative expert.

What is sharing content? Well, it’s anything you write, record, speak, email, publish, print, or post – that informs & inspires others. Because “the work” and word-of-mouth can position you as a great creative. But the content you create is what positions you as a creative expert. You want someone to read your post and think “I need this expert to get what I want!”

And oh man, when you position yourself as an expert to a specific dream client, awesome things happen. “They trust you! They want you!”

But if you sneak selling content into sharing content, you muddy the message and the feeling you wanted to inspire. “Nice try. This is just a sales pitch!” So keep your sharing content clean. You need to create selling and sharing content, but know the difference and the right place to share what you know versus why to buy you.

– blog posts
– social media posts
– talks to a group
– group emails or letters
– learning content (like ecourses)

– be insight that informs + inspires
– from a real person (not a company)
– who is willing to share as a creative expert
– and share what they know
But why “give away” your secrets? Because they still want it (i.e. that expertise)… from you.

When you write or speak what you know, versus how to buy, think:
– inspiration & ideas
– behind the scenes
– advice & how-to’s
– overcoming mistakes
– seeing patterns
– translating information
– the story & the lesson

When you’re creating sharing content always ask yourself:

“Does it give my insight, to a specific audience around a specific pain,  and rather than ‘dazzle or persuade,’ does it inform and inspire?”  Because if it feels salesy, it probably is.

You can check out Our Not So Secret Formula For Sharing Content post here, for more tips on how to get in the right frame of mind for creating helpful or how-to content for your own dream clients.

2. WHY BUY YOU: “Selling Content” is how you describe what you do, why people should hire you, and what it will feel like to work with you.

– your website content
– your offerings, services, products
– case studies, testimonials or examples
– presentations to new potential clients
– emails to potential clients
– direct mail or other information sheets

– be how to hire or buy you & your offerings
– explained (not overhyped) with reassuring logic
– with a “what you can expect working with us” approach
– if you can make it visual, do it
– if you can break it into steps, do it

– your clearly defined offerings & pricing
– your case studies & examples
– your behind-the-scenes methods
– your creative process made visual!
– always logical & reassuring

When you’re creating selling content always ask yourself:

“Can I make this visual, make  it real? Am I breaking it into steps can I show real examples? Can I simply explain this logically?” Because if it feels intangible or unreal, it probably is.

3. BLENDING CONTENT: you can “break” the rules and mix the two kinds of content if you know the difference.

It’s more like blending the rules but once you know the distinction between your sharing content and selling content – you can bring selling back into the sharing conversation, but only if you’re telling your audience you are shifting into how-to-hire me mode. No sneaking it in. Think transparency! Or for a visual example, you can scroll to the bottom of the post and see how I am going to clearly tell you how to buy a product from me, sign up for emails from me, or even hire me one-on-one for consulting. But everything above that line… it’s all sharing content.

If you wanted, I know you could take this post today, and if you spent a week really re-focusing your content based on these few rules and tidbits, would have some shaped up content that gives you a lot of confidence selling yourself and sharing what you know.

I’ve given you helpful advice, based on my insights, that you could actually use – for free. Would you still want to pay for our Shape Up Your Content Braid ECourse anyway? Maybe. Probably. If the timing is right for you. If it feels like a fit. And if when you read the selling content I’ve created to logically explain it here, feels like you know what you’ll get – versus being dazzled or “sold.”

So just remembering which kind of content you are creating before you begin, can go a long way toward building your own confidence, acting and thinking like a creative expert. And here’s a happy surprise – today’s shared (free) content, really can shape the new products or services you decide to sell in the future.

Again, here’s those two questions to ask before you begin content-creating:

1. If you’re sharing, ask: “does this content I’m creating feel insightful and helpful?”
2. If you’re selling, ask: “do these words I’m using to describe what I do feel like simply explaining?”

Do you feel more comfortable writing sharing content or selling content? Or are you a creative who just wings it every time when it comes to writing or talking about yourself? Tell us on Facebook.


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