Your words have a huge impact on those that hear them or read them, particularly those who look to you for leadership. The power of words goes well beyond their explicit meaning; do not underestimate the implicit and intrinsic too.
Words can be used for good or evil; the great orators of our time are testament to this. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Adolf Hitler, Bob Hawke, Barack Obama, Donald Trump. Love them or loathe them, those who choose their words carefully, and craft clever messages, can whip individuals or entire countries, into frenzied action.
So, just as you would watch your mouth when speaking with your toddler or mother-in-law, you need to watch what you say (and write) when you talk about your ‘thing’, your expertise, your business, your industry, your self. There are people who actively watch and listen to you (you’ll know those ones because they tell you so), but there are others who are lurking in the shadows, wondering if you are indeed the person they want to follow, the person who they relate to, the person who they wish to adopt as their leader. And these are the ones you need to impress with your words.
Now when I say impress, I don’t mean write falsehoods to boost your credentials, or write trite rubbish you think people want to hear. I also don’t mean to copy those you believe are in a good position, to try and boost your own position. What I mean is to always be truthfully you, to own your own space and expertise, but to write in a way that is powerful, stands for something and lets your people know what kind of leader you are. Always be adding value to your reader in some way (lessons, thought-provocation, questions), and always be authentic. The power of words runs deeply and yours will be taken as gospel unless you give your readers a reason to think otherwise. Choose your words wisely.
Blogging – a powerful platform for wise words
When you are building a business it’s important to build a tribe of people who are going to buy into your business. The two go hand in glove. There is no point having developed an awesome product or out-of-this-world service if noone wants it or knows they need it. So, attracting your ideal tribe should be an absolute top priority when you are building your business, and it must continue to be a priority as your grow and establish yourself.
The only way to start attracting people to your ideas and value proposition, is by telling people about it! You need to just start expressing your opinion and demonstrating what you know. You can obviously do this verbally, but that has limitations in terms of the number of people you can reach. Therefore, a blog is the best place to get that writing mojo in flow. It’s your own space to do with as you will – a platform upon which you can freely express your creativity, your opinions, your expertise, your ideas, without having to comply to anyone’s rules. It is location independent and there is room for readers to engage with you, but you are not forced to make visible any commentary you don’t wish to. It’s a really safe place for you to start boosting your profile and to invite the right people into your world – those you can actually help.
Once you’ve decided that you’re going to start writing a blog, you need to be clear about what message you want that blog to stand for. How will it represent you? What will it look like? How often will it be updated? What categories are you going to consistently write to? Make a plan for your blog BUT don’t over-engineer it. You don’t want to let structure and form get in the way of creativity and free expression. Some strategy and planning is necessary but don’t over-do it.
Be brave with your words
Once you’re comfortable with your blog, and you’re happy that there is enough content on there to help a new reader get to know you, you should start to share it beyond the borders. Invite people into your space to get to know you better and to understand what you stand for.
Here are just some ideas on how to share your blog and build your following:
- Post the image and link to a specific blog on your Facebook status
- Create a pinned post with a link to the full blog or the subscribe page on your Facebook group page
- Tweet a quote from your blog and include a link to it
- Talk about your latest blog in your newsletter
- Put a link to your blog on your business card or flyer
- Create an image and plaster the most salient point from your blog in funky type across it. Then post it everywhere!
Blogging can be a form of diary writing, in fact this is how the blog actually started out way back when. So don’t be afraid to get personal (just not too private!) and let the world know a bit more about you – the face behind the business. A good mix of personal plus informative and technical know-how content will give your readers a well-rounded view of you. And once they have this view, they can choose to come along with you for the ride or hop off the train. Either option should be welcomed by you.
Don’t underestimate the power of your words. Be particular about your choice of the specific words you choose to describe what you do and how. Be careful about the way you describe your industry and others in it. Be metered but not censored into dull copycatting. Use words wisely and you will build a following of people who believe in you, people who want to hear more from you, and people who will likely end up buying from you. Use them badly and you’ll be cheating yourself – and others – of the possibility of a great business.