You’ve likely written countless blog posts, articles, newsletters, and social media posts to share your expertise. After a while, it can feel like you’ve said all you need to say. Staying energized and engaged in the process can be challenging when that happens.
I get that.
But if you stop now, you will lose the momentum you’ve built. So, how do you keep going when you feel like you’re running on empty?
Repetition builds your reputation.
No one is paying as much attention to your content as you. You feel like you’ve said it all before, but your audience doesn’t feel that way. Yes, you might have people in your orbit who have been around for a while, and they might even remember you saying something similar in the past.
But you are not the only person they follow. And they are not the only person you connect with through your writing. You constantly connect with new people on social media and gain subscribers to your email newsletter. These newcomers are just starting to dive into your work, so they need you to share the wisdom you shared before.
Repetition is what builds your reputation. If you stop sharing your core expertise and start sharing something novel and exciting to you, you risk confusing your audience. And when our audience is confused, they stop paying attention.
The people you serve need you to keep saying what you’ve been saying.
Because they know your message is important but aren’t sure how to take action on it yet, and they want your ongoing support. That’s why they follow you!
Think about the folks you’ve followed for a while. Does it feel like they’re repeating themselves? Or does it feel like they are providing good, solid information with a handful of reminders and back-to-basics foundational information tossed in?
Your audience feels the same way.
Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and thought it was okay, then watched it again years later and thought it was fantastic? The book or movie didn’t change. You did.
As we grow and change, we receive the same message differently. Your job is to share your message and meet your audience — the newcomers and those who’ve been around for a while — right where they are.
Finding new ways to talk about the same old idea.
When I say repetition builds your reputation, I don’t mean that you should just share the same article again and again and again. That won’t serve you or your audience. Instead, I want you to share the same ideas in new ways.
Here are five tips to help you find new ways to talk about the same old ideas:
1. Collect and share illustrative examples. Think about the experiences you’ve had in your life. Which ones illustrate a point you make when working with your clients? These examples may come from a project you worked on, a speaking engagement, or a podcast interview. But they might also come from a visit to a museum, a book of poetry, or an art class. Each example you have (even if they illustrate the same point) can serve as the foundation of a new article. Different examples will resonate with different audience members.
2. Segment your audience. Your audience is not a faceless mass of humanity. It is made up of individual humans with different life experiences, needs, and desires. Whether your audience includes people across the corporate hierarchy, from executives to managers to employees, across sectors, from business to nonprofit to government, or across skill levels, from experienced to novice, each segment needs something different from you. Write articles that speak directly to the needs of each segment so you can meet every member of your audience where they are.
3. Consume business content with intention. Be an active consumer, whether reading a book or listening to a podcast. Look for statements that illicit a reaction. What is that reaction? Do you strongly agree or disagree? Is the statement oversimplifying something or overcomplicating it? What is the author or speaker missing? Write a piece responding to that content; don’t be afraid to dive into the nuances. That’s what sets you apart.
4. Revisit old material. Read blog posts, newsletters, and social media posts (paying particular attention to the comments). You grow and change, too, so this can be a rich resource for new articles. Read your work critically. Has your thinking evolved since you wrote that piece? Is there more you can share? Can you dive a little deeper into it? If so, write about it.
5. Take time to refill the tank. Read books and articles, listen to podcasts, watch movies, take a class, or visit an art museum. Allow inspiration to come from unexpected places.
It may feel like you’re repeating yourself. But that’s because you know your stuff! You, my friend, are the expert. Your audience isn’t. Don’t make them work hard to learn from you. Keep sharing your wisdom!
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Erica Holthausen is the founder of Catchline Communications and a strategic thought partner to consultants who wish to build their authority and increase their visibility by publishing articles in industry trade journals and business magazines like Harvard Business Review, Inc., and Entrepreneur. To learn how to raise your profile, register for Pitched to Published, a free monthly Q+A focused on writing, pitching, and publishing articles.