Connections, Coffee & Confidence

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What I'm Spending My Points On

Season 1, Ep. 67

The practical aspect of messaging involves being clear, direct, leaving your audience in no uncertain terms as to what they need to know/think/feel/do. But how do you know if you're doing that?

 

When you are really clear on your goals, you can get really clear on your messaging. That clarity is what enables you to be bold and decisive in the language you use, to be confident in your delivery.

 

Key Points:

  • What is clear and direct language? (2:36)
  • Real life example in action (4:04)
  • Messaging Delivery Options (7:01)
  • Tips to Deliver Clear & Direct Messaging (9:04)

 

Also Mentioned:

 

Have you left a rating & review yet? Please take a moment and do so as it helps bring this podcast to other small business owners (and I'd be forever grateful!) If you're listening on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) please rate and review there. If you're not an Apple supporter, you can go to Podchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/connections-coffee-confidence-1788572 Thank you so much for your support!

 

**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time? Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated. Go to https://www.janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-content-strategy to learn more.

 

My Products:

 

Let's Connect!

Join me on Pinterest 😀

✔Let's connect on LinkedIn

✔And Instagram!

Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my group

 

Transcript:

Hello and welcome to episode 67 of Connections, Coffee & Confidence with me Janice. I’m really happy to have you here for this episode as it’s all about my favorite topic - messaging. The what of ‘what to say’. My geek out material. Because everyone will tell you to find your audience then go talk to them but who is helping you figure out what to say? That’s right, me.

 

And today we’re going to look at clarity in your messaging.

 

INTRO

 

It can be a little scary for us as the communicators, the ones who have to say or write the copy for our social media, our lives, our websites and bios. We not only have to craft those bold declarative sentences, but we must deliver them like we are full of confidence and yet not too cocky because cockiness tends to put people off. And you know, I think this is why I do such a great job for my clients, and why they pay me - and why others pay people like me. It’s so much easier for many of us to make those declarations, those proclamations, when it’s not about us. To make them on behalf of others.

 

And if you want me to do that for you, awesome possum. Drop me an email and let’s set up a time so I can get to know your goals and your tone and we’ll work out your messaging and all that jazz. But if you want to know how to do it yourself, I have your back on that too.

 

Let’s talk about how we even get started with that kind of communication? That boldness? What exactly is clear and direct communication?

 

A lot of it comes down to directive language. That’s when you just say what needs to be said, no fuss, just the required words to impart information, strung together to make a complete decoration for your product or business. Like a string of Christmas lights, all of the words as lightbulbs, none burnt out and just taking up space, causing a dark hole in your messaging. Every bulb doing its job, drawing attention to what you're about.

 

It seems like it should be so simple, eh? You have something to say so say it. But if it was quite that simple, we wouldn’t see one hundred and fifty words squished into a single graphic with another thousand in the post text. We wouldn’t have emails that run on for so many screen lengths that you scroll to the end for the highlight or just tap the little garbage can to delete.

 

You wouldn't have podcasters talking about words as christmas bulb lights.

 

Yeah.

 

Directive language is clear and concise, it tells you exactly what to expect or what to do next. It answers the question that has been in your mind or on your heart for ages, and you might not have even known about it until there you go - an answer appeared.

 

I have three boys, two are teens and one is so close he smells like a teen… Actually, he’s really good to shower and wear deodorant, bless him, but he can eat like he’s a teen. So I have apps for the grocery stores I frequent and I check for the weekly specials. One company is Loblaws, which if you’re Canadian, you know as No Frills or Superstore. They also own a massive drugstore chain as well as a clothing line. All of these companies fit very well within my shopping habits as kids eat, they get sick, and bust through their clothes like nobodies business. I love their President’s Choice app. They fussed it up a bit recently with extras, it used to just show the products I’d get loyalty points on if I buy them this week but now they give you the option to check out seasonal recipes or features on new food lines or sales on clothing or information on flu shots or whatever. 

 

They’re being a smart company and using a tool that they have to connect with their audience and expanding that tool to provide extra value to their customers, opening up lines of potential new revenue and brand loyalty. It’s exactly what we need to be doing with the tools we have at our disposal, right? So if you haven’t looked at my Create Your Social Media Content Strategy masterclass yet, and you want to use your social media as a tool for your business growth, I’ll link to that in the shownotes.

 

In the PC app, there was a headline that said ‘What to Redeem Your Points on in September’. There was a pretty picture of a vibrant yet cushy kind of office living room type of area and I saw things I like, afterall, I’m moving into a new house this month and, while I usually use the points to get money off the grocery bill or clothes for the kids, our stuff is in a steel storage container on the other side of the country and who knows what I might need to tide us over until it arrives, right? Well, I clicked it.

 

Now. Was the headline cute and creative? No. Was it fun and teasing? No. Did it lure me in with a laugh or urgency or crazy promises and pretty prose? Definitely not.

 

What to Redeem Your Points on in September. The language is clear, concise and tells me exactly what I’m going to find if I click the link. What I found was a list of seven items that I didn’t know about, that range in price from a fancy new tonic water in case I feel like a fancy G&T (um, yes please) to a super cool new coffee maker - boy it was like they wrote this article for me, eh? There were homewares included as well and was I drawn to every item on the list? No. Was I resentful or surprised with what I got after I clicked the button? No. And will I click the same headline for next month? Probably, if I see it. It didn’t take up too much of my time, it was helpful because I can definitely splurge on some fancy tonic water with my points, and it was clear in what to expect.

 

All the words I needed to know, none of the fluff to confuse me.

 

The additional aspect to this link was the image. The picture matched something that is happening in my life, a new home that I’ll have to decorate. We’re going from a home built in the 2000’s to one built in the 1930’s with original features. So it’s fair to say that some of our stuff might stick out like a sore thumb, I might need some things to tie everything together. And did I mention I have an actual office in this new house? Like, an actual home for Connections Coffee & Confidence and janicefogarty.com. With windows. And space for a free standing desk, definitely a bookcase or two and an extra chair. I digress. But my point is messaging isn’t just verbal - the picture touched me as well. It appealed.

 

When you are really clear on your goals, you can get really clear on your messaging. That clarity is what enables you to be bold and decisive in the language you use, to be confident in your delivery.

 

When is the last time you clicked a link? I’m not talking about clickbait, although they provide an excellent study in how to lure people in by playing on their interests, hobbies and general human nosiness. But when did you last see a headline and think, oh I need to know that. Or I know exactly what’s going to be in there for me and I need that - or don’t need that. Or you know how social media platforms usually only give you a small preview of a post then you have to click to see the rest of it? When’s the last time you clicked on one of those posts? Why did you follow through? And did you get what you feel you were promised? 

 

I’m willing to bet the language used was clear and direct. There was probably a story of some sort but that story would be linked to the message, it’s a way to pull you into or illustrate the message. And I bet you’ll be more likely to click a link from that person or company again, maybe even subscribe or buy what they sell. 

 

So how do you take what has attracted you to click through or subscribe or buy and use that in your business? How do you adapt it to suit what you sell, your brand, and tell it in your voice? Have a look at what you’ve put out in the past, emails, posts, lives, articles submitted, whatever product you’ve created. And read through the language again with a different perspective.

 

Humor is great, I’m fond of a laugh myself. But is it confusing the audience and hiding what you need them to know? Are you using jargon? You might know exactly what a land title search is because you’re a real estate lawyer or a realtor or contract to a municipality and deal with those things but does your customer or client know what you’re talking about? Are you scared to say what you have to say? Oh man there is nothing like fear to help us fluff out and hide our message behind soft words and sometimes this is where humor isn’t helpful. Are you communicating just to be seen and heard? That’s ego, often fear, coming to the forefront and if you don’t have a point then you’re not only wasting your energy but you’re burning the goodwill of those who gave you a chance and clicked your link or whatever.

 

When you go through your old material, do you see any of these confusion causers jumping out at you? Are you using clear and direct language? Do you read or see the piece and know what you’re meant to know, think, feel or do next?

 

People buy from or do business with people they trust. Trust is developed when the business uses clear language and draws someone in then follows through with what they’ve offered. In my experience, personally with my own business and professionally as a communications strategist, results come from using clear language confidently delivered in your own style. The confidence to do all of that comes from zeroing in on your goals and messaging, those are your starting points.

 

Thank you so much for listening today. I’ll be back next Monday with a new episode and until then, my friend, I hope you have an absolutely brilliant week. (By the way, that’s clear and direct messaging - I want you to know I drop a new episode every Monday, I value you and and want to see you back. Ok. Bye)

 

Hello and welcome to episode 67 of Connections, Coffee & Confidence with me Janice. I’m really happy to have you here for this episode as it’s all about my favorite topic - messaging. The what of ‘what to say’. My geek out material. Because everyone will tell you to find your audience then go talk to them but who is helping you figure out what to say? That’s right, me.

 

And today we’re going to look at clarity in your messaging.

 

INTRO

 

It can be a little scary for us as the communicators, the ones who have to say or write the copy for our social media, our lives, our websites and bios. We not only have to craft those bold declarative sentences, but we must deliver them like we are full of confidence and yet not too cocky because cockiness tends to put people off. And you know, I think this is why I do such a great job for my clients, and why they pay me - and why others pay people like me. It’s so much easier for many of us to make those declarations, those proclamations, when it’s not about us. To make them on behalf of others.

 

And if you want me to do that for you, awesome possum. Drop me an email and let’s set up a time so I can get to know your goals and your tone and we’ll work out your messaging and all that jazz. But if you want to know how to do it yourself, I have your back on that too.

 

Let’s talk about how we even get started with that kind of communication? That boldness? What exactly is clear and direct communication?

 

A lot of it comes down to directive language. That’s when you just say what needs to be said, no fuss, just the required words to impart information, strung together to make a complete decoration for your product or business. Like a string of Christmas lights, all of the words as lightbulbs, none burnt out and just taking up space, causing a dark hole in your messaging. Every bulb doing its job, drawing attention to what you're about.

 

It seems like it should be so simple, eh? You have something to say so say it. But if it was quite that simple, we wouldn’t see one hundred and fifty words squished into a single graphic with another thousand in the post text. We wouldn’t have emails that run on for so many screen lengths that you scroll to the end for the highlight or just tap the little garbage can to delete.

 

You wouldn't have podcasters talking about words as christmas bulb lights.

 

Yeah.

 

Directive language is clear and concise, it tells you exactly what to expect or what to do next. It answers the question that has been in your mind or on your heart for ages, and you might not have even known about it until there you go - an answer appeared.

 

I have three boys, two are teens and one is so close he smells like a teen… Actually, he’s really good to shower and wear deodorant, bless him, but he can eat like he’s a teen. So I have apps for the grocery stores I frequent and I check for the weekly specials. One company is Loblaws, which if you’re Canadian, you know as No Frills or Superstore. They also own a massive drugstore chain as well as a clothing line. All of these companies fit very well within my shopping habits as kids eat, they get sick, and bust through their clothes like nobodies business. I love their President’s Choice app. They fussed it up a bit recently with extras, it used to just show the products I’d get loyalty points on if I buy them this week but now they give you the option to check out seasonal recipes or features on new food lines or sales on clothing or information on flu shots or whatever. 

 

They’re being a smart company and using a tool that they have to connect with their audience and expanding that tool to provide extra value to their customers, opening up lines of potential new revenue and brand loyalty. It’s exactly what we need to be doing with the tools we have at our disposal, right? So if you haven’t looked at my Create Your Social Media Content Strategy masterclass yet, and you want to use your social media as a tool for your business growth, I’ll link to that in the shownotes.

 

In the PC app, there was a headline that said ‘What to Redeem Your Points on in September’. There was a pretty picture of a vibrant yet cushy kind of office living room type of area and I saw things I like, afterall, I’m moving into a new house this month and, while I usually use the points to get money off the grocery bill or clothes for the kids, our stuff is in a steel storage container on the other side of the country and who knows what I might need to tide us over until it arrives, right? Well, I clicked it.

 

Now. Was the headline cute and creative? No. Was it fun and teasing? No. Did it lure me in with a laugh or urgency or crazy promises and pretty prose? Definitely not.

 

What to Redeem Your Points on in September. The language is clear, concise and tells me exactly what I’m going to find if I click the link. What I found was a list of seven items that I didn’t know about, that range in price from a fancy new tonic water in case I feel like a fancy G&T (um, yes please) to a super cool new coffee maker - boy it was like they wrote this article for me, eh? There were homewares included as well and was I drawn to every item on the list? No. Was I resentful or surprised with what I got after I clicked the button? No. And will I click the same headline for next month? Probably, if I see it. It didn’t take up too much of my time, it was helpful because I can definitely splurge on some fancy tonic water with my points, and it was clear in what to expect.

 

All the words I needed to know, none of the fluff to confuse me.

 

The additional aspect to this link was the image. The picture matched something that is happening in my life, a new home that I’ll have to decorate. We’re going from a home built in the 2000’s to one built in the 1930’s with original features. So it’s fair to say that some of our stuff might stick out like a sore thumb, I might need some things to tie everything together. And did I mention I have an actual office in this new house? Like, an actual home for Connections Coffee & Confidence and janicefogarty.com. With windows. And space for a free standing desk, definitely a bookcase or two and an extra chair. I digress. But my point is messaging isn’t just verbal - the picture touched me as well. It appealed.

 

When you are really clear on your goals, you can get really clear on your messaging. That clarity is what enables you to be bold and decisive in the language you use, to be confident in your delivery.

 

When is the last time you clicked a link? I’m not talking about clickbait, although they provide an excellent study in how to lure people in by playing on their interests, hobbies and general human nosiness. But when did you last see a headline and think, oh I need to know that. Or I know exactly what’s going to be in there for me and I need that - or don’t need that. Or you know how social media platforms usually only give you a small preview of a post then you have to click to see the rest of it? When’s the last time you clicked on one of those posts? Why did you follow through? And did you get what you feel you were promised? 

 

I’m willing to bet the language used was clear and direct. There was probably a story of some sort but that story would be linked to the message, it’s a way to pull you into or illustrate the message. And I bet you’ll be more likely to click a link from that person or company again, maybe even subscribe or buy what they sell. 

 

So how do you take what has attracted you to click through or subscribe or buy and use that in your business? How do you adapt it to suit what you sell, your brand, and tell it in your voice? Have a look at what you’ve put out in the past, emails, posts, lives, articles submitted, whatever product you’ve created. And read through the language again with a different perspective.

 

Humor is great, I’m fond of a laugh myself. But is it confusing the audience and hiding what you need them to know? Are you using jargon? You might know exactly what a land title search is because you’re a real estate lawyer or a realtor or contract to a municipality and deal with those things but does your customer or client know what you’re talking about? Are you scared to say what you have to say? Oh man there is nothing like fear to help us fluff out and hide our message behind soft words and sometimes this is where humor isn’t helpful. Are you communicating just to be seen and heard? That’s ego, often fear, coming to the forefront and if you don’t have a point then you’re not only wasting your energy but you’re burning the goodwill of those who gave you a chance and clicked your link or whatever.

 

When you go through your old material, do you see any of these confusion causers jumping out at you? Are you using clear and direct language? Do you read or see the piece and know what you’re meant to know, think, feel or do next?

 

People buy from or do business with people they trust. Trust is developed when the business uses clear language and draws someone in then follows through with what they’ve offered. In my experience, personally with my own business and professionally as a communications strategist, results come from using clear language confidently delivered in your own style. The confidence to do all of that comes from zeroing in on your goals and messaging, those are your starting points.

 

Thank you so much for listening today. I’ll be back next Monday with a new episode and until then, my friend, I hope you have an absolutely brilliant week. (By the way, that’s clear and direct messaging - I want you to know I drop a new episode every Monday, I value you and and want to see you back. Ok. Bye)

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And the new house has a new office which you may have seen if you’ve been on my Facebook or Instagram stories. Windows and everything. If you’re new, you don’t know this is a significant move from my Harry Potter style cubby under the stairs. Happy to be settling into a new home and being able to get into routine. I feel like I have a new lease of life, to be honest. And what’s interesting is that I have had a recurring theme push its way through to me, one that has come from some kind of surprising people. And if it’s coming from them, maybe you are experiencing it too. So let’s talk about it.INTROSo what are you waiting for?Seriously.Life is passing us by and here we are, waiting for something. My mother would always tell me that Christmas was coming when I was busy thinking something to death and then thinking about it some more. I believe she was implying I was taking too long to make a decision and take action.Are you waiting for Christmas?There are perfectly rational and reasonable times when waiting and thinking things through is appropriate. When there are safety concerns, the potential for significant emotional impact on someone else, or large sums of money involved, yes, have a good think.When it comes to making a pitch to the media, launching a new product or service, paying for an ad on your favorite social media platform or being yourself, that’s different.This often boils down to fear and fear can come from a variety of places. Usually it can be dealt with by educating yourself on the reality because your perception is clouding your view.I was recently messaging with someone I really respect, someone I admire in so many ways not least because of her accomplishments. And I was really nervous about asking her to come on the podcast because I was worried about the time she and I had talked and I had goofed the time difference. And it turns out she had completely forgotten the incident. We had a good laugh and she made a comment about Overthinkers Anonymous. And I’m sure if I googled that I’d find that someone has already taken that as a title for a book or a membership or something. Or maybe they’re too busy overthinking it.But there was a similar mini conversation in my Facebook group where myself and another woman were having a discussion about over analyzing things. Talking ourselves in and talking ourselves right back out of really great ideas and actions.Does any of this ring true for you?Do you circle around and around your ideas, looking at them from every angle before deciding to not quite jump but dip your toe in? Do you think about them for so long that when you do decide to take action, you find someone else has started while you had your head down?When we wait, we miss out. We miss out on opportunities to meet new people, to try new things, to see new places. We miss out on money. And what really gets me is that we miss out on knowing: knowing if we can. Knowing that we can. Because it’s the confidence we get when we’ve tried it and seen just what we’re capable of, that’s usually missing from those of us considering joining Overthinkers Anonymous.And even if we aren’t successful, that’s fine. The world doesn’t end and we come back from that with a better idea of how to do it next time or if, in fact, we should never do that again.When we don’t over analyse and simply create a thoughtful plan, leaving to chance the stuff we can easily handle and mapping out the big things, we get the opportunity to test and revise, to rethink and do it again.We need to do to improve - both the work and ourselves.An interesting thought is one I heard on another podcast, the David McWilliams podcast which I’ll link to in the show notes. I can’t remember if it was him or his guest who had said it but one of them said that marketing was just a human experiment.Did you hear that?It’s just an experiment!You know how in science class you learned or maybe had the opportunity to do actual experiments? Where in scientific theory, it’s actually based off of not knowing and trying to find out? Where if the experiment doesn’t prove the theory, neither you nor the theory are wrong, the theory just wasn’t proved right. You don’t come into it at all, it’s not you who is right or wrong - it’s the theory that’s being tested.And when I heard that sentence, marketing is a human experiment, it just felt like so much of the weight had been lifted.Do you feel it?It’s an experiment! And we all experiment at those things we’re good at, those things we’re confident about and comfortable with. Maybe you’re like me and very confident in the kitchen; I bet you experiment in there all the time. You know how it goes and if it doesn’t go exactly right the first time, once you’ve taste tested the results you know that you need to dial back the garlic or punch up the balsamic or the lemon was good but next time you’re trying lime because you have a suspicion that’s what’ll knock your taste buds right off your tongue.Or maybe you know how to experiment with clothing. Or technology. Or compose music or put on make up or one thousand other things. You experiment and if it doesn’t go exactly right, that’s ok. You can fix it.And what if it was exactly the same with your marketing and PR?You just tweaked your message and your visuals when the first attempt didn’t land as you wanted.You just tried it on a different platform or pitched a different journalist?What if you just tried it? With a plan, like you’re not just diving in headfirst with a blindfold on - you know the basics of what you’re doing and you do it to the best of your ability, but you do it. You try it.Have you ever noticed how much energy you can put into overthinking? Some people are nervous fidgeters, they expend a lot of energy. I’m more of a sit still while my mind races for hours and hours kind of analyzer. After I had the boys I learned to channel those sessions into sitting in front of the laundry that needs to be folded but still, there is an energy that you’re putting into thinking things into oblivion that you could be using elsewhere.What if you took even half of that thinking or nervous energy and put it into actually doing what you’re thinking about? Imagine what you could accomplish?Imagine what you could learn about yourself, about the idea, about your potential audience, about your market, about the practicalities if you took that brain space and put it towards good?It’s funny because I say I can talk myself out of anything. And I was rolling that idea that marketing is just a human experiment around in my head - ok, I was rolling it around for a while but hey - new province, new house, new school for the kids - there is a lot rolling around inside my head recently! But it made me wonder what would happen if I took my amazing superpower to talk myself out of anything and just flipped it. Just like that. Instead of talking myself out of things, I just talked myself into them. What would that look like?Think it would be like those books and things you read or hear about where people decide to say yes to everything for six months or a year. But not as extreme. Because I know that when I start overanalyzing my ideas, I’m doing it out of fear. And that fear is based on a perception that I’m not good enough or smart enough or that people won’t like me (please please send me an email or tag me on Instagram if you get that reversed reference, doggone it!)And I bet you’re the same.What if we chose to look at it as though it’s just an experiment. We’re just testing something. It has nothing to do with us, it’s a theory we’re testing. No reflection of our worth, it’s a human experiment. What if all of those things you were worrying about were just like my worry of that woman thinking I was a doofus who can’t tell time or understand time zones? What if those fears are just our own perceptions? Not reality.Would you find it easier to get things started, to get them going, if you were just testing an idea? Because Christmas is coming, no matter what religion or belief set you might have, there is a well known date on most calendars and I bet you have something you’ve been rolling around in your head for the last while.I guess the big question is - what are you waiting for?
9/27/2021

10 Tips to Improve Your Writing Confidence Right Now

Season 1, Ep. 69
One of the things I get asked about the most is confidence in writing, communicating. So I came up with this list of my top 10 tips for gaining that confidence. Pick which one works for you for the project you're working on right now and put it into action!Have you left a rating & review yet? Please take a moment and do so as it helps bring this podcast to other small business owners (and I'd be forever grateful!) If you're listening on Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) please rate and review there. If you're not an Apple supporter, you can go toPodchaser: https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/connections-coffee-confidence-1788572Thank you so much for your support!**Hey, are you wondering how to use social media so it helps you reach your goals instead of kill time?Let me show you the exact steps I use to make sure my client’s social media is strategic and cohesive so that you can use the socials to support your business without wasting time and getting frustrated.Go tohttps://www.janicefogarty.com/create-your-social-media-content-strategyto learn more.My Products:Don't Waste Your Breathguide on creating your own strategic messaging, based onyourbusiness goals. Get this download and learn how to speak clearly and with purpose about your business. (https://janicefogarty.podia.com/dont-waste-your-breath-get-your-best-message-across)Thinking about taking advantage of all the podcasts as opportunities to get your message out? You need my one page download onHow to be an Amazing Podcast Guest checklist(https://www.janicefogarty.com/how-to-be-an-amazing-podcast-guest)Wondering how to get incredible PR to grow awareness of your business but can't afford a PR agency? You need10 Places to get Publicity, Even with Zero Budget(https://www.janicefogarty.com/discover-10-places-to-get-free-publicity-even-though-you-have-zero-budget)Let's Connect!✔Join me on Pinterest😀✔Let's connect onLinkedIn✔AndInstagram!✔Connections Coffee Confidence Community on Facebook, my groupTranscript:Hello and welcome to the Connections, Coffee and confidence podcast with me, Janice. This might surprise you but one of my earliest dreams was to work at Dairy Queen. And if you aren’t in a country lucky enough to have a Dairy Queen, let me break your heart by telling you what you’re missing. It’s a fast food chain that yes, offers hot food but the real beauty is that they offer treats like blizzards where they take their ice cream (actually ice milk but we aren’t going to split hairs here) and blitz it with candy pieces and flavours of your choice, and dipped ice cream cones, and sundaes and banana splits and my personal favorite the peanut buster parfait - layers of ice cream with hot fudge sauce and peanuts. So when a new DQ opened up in the town I lived in in high school, I took myself down and got a job. Just like that, I fulfilled one of my life’s goals.Fortunately, I had other goals left to conquer such as becoming a published author. And I’ve been published publicly before, in magazines and newspapers in Canada and Ireland, but not under my own name. Because I usually do for others what you do for your own business, write. You might not think of yourself as a writer, you might shudder in horror or laugh your head off at the idea of you being a writer but trust me when I say, you are a writer.Off the top of my head, I know you write emails, text messages, social media posts for sure. And you probably write product or service descriptions, maybe a sales page, website or landing page words...you write.Something that is often asked about when people join my private facebook group is writing - getting confident in writing, knowing what to write about, how to do those things with comfort and ease. Okay, comfort and ease are my words but people ask about writing a lot. And when I talk to them, it’s because they aren’t comfortable, it doesn’t come easy and therefore it’s hard.So today I am bringing you ten tips on gaining writing confidence. These aren't in a strategic order, you don’t need to start at number one and master it before you move to number two; not at all. You pick what you need as you need it, work on it, try it out. The tip you focus on could well depend on the situation you find yourself in and that’s just right, too.So I’ll start with this tip I’ll call number one and it’s sort of ironically called get started. The worst thing to do is to stare at that blinking cursor, the one that seems to reappear in a slow laughing rhythm. Put some words down and break that rhythm. Often the first few words are the hardest or the least sensible or the most muddled but they are words and those words lead to more and better words. And that’s what you’re after. So get started.The second tip is for you to Practise. Keep doing it. You might not feel like writing or rewriting that sales page, and that’s cool. But if you know it’s something that needs to be done, take a practise run at it. You aren’t committing to anything, you’re practising. Take the pressure off the act of writing, just try it out. And if some gold happens to fly from your finger tips well, that’s a bonus. Copy and paste it into the real version of whatever you were practising. You may have expected me to say practise like write the same thing fifteen times. And if that works for you, then do it. I know I write about four or five, sometimes more titles for my episodes. But any more than that and I drive myself crazy. I use a headline analyzer and check the SEO and the readability for each title, pick the one that works the best and roll. But I always have those practise headlines to help me.Another note about practise is that Seth Godin has written in his blog every day for well over a decade. And he talks about how not every post is solid gold. But it’s practise. And if it works for him to show up and practise every day, there’s probably no harm in us trying it more days than not, eh?The third tip is do not expect perfection. There’s nothing to kill that creativity, to stifle your ability to access words from your brain, than the pressure of writing and making it super awesome. And awesome on the first go. Ugh. It is better to be done and done well now then to be perfect in, well, you and I know things are never going to be perfect. So do it to the best of your ability and move on.Fourth is a common piece of advice from me: Have a point. Nothing helps focus your work like, well, having a focus. When you have a goal that you’re working towards, you’ll find it much easier to decide what to say and to say it well. This is where my eguide on messaging can help you - a workbook that walks you from your goals to your messaging and helps you find that focus. I’ll link to it in the shownotes and you can also just go to janicefogarty.com to see for yourself. But when you know what you’re talking about, when you know what the end result will be, that will always help shape what you actually say.Fifth is to keep in mind who you're talking to. It’s much easier to communicate with someone when you know who they are. Have you ever gone to a party that your friend begged you to go to with them, where you don’t really know anyone other than that one friend? And then you don’t quite know how to speak to people straightaway. But once you’ve had a chance to chitchat a bit, get to know a little bit about the crowd, it’s easier to talk. You know if you’re in a room full of masters degrees, entrepreneurs, stay at home parents, married couples, single parents, employees, friends or colleagues or whoever. Once you know who you’re talking to, you know how to communicate with them. It’s part of being strategic as a communicator, you know who your audience is.Tip number six for gaining confidence in writing is to ask yourself why the person you’re talking to cares. It’s not the same as what’s your point; this tip is about the audience, the person or people you’re speaking to in your writing. You can think of it as being generous with your intentions, if that makes it easier for you. It’s often easier to write when we hold in our minds what it is the recipient will find value in from your words. It’s not just a sales tactic, it’s helpful in all writing.Tip number seven is to give it time and space. This is a phrase I’ve borrowed from child psychology but it exactly describes what works for me every single time. This is commonly known as editing but honestly, I struggle to edit my own words. I read it exactly as it’s meant to be read or spoken, I go off of what was in my head versus what’s actually on the page or screen so I miss the goofs; my brain fills in what was supposed to be there so I miss the gaps. I need to give my work time as in, don’t rush the edit to publish, and space as in think of something different, do something else, before I go back to edit so I can do so with a clear brain that may have forgotten the details that were flowing through me, making it easier to catch what I originally missed putting down. Sometimes that’s not possible, I know I’m not the only one who mmmm shall we say doesn’t always plan the best or is stricken with inspiration that you simply must post right this minute which doesn’t allow for time and space editing or life simply happens and you gotta publish now or it becomes less timely and you’ve missed making your impact.That’s where tip 8 comes in. Say it. So this works in two ways, you pick which suits you. First, whatever you’ve written, whatever for, whoever for, read it out loud - not in your head - out loud! And you’ll catch what you’ve missed, at least most of it. When I was a speechwriter for a government minister, you can bet your last dollar that I not only paid attention to how she spoke, her rhythms and her speaking style, but I also read every speech out loud before handing it over to anyone else. So I caught the things, the awkward phrases that read well on the page but people don’t really speak like that, or the less than perfect word to make that point. Reading it out loud made it, whatever it was, better. Try it.The second way this works is to say it out loud first, then transcribe it. I like to write. I had someone reach out to me from my past for help and in the third email he commented that he didn’t remember me being so chatty. And that’s because I’m comfortable in my writing. But also because I’m over forty, I'm a mom to three neurodiverse boys, and wife to someone with a strong personality; I’m not the exact same person who he knew all those years ago. Same as you - your experiences shape your voice. So if your voice comes more naturally to you when you speak or sing or whatever verbal exercise works for you, then do that and take what you need for your posts. You might think you’re only good at going live when your communications strength comes from actual verbalization but that’s not re-using your content creation in the most efficient way. Go back over some of your really great lives and pull the quotes or even full paragraphs worth of words and repurpose them into posts. They’ll be brilliant because they’ll capture your best voice and your message and they’ll appeal to those in your audience who prefer to read than listen.Tip number nine on how to write with more confidence is to personalize it. It might be another way of saying be authentic but it feels less catch-phrase-of-the-moment and more, well, like me. How would you say that to a friend, to your sister, to that co-worker you used to really enjoy chatting and having a laugh with? When you can speak as you would to someone you’re comfortable with? How would you say it then? Can you capture that for your material? Can you relate it to something that has happened to you or worked for you or you’ve seen in others? And sometimes it’s easier to speak about something that happened to us like it happened to someone else and that’s ok, you’ll tell that story in a wonderfully clear way because you have full confidence in the details. And that clarity, those details, make the communications feel good for both you and your audience. When you feel good, you’ll be more confident to do it again.Last but not least, perhaps the most important tip of all actually, is number ten. Have fun. Seriously. When’s the last time you were just living in that moment, laughing your head off or feeling so full up with contentment, at peace and smiling because that’s where you were meant to be at that moment. Not concerned about if you had the right word, if you looked good, what someone might think. What platform, what time of day, what clothing, what setting, what style of delivery feels really good for you? Do that. Sure you can’t always choose what’s the most fun but you can recapture that feeling of having fun and inject it into whatever you’re doing in the moment. Try saying to yourself straight up and out loud: holy heck, I am having fun! I am frigging loving this. Or however you might speak to yourself in moments of great enjoyment. Your brain will follow along. It wants what’s best for you and if you tell it you are having fun writing copy for your sale page or product descriptions, well it’s all in on the fun and won’t notice that you’re doing work. The better you feel doing that work, the more confident you’ll become in doing it.So there you have it, my top ten tips for gaining confidence in your writing. And really, I think you can extrapolate these tips to all communications. You want confidence when you communicate. That doesn’t mean you aren’t nervous sometimes or you aren’t scared every once in a while; it means that you do it anyway, and that you just do your best to do better every time you try. So don’t forget if you want help on your messaging, you can download my guide and workbook from my website or you can pop me an email and we can book an appointment to see where I can help. In the meantime, I really want to know which tip stood out to you the most. Write it down and tag me on Instagram at janiceefogarty so I can see! And until next week my friend, have a fan freaking tastic rest of your day.