Megan Barnhard Writing Coaching https://meganbarnhard.com Author & Coach Tue, 24 Mar 2020 00:16:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://meganbarnhard.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/cropped-Megan-Barnhard-icon-1-32x32.png Megan Barnhard Writing Coaching https://meganbarnhard.com 32 32 Is Writing Supposed to be Uncomfortable? https://meganbarnhard.com/2020/03/23/is-writing-supposed-to-be-uncomfortable/ Mon, 23 Mar 2020 23:47:55 +0000 https://meganbarnhard.com/?p=3670 Should pursuing your passions or running your business be uncomfortable? If you crowd-sourced the answer to this question on social media, you'd get a lot of Yes's from smart, heart-centered leaders like Brené Brown and Jenny Shih who would point out that you're never going to grow (as a business owner or a person) unless [...]

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Should pursuing your passions or running your business be uncomfortable?

If you crowd-sourced the answer to this question on social media, you’d get a lot of Yes’s from smart, heart-centered leaders like Brené Brown and Jenny Shih who would point out that you’re never going to grow (as a business owner or a person) unless you stretch yourself in uncomfortable ways.

I agree with them 100%.

I also agree 100% with money mindset mentor Denise Duffield Thomas who advocates finding your “chillpreneur” lifestyle where things feel easy. (Btw, if you haven’t read her book by that name, check it out.)

So what gives?

Should things be hard or easy in business, life, writing, etc.?

The Good Kind of Discomfort

Think back to learning to ride a bike or swim. Maybe you were naturally good at these things. Not me.

I was so scared of tipping over or putting my face below the surface of the water and getting eaten by a sea monster — this was in the local YMCA pool, mind you — that I resisted learning these two essential kid activities for a long time. (No wonder I preferred sitting alone and writing stories to hanging out with other kids.) 

In order to master these skills, I had to be willing to feel massive discomfort. To trust my dad, who was holding the back of the bicycle seat with one hand and his 1987 Panasonic camcorder with the other. And to trust my swim teacher.

(Side note, trusting my swim teacher left such a big impact on me that he became the metaphor I use in my book to talk about what it’s like to write when you trust your outline. Shazam! Thank you, Tim Craig. 💙) Trusting and letting go was hella uncomfortable. But it paid off.

This kind of discomfort is where we find growth.

When we let go of the way things have been. I can’t ride a bike; I can’t swim.

And we make way for the new version of ourselves who does know how to do these things — even if poorly at first.

When things are hard because they are new, they are going to feel uncomfortable. And if they are new and related to what you care about most — your writing, your business, your passion — they’re going to feel massively uncomfortable.

Learning new things in arenas you really care about feel challenging and effortful. They may also involve a bit of risk because you’re putting yourself out there in new ways.

Maybe you’re publishing your website. Or dusting off your blog after letting it sit for longer than you care to admit. Or maybe you’re even sitting down to write the book you know is in you.

You’ll probably get hit with some Grade-A mind gremlins wondering…

How will people react?

Will you achieve your goal?

Will you spontaneously combust? 

This is OK. You’re experiencing good discomfort. You can recognize it because it often feels like:

  • butterflies in your stomach
  • a tightness in your throat
  • mild nausea 
  • racing heart
  • you’re about to get on a roller coaster

These are all signs you’re stretching into new territory and about to surprise yourself with something new you didn’t know you could do. 

The Bad Kind of Discomfort

What about when you’re banging your head against a wall? When instead of butterflies flapping up a storm in your stomach you’ve got lead beetles? 

Does this mean you should just go for it? Are you simply resisting because it’s hard? Possibly.

But it’s much more likely there’s another culprit at play: Using a process that isn’t working for you.

When your process isn’t serving you, it feels like you’re walking through mud or snow or the ocean. Every step you take is full of so much effort. You never find your flow.

The road never levels out. It doesn’t get easier as you get used to it. This is how you know you’re dealing with the bad kind of discomfort. The kind that doesn’t help you show up in new ways.

In fact, just like having shoes that are too small, this bad discomfort can actually prevent you from growing or stretching into the new version of you. 

This kind of hard isn’t serving you. Instead it’s stopping you from taking bold action.

Discomfort in Writing

When the bad kind of discomfort creeps into your writing, it’s miserable.

One blog post takes you days to draft.

You’ve given up sending emails to your list because for each sentence you type, you delete three.

And you dread having to update your website because you disappear down a rabbit hole of verbal vomit and self doubt. 

Your writing — and your passion and your business — can end up completely stalled. Because your message isn’t getting out into the world. 

There’s no growth or butterfly metamorphosis happening here. Just plain old stuckness.

When this happens, it’s time to examine your writing process so you stop forcing yourself and find an easier way. What are you doing that isn’t serving you?

… Even if it’s what an expert told you to do.

… Even if it’s what your mentor or your writing buddy does.

… Even if you’ve always done it this way.

Give yourself permission to try something new. 

Know When to Give up on Discomfort

This is your invitation to think about which kind of discomfort you’re feeling in any given moment. Is it the kind that’s helping you grow to your next level? 

Or is it the kind that’s forcing you to stay where you are and maybe even move backwards because it doesn’t honor your unique process or allow you to express your genius? 

Writing is enough of a challenge. It’s a kind of alchemy — you’re taking the energy swirling around in your brain and translating it into words on the page. Don’t make it any harder by forcing yourself to use a process that isn’t serving you.

I promise you there is a path of least resistance for every type of thinker and writer to be able to write in flow. Need help finding yours?  Let’s talk!

When you find what works for you, writing will feel like magic.

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4 Magic Questions That Make Writing Easier https://meganbarnhard.com/2020/02/04/4-magic-questions-that-make-writing-easier/ Tue, 04 Feb 2020 12:00:18 +0000 https://meganbarnhard.com/?p=3556 Who hasn’t wanted writing to be easier?  Sure, it would be great if you could sit down each week and just write from your heart. While also sticking to your deadlines. But how the heck can you do both at once -- write in a way that FEELS good and easy, but that’s also strategic [...]

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Who hasn’t wanted writing to be easier? 

Sure, it would be great if you could sit down each week and just write from your heart.

While also sticking to your deadlines.

But how the heck can you do both at once — write in a way that FEELS good and easy, but that’s also strategic and that helps you hit your goals?

Find Your Natural Writing Process

Think about water flowing. It naturally finds the easiest path to take.

Making your writing easier is about finding YOUR natural path.

The path of least resistance.

Water’s got a lot of help to find its best path. Hello, gravity!

Let’s give you some help to find the writing process that is most natural for you. The one that will allow your creativity to flow, unhindered, toward your writing goal. 

Today I’m sharing four magic questions you can use to hone your writing process so you can sit down and write from your heart — and also stick to your deadlines.

These are the questions I use with my writing coaching clients to help them build their process from the ground up — even if they have no clue what works for them and what doesn’t when they start working with me. They’re also the ones I’ve been using myself for years. 

When you begin using these 4 questions at the end of each week, you’ll multiply your impact.

? You’ll ditch writing habits that are slowing you down.

? You’ll develop habits that make writing work for you.

? You’ll write content that connects with your readers.

? And you’ll write more in less time and with less effort.

Question #1: What were my wins?

Start with your wins so that you can see the bright spots. Focus on what you’re proud of. It might be how much you wrote. It might be the way a certain piece of content came out and was received. Or it might simply be that you didn’t give up. If you sat down at your laptop when your calendar told you it was blog o’clock, give yourself a pat on the back. 

You can celebrate your effort, your mindset, your dedication, your output, or even bouncing back from a rocky start to the day or the week.

Starting with your wins helps you inhabit a growth mindset. Numerous scientific studies have shown that people with a growth mindset — in other words, people who believe that they can improve at a task — actually DO improve at it well above and beyond those with a fixed mindset. If you want to get better at writing, focus on the ways in which you are growing as a writer.

Question #2: What were my challenges?

Once you’ve shifted into a growth mindset, you can reflect on your challenges in a productive way. You already believe that you can improve, so now you can look at the areas where you want to make those improvements. The goal is to keep a curious and an open mind — don’t slide into blame or shame.

  • What was frustrating? 
  • What blindsided you? 
  • Where did your process break down? 
  • What made you feel like giving up? 

Your challenges are the crucial clues to the places where you need to tweak your writing process. 

Maybe you were all excited to set aside an hour for writing at the end of your work day, but when you sat down to do it, you were completely exhausted and at a 0 on the creativity scale. That’s important data! Instead of continuing to repeat the same action that’s NOT working for you, you’ll start looking at making tweaks and changes. Which brings us to the next question.

Question #3: What’s working?

Now that you’ve seen you nailed some things and failed at others, you can take a long hard look at what made the difference.

  • What made your writing work? 
  • Was it the time of day you wrote? 
  • The length of time you sat to write? 
  • What you did immediately beforehand? 
  • The type of content you created? 
  • Where you sat when you wrote? 
  • The music you listened to? 
  • The style of outline you used? 
  • Paper vs. laptop?

Note everything you think helped you get your words down. And bring your observations into the next step, where we’ll get more scientific.

Question #4: What would I like to try?

Time to act like a scientist and create some hypotheses. Look at your answers to Question 3 and brainstorm some more actions, habits, routines, writing topics, etc. that you think will help you write with greater efficiency — based on what you found that’s already working.

If you felt energized writing first thing in the morning, do you want to try doing that 3 days a week? If you got more done at your favorite coffee shop than in your home office, how about making a weekly date with yourself to go there and work on writing?

Then go back to your answers to Question 2. Analyze what didn’t work. See if you can sniff out what caused the breakdown in your plans. Why did things go awry? Please don’t bring any judgment to this analysis! Simply look for the common themes or clues that your challenges reveal. And then ask what you could do instead.

The goal in answering this question is to come up with new things to try that will help you continue to refine your process. You’re isolating the variables. You’re experimenting. Was it really that music that energized you? Or was it the great topic you wrote about?

Create a short list of things you want to try for the next week, try them, and repeat this process using your four questions.

Your writing. Your process. Your opportunity.

I highly recommend you set aside time at the end of each week to answer these questions. Don’t merely think about the answers. Write them down. Start a Google Doc or use a page in a notebook or journal. (My planner has a section for notes at the end of each week, and this is the perfect spot to jot down my answers so I can easily find them and also use them to plan the coming week.)

Reflecting on your writing process is THE EASIEST WAY to write in flow. So you can overcome your writing blocks and create compelling content on a consistent basis. 

Because the big secret about writing is that we all do it differently.

No one can tell you your process. Yes, a good writing coach will suggest what to try so you’re not lost in the dark, finding things with your shins. But only you can decide whether those writing recipes and strategies work for you.

You now hold in your hot little hands the best tool to learn your preferences, figure out your weak spots, and reflect on your growth.

Go forth and use it! Start discovering your writing process so you can create powerful content that transforms the world.

Happy writing,

?Megan

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My Totally Honest Review of Make It Work Online® with Jenny Shih https://meganbarnhard.com/2020/01/28/my-totally-honest-review-of-make-it-work-online-with-jenny-shih/ Tue, 28 Jan 2020 21:45:48 +0000 https://meganbarnhard.com/?p=3514 Even though I LOVE helping business owners nail down the words that will help them tell their story and attract the clients they feel called to serve, I'm by no means an expert on building a business. The funny thing is, I often find myself talking about how to do this or blurting out simple [...]

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Make It Work Online with Jenny Shih

Even though I LOVE helping business owners nail down the words that will help them tell their story and attract the clients they feel called to serve, I’m by no means an expert on building a business.

The funny thing is, I often find myself talking about how to do this or blurting out simple tweaks my clients (or coffee companions) could make that would simplify their lives.

But here’s the truth: These are not things that come from my intuition or even my Zone of Genius. What I know about building a business — what’s worked for me and what I’ve seen work for countless others — comes from Jenny Shih.

I discovered Jenny Shih back in 2014 and started following her blog religiously. Her blog is still my number-one go-to if my clients have questions about how to get awesome testimonials, whether to start a course or coach 1:1, and tons of other topics.

If you know me even a little, you know I don’t go gaga for people easily. I’m a skeptic. I generally don’t like things that are popular. And I have a natural suspicion for the latest trend — especially when it comes to running an online business.

So just how exactly did Jenny Shih win a place in my heart as a valued mentor?

Life Was Sucking Hard

In 2014, my business was majorly stalled. Two years before, my hubby and I had moved to a new city for a job opportunity for him, and I thought it’d be no big deal to take my thriving offline writing coaching practice and move it online.

I figured out all the tech of delivering my services online and thought I was good to go. The problem was, I had no clue how to get clients online. I went from being our family’s primary breadwinner to struggling to contribute to our household budget.

I was so frustrated!

By that point in my career I had 8 years of writing coaching experience under my belt, and I was really hard on myself.

I thought I should know how to do this, and the fact that I didn’t made me angry at myself. Not to mention that I was extremely embarrassed. I cringed when anyone asked how my business was going because the truth was, it wasn’t.

After two years of this, I was tired of spinning my wheels. I was following every expert about online business and stockpiling free PDFs and how-to guides, but the more information I got, the more confused I was. I was constantly anxious.

If my guy asked me how things were going, I got defensive. I started feeling resentful about our move and the success I’d left behind. This was not my finest hour as a person or a partner. ?‍♀

My Light Bulb Moment

By October of 2014 I’d been following Jenny for a few months — devouring her emails and feeling like maybe there was some hope for me after all.

Then, I signed up for a live webinar she was hosting. The light went on. My head nearly exploded with insights.

Suddenly, it all made sense. Of course I’d been spinning my wheels. I didn’t have a plan. I would literally sit at my laptop and stare at the screen with no clue what to do that would actually give me traction.

I had been trying to think my way out of a problem. I had these various resources — all those PDFs and webinars I’d been bookmarking to read or watch “later.”

But I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t know what the action steps were from top to bottom.

On the webinar, Jenny used this analogy of trying to build a house. Sure, you can spend all your weekends at Home Depot taking classes about how to build a roof or tile a bathroom or install plumbing.

But all that detailed, tactic-level knowledge does you no good unless you actually know the step-by-step process of building a house. What to do when and exactly how to do it, with expert guidance.

I took pages and pages of notes on that webinar. I could feel in my bones that this was different from anything I’d learned before.

But would I finally make a change? Or would I be like the definition of insanity: Taking the same action over and over but expecting different results”

One More Hurdle

When it came time to apply to Jenny’s program, Make It Work Online, I knew in my gut that this was the right next step. But I was scared that I wouldn’t be accepted. I kept thinking, “I don’t know enough. I should just learn one more thing and then I’ll be ready…”

And then I realized how backwards that thought was. This was exactly the kind of thinking that had gotten me so stuck in the first place. The whole reason I was anxious was that I had all these individual pieces of knowledge and no fricken clue how to put them all together so I could take action.

When I looked a little deeper, I realized that I had this feeling that as a smart, capable person, I should be able to do it all myself.

I thought I should be able to just think my way out of this problem.

<<Face palm>>

No wonder I was feeling so stuck! The more information I got, the worse I felt. The worse I felt, the more I looked for answers. The more I looked for answers, the more information I collected. And the cycle repeated.

It was time to stop stockpiling information and start taking action.

I talked things over with my hubby and listed all the reasons this program would be exactly what I needed — it would give me a plan, it would teach me to write copy, it would give me personalized feedback, and most importantly, it would make me take action. He just sat and listened. He knew I was trying to convince myself. 

Well, it worked. 😉 I took the leap and applied.

Getting Super Honest with Myself

And thank goodness I did! Because I was accepted into Make It Work Online and was able to learn how to write great copy that speaks to my target client, how to effectively spend my time and work fewer hours, and how to actually go out and get clients online. 

Yes, I’ve always been a strong writer. But getting access to proven templates for writing everything from sales pages to consult scripts to follow-up emails was game-changing. Plus, I was getting personalized feedback on my copy from an expert so that I could fine-tune my copywriting and take it to the next level.

And speaking of being a good writer… Make It Work Online made me realize that one of the ways I’d been hiding out from really taking action was by writing. I would go back and update my website or come up with a new opt-in offer instead of doing the work to bring in clients. Why? Because that’s what felt comfortable for me.

Do you relate? Is there something you do in your business because it feels comfortable, instead of because it’s effective? Maybe it’s spending hours on social media without a plan, or designing your logo, or researching the perfect email service provider.

Beyond all the step-by-step templates, the expert coaching, the clarity, and the proven structure of Make It Work Online, one of the huge takeaways for me was that I had to choose:

Did I want to hold onto all my BS excuses? Or did I want to build a successful business?

No Turning Back

Now, just over 4 years later, I’m running a business I love, helping the clients I feel called to serve. I know how to prioritize tasks in my business, and I have the clarity about how all the pieces work together.

This meant it was no big deal when I radically changed my coaching practice in 2016 by pivoting from serving students to serving business owners. Or when I started serving indie authors in 2017. Or when I narrowed to my “business owner” niche to specifically serve transformational coaches in 2019.

Are you seeing a theme here? My business evolves as I evolve. As I get more clarity about the work  I do best and that really lights me up, I shift my coaching practice so that it remains joyful.

Whenever I need to create a new message or a new offer or start getting clients in a new niche, I simply go back to the tried-and-true plan I learned in Make It Work Online. 

And each time I do it, it’s faster, smoother, and easier than the time before. Because these steps are ingrained in me now. I not only know them intellectually, I know what they feel like in action. I know how to troubleshoot them when things aren’t working.

(Of course, it helps immensely that along with the live program of MIWO you also get lifetime access to the course materials, plus a free ticket to the live event in June, plus free membership in a kick-ass alumni forum online!)

Now I spend time taking action that moves the needle in my business. I also have time to volunteer in my community, and to really enjoy the wonderful little beach town that I’m SO GRATEFUL my hubby and I moved to. ?

I’ll be forever grateful to MIWO for teaching me the core skills required to run a successful business. And for helping me get out of that rut I was in. The one that had me thinking I just wasn’t cut out to be an online entrepreneur.

I want this for you, too. To be able to build the business of your dreams, serving clients you love, feeling fulfilled.

So let’s take a deeper look. What the heck is Make It Work Online, and how can it help you?

Make It Work Online with Jenny Shih

What is Make It Work Online®?

Make It Work Online® is a 12-week coaching intensive designed for one-on-one, service-based business owners who want to earn a full-time income doing work they love, on a schedule that gives them the freedom they crave.

The program is a one-of-a-kind mix of online training, personal business coaching, personal copy coaching, and Structured Peer Support, infused with online community and tons of action-taking.

Yeah, But Is it Really Different?

You might have invested in other courses or programs in the past, only to wind up feeling overwhelmed, confused, or stuck about how to apply the lessons to YOUR business.

If this has happened in the past, you probably did one of two things …

Pushed your overwhelm, confusion, and maybe even a little embarrassment to one side and asked for help.

Or …

Stopped showing up for office hours, tried to do it all on your own, or gave up completely because you convinced yourself “the timing wasn’t right.”

Either way, you probably wound up feeling like you’d wasted both time and money.

Here’s what makes the Make It Work Online® client experience so different and so unique.

When you enroll in Make It Work Online®, you’ll be assigned not one but two personal coaches:

Your own personal copy coach:

When it comes to online business, it’s your words that will make you money. You can provide the best service in the world but if you don’t know how to describe it in a way that makes your prospects want it you won’t make sales, simple as that. When you enroll in Make It Work Online®, you’ll be assigned a copy coach who will personally guide you to become the best copywriter you can possible be. The net result? You’ll never need to hire a copywriter again.

Your own personal business coach:  

Words are what help you make money, but those words have to rest on a solid business foundation. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to business strategy, which is why your business coach will work with you to formulate a strategy tailored to you and your unique circumstances. With their detailed personalized guidance and support you’ll waste no time in setting your rates, designing your packages, and most importantly, signing paying clients. 

Your business coach will make sure you know what needs to get done, get your questions answered, are working with success mindset, and are on track to creating the thriving business you want. With this ally by your side, you’ll have all the guidance and encouragement you need to navigate any challenge, keep taking action, and create the success you dream of.

Accountability

Throughout your Make It Work Online® experience, your coaches will work together to help you keep pace with the program, aligned with your vision of success, and accountable to your ultimate goal of creating a thriving online business.

Every Make It Work Online® Coach has been selected and trained by Jenny personally.

And with two coaches looking out for you, there’ll never be an opportunity to get lost, or hide in the back!

So, How Does It Work?

Each week you’ll get access to a new step-by-step video module, plus any supplementary resources, and a homework assignment to submit to your trio of coaches at the end of the week.

Just like a college course, your coaches will review your homework individually and then together, before providing you with detailed and personalized feedback to help you craft compelling copy and captivating offers that ultimately feel aligned with your vision and desires.

Unlike a college course, you’ll then have the opportunity to video conference with your coaches every week, to talk through any challenges you’re facing, and agree your way forward.

Make it Work Online® is NOT another download-it-now, do-later course .… 

This is a program you join and do now, with coaching and support every step of the way.

The ultimate goal?

To provide you with all the knowledge and coaching support you need, so you can earn a full-time income by doing work you love, on a schedule that gives you the freedom you crave.

Is Make It Work Online® Right For You?

It’s for you if you’re a solopreneur who provides a one-on-one service that you want to market online. (This includes any kind of coach, consultant, copywriter, virtual assistant, nutritionist, healer, teacher, SEO expert, designer, web developer, or the like.)

You’re ready for Make It Work Online® if:

  • You’re eager to step up, take action (even if it’s imperfect!), and make big things happen in your business.
  • You’re fed up with being busy but having nothing to show for all your effort.
  • You’re ready to stop spinning, start taking strategic action, and get real results.
  • You have at least a little experience in your industry (you’ve worked with a handful of clients).
  • You’re using your expertise, even if you haven’t made a ton of money.
  • You’re ready to go all in and finally make your business work!

You’re probably not ready for Make It Work Online® if:

  • You sell physical goods. (The methods covered are exclusively for service providers who want to market one-on-one services over the internet to a worldwide audience.)
  • You want to learn how to create, market, and sell digital products.
  • You’re part of a network marketing or direct sales business and don’t have your own, independent website. (If you do have your own website and have full control over it, please apply.)
  • You’ve been making $2500+/month for the past 4+ months from online business revenue or inching your way toward six figures in your business.
  • You’re looking for someone to hold your hand or tell you it’s cool if you just keep doing what you’re doing that isn’t working. 

What Are the Results?

Those who enroll in Make It Work Online® learn how to get a steady stream of new clients coming in the door and create consistent income in their online businesses. Clients go on to fill their client rosters, start waiting lists, quit their “real jobs,” and create consistent income in their businesses doing work they love. It’s so fun to watch!

Why I’m Really Stoked About Make It Work Online® for YOU!

I know you’re smart. I know you’re a Big Thinker. In fact, you likely “overthink” things. From what to write in a blog post, to how to introduce yourself, to what service to offer to your clients that would really knock their socks off.

Thinking is good… right?

Absolutely! Until it stops us from taking action.

My whole life I’ve thought myself in circles. It’s the reason I became a writing coach — so I could give other big thinkers the resources and recipes I so desperately wish I’d had myself.

And, as you saw from my story above, I thought I could think myself out of being stuck. But I couldn’t. I needed someone who could give me action steps and hold me accountable for following-through on them.

But I also knew that it would NEVER work for me to be in a program where a Jillian Michaels-type coach yelled at me to “Just do it!” while I cowered at my computer, hoping not to be noticed.

Honestly, one of the things that made me certain MWO was right for me was that Jenny is super smart and super emotionally intelligent. She gets it.

And so do the clients she attracts and the coaches she hires.

Jenny understands what it’s like to be a good student, to put tons of pressure on yourself, and to get sucked into analysis paralysis because you want to make sure you’re doing the right thing.

The material in the program is designed to use your thinking to your advantage while also forcing you to take action — even when it’s outside your comfort zone.

In fact, there’s even a module in Make It Work Online about overcoming your fears and your unproductive mindset — from Imposter Syndrome to “but that won’t work for me” to straight-up “Holy crap, this is uncomfortable and I don’t want to do it!”

I know that if you’re ready to build a successful, service-based business that you LOVE, Make It Work Online is the clarity, the plan, the support, and the series of light bulb moments you need.

 

LEARN MORE

 

I believe in this program wholeheartedly. That’s why I’m an affiliate for it. That means if you sign up for Make It Work Online through the link I provide, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

I want you to know that I take this responsibility seriously. I’m an affiliate for this program because I believe in it and the results it delivers 100%!

In fact, I believe in MIWO so much that last year I applied and was accepted to be a Copy Coach Assistant in the program, and this year I’m one of the Copy Coaches. ?

If you think Make It Work Online might be for you but you’re not sure, I’d be happy to chat with you and answer any of your questions. Feel free to reach out by email: hello@meganbarnhard.com

Hope to see you on the inside!

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Stop Content Creation Overwhelm with 3 Questions https://meganbarnhard.com/2020/01/07/stop-content-creation-overwhelm-with-3-questions/ Tue, 07 Jan 2020 11:10:39 +0000 https://meganbarnhard.com/?p=3436 When you plan content for your business, do you feel the pressure to create something amazing? It's easy to get sucked into all-or-nothing thinking around content creation. Either... you spend all your free time creating content so you can "crush" your goals, so you have no time for anything else in your biz (or your [...]

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When you plan content for your business, do you feel the pressure to create something amazing?

It’s easy to get sucked into all-or-nothing thinking around content creation.

Either… you spend all your free time creating content so you can “crush” your goals, so you have no time for anything else in your biz (or your life).

Or… you look at all there is to do and feel so exhausted by the hamster wheel of content creation that you feel like putting your Instagram account out to pasture.

There’s another option:

Find a way to create content that WORKS FOR YOU!

Your Business, Your Choice

No matter what the experts are saying about what you simply MUST do because it’s the latest social media trend…

The reality is that you’re in charge. It’s your business. And you know best.

‘Member the point of running your own business? Wasn’t it so you could call the shots?

When you create content just for the sake of creating content, it exhausts you.

That takes time away from serving your clients or engaging with potential new clients. And that means you’re not getting a chance to really help people!

3 Questions to Create Content in Flow

Here’s my recipe for getting back in touch with the kind of content that serves you (as a person and as a business owner) while still providing great value for your peeps.

[Prefer video? Watch the explanation of this strategy in the Write in Flow Facebook group.]

It’s super simple. Ready?

All you need to do is ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What’s going on in the world right now? What are my people already thinking about?
  2. What’s going on in my life? Am I over-extended? Do I need to do a resource-round-up post where I curate information? Am I going on a trip or hosting visitors? When will I have time to write this week/this month? Do I have some extra time? Is this a good time to write that meaty post I’ve been meaning to share? Or to record a video?
  3. What’s going on in my business? What am I prepping my audience for? Do I have a new offering coming up? Is there an event I want to generate excitement about? Do I need to get people thinking about a certain challenge in their lives? Or a particular result that they’re after?

Get Into Alignment​

These question help you act in alignment with what’s real for you.

They’re also a great reminder that life comes in cycles. Energy ebbs and flows.

You deserve to create in a way that feels good to you–without draining all your creative juice.

These questions also serve your audience.

? If there’s something major going on in the world, they’d be keen to have your take on it and how to process it using the tools, guidance, or wisdom that you share related to your expertise.

? If there’s something major happening in your life and your time and attention are limited, it’s a much better use of your time to serve your existing clients, hop on sales calls with potential clients, or to answer the specific questions you get from your followers than to write 2,000 word blog posts.

? And if you’ve got an exciting opportunity or offer coming up for your audience, they’ll be much more likely to take advantage of it if you’ve given them some prepping. That means more people will get your awesome special sauce and make the amazing transformations you help them achieve.

See? It’s a win-win.

You don’t have to scramble, and your audience gets your best energy.

Just stay in the conversation, offering value, relating to people, and continuing the conversation.

This is how you build trust and authority so that your audience feels seen, heard, and sold on working with you. ?

And that’s the real point of creating content.

Happy writing,

Megan

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Writing Perfectionism Is Dangerous for Your Business https://meganbarnhard.com/2019/12/10/writing-perfectionism-is-dangerous-for-business/ Tue, 10 Dec 2019 11:04:57 +0000 https://meganbarnhard.com/?p=3331 I keep a tissue box in every room of my house. Between my fall allergies, my husband's spring allergies, loving spicy food and sad movies, and owning a shedding cat, we need them. (If I'm honest I maybe also have a what-if-I-need-to-blow-my-nose-right-now anxiety...?) So you'd think I would make it a priority to keep my [...]

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I keep a tissue box in every room of my house.

Between my fall allergies, my husband’s spring allergies, loving spicy food and sad movies, and owning a shedding cat, we need them.

(If I’m honest I maybe also have a what-if-I-need-to-blow-my-nose-right-now anxiety…?)

So you’d think I would make it a priority to keep my house stocked with this resource that — for reasons unknown to any but my guardian angels — are super important to my sense of well-being.

But you would be wrong. Dead wrong.

Here’s how I actually relate to this situation.

Hmm… I’m running low on tissues.

But I don’t want to buy just one or two boxes when I’m at the grocery store. That’s a waste of money.

I’ll just wait until the next time I go to Costco and stock up.

<<The sound of weeks passing.>>

Hence, I currently have rolls of toilet paper inelegantly stuck on various surfaces in the bedroom, the living room, and even in my office.

Super high class, right? ?

This is what happens when we let the Perfect become the enemy of the Good.

I bet you’ve heard that phrase before, yeah?

It’s when we hold out for some amazing plan that we’re sure is going to be the best ever, snubbing our noses at some totally workable plan that’s accessible to us right now.

Feel free to laugh at me for my tissue/TP conundrum. It’s definitely silly.

But it’s no joke when you let the perfect become the enemy of the good in your plans to write for your business.

I’ve talked to so many business owners who want to write compelling content.

But they say…

I don’t know where to start!

I’m spinning in my own ideas.

Writing feels chaotic.

Have you experienced any of those? They are so common! You are in good company if you feel frustrated about trying to get all of your big, bold, brave thoughts out of your brain and onto paper/screen.

Interestingly, it’s often people with the most creativity and stories to share who feel the most stuck.

You’ve got so many things you want to say, you second-guess yourself about how to go about writing.

You’re waiting until it all makes sense.

Until you’ve got the perfect plan.

And we know what happens then, right? You end up with a house full of toilet paper.

Today I want to invite you to JUST GET STARTED!

You don’t have to wait until you have a perfect plan.

You don’t have to have it all figured out.

The cool thing about writing is that you learn to do it by doing it.

When you dive in and get started, you get a chance to see what works for you.

And if you have guidance so you don’t have to do it alone, well, life doesn’t get better than that. ?

Here’s my invitation to you. Start with something simple.

>>Join my free 5-day Copy that Connects mini-course.

In just a few minutes a day for five days, you’ll start building your writing muscles.

You’ll learn some cool secrets and strategies that make writing for your business less stressful and more in flow.

And you’ll kick that perfectionistic urge to the curb by taking action.

Because that’s what it’s all about.

Take the next step you can.

Even if it’s not perfect.

Even if it’s not what you imagined.

Let it be a great place to start. ?

OK, I’m off to by some tissues!

Happy writing,

?Megan

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6 Things You Need to Achieve Your Writing Goals https://meganbarnhard.com/2019/12/03/6-things-achieve-writing-goals/ Tue, 03 Dec 2019 22:22:36 +0000 https://meganbarnhard.com/?p=3315 Last week I accidentally climbed a mountain. How does one accidentally climb a mountain, you ask... Well, it started by saying YES. I said YES to an invitation to go to an intention-setting gathering for the new moon. I'd been to a similar event with the same organizer on the summer solstice. It was wonderful! [...]

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Last week I accidentally climbed a mountain.

How does one accidentally climb a mountain, you ask…

Well, it started by saying YES.

I said YES to an invitation to go to an intention-setting gathering for the new moon.

I’d been to a similar event with the same organizer on the summer solstice. It was wonderful! We took a short jaunt up a scenic hill at the foot of a mountain.

We did a guided meditation.

We journaled about our experience.

We shared our insights.

So when an email came through asking me whether I wanted to join in another adventure, I was all in.

But I didn’t read the email closely.

When I showed up at the trailhead just after 6 am, I learned that this time, instead of meandering in the foothills, we were climbing to the 1559-foot summit.

“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit” was the one thought circulating through my mind as I trudged up the steep, rocky switchbacks.

My lungs were burning.

My legs felt like lead.

I wanted to stop, to go home, to get back in bed and forget I’d even attempted a 3.5 mile hike up a mountain at dawn.

But I didn’t quit. I didn’t give up. And I didn’t turn around until I reached the top.

As I stood on the summit, with a glorious view of the entire city below, I couldn’t help but ask myself why this had happened. Why had life given me this experience? What lessons did I need to learn?

As soon as I posed the question, the answer flashed before my eyes.

There were six reasons I got to the top. Six principles that brought me up a mountain I didn’t know I was going to climb, but was so grateful to have conquered.

Here are the 6 principles. I bet they’ll help you get to the peak of your next mountain, whether that’s , , or .

#1 Set a Clear Goal

Even though I was clueless about my goal when I showed up at the trailhead, as soon as I heard we were climbing to the top, I stayed focused on that. No point trying to talk myself out of of putting one foot in front of the other. I knew where we were headed, and I knew there was no stopping until we reached our destination.

The goal was a way to remind myself that the discomfort couldn’t go on forever. Eventually I would get where I wanted to go. The goal helped me focus on the endpoint. The reason. The big WHY. There was no wiggle room. I would know when I hit the summit. And until I got there, I would stop trying to convince myself that maybe the goal was out of reach.

?Do you have a clear goal you’re focused on in your writing? Do you know how it will serve your business?

?Do you know your big WHY? Can you connect with the benefit you’ll get by sticking with your plan and continuing to put one foot in front of the other?

#2 Get an Experienced Guide

I would’ve stayed at the trailhead looking up in overwhelm if it hadn’t been for the woman who organized the hike. Heck, I would’ve stayed iny my warm, cozy bed. I needed a guide to push me out of my comfort zone and inspire me to do something this difficult — and this rewarding.

I had faith in her knowledge and experience to get me safely to the top. Which meant that I didn’t have to think about the details. Am I still on the trail? Am I moving in the right direction? Am I almost there? Is it safe to continue?

?Do you have a trusted guide to take you in the direction of your goals around writing content for your business?

?Are you confidently moving in the direction of your goals, or are you floundering at the first fork in the road, wondering whether you made a wrong turn?

#3 Have Someone at Your Back

Working in concert with the guide was her co-organizer, who took up a post at the rear of the line. No matter how much I struggled or slowed, I knew I couldn’t be left behind. Someone had my back. I was still in the pack. I had help if I needed it. Someone was watching out for me.

Which also meant that I was between someone else and the summit. I don’t know if you’ve taken , but for an Obliger, knowing someone else is depending on me to keep going is huge. It’s one more WHY. It means when all those little gremlins start whispering that I should quit, I can hush them with the simple statement that I’m not alone. Someone else is depending on me to keep going.

?Does someone have your back? Do you have an accountability ally who will motivate you to keep you going when you feel like quitting?

?Are you leveraging your personality and learning style to make it easier to keep going? Using what you know about yourself to stay invested, even when things get hard?

#4 Take Water Breaks

No matter how determined I was, I couldn’t have made it to the top without stopping to catch my breath and drink water. Stretching myself toward this challenging goal wasn’t about punishing myself or enjoying the pain. On the contrary, each water break was also a chance to look out at the vista. To marvel at the view. To celebrate how far I had come. And to realize I was closer to the summit than when I started.

?Do you pause to celebrate your wins and acknowledge your accomplishments?

?Do you have a practice in place for reflecting on your writing process and taking stock of what’s working or what you’d like to do differently?

#5 Be Responsible for Your Own Feet

A few times along the rock-strewn path to the top of the mountain (and also on the way back down), I told myself I had to hurry. I had to catch up. The Obliger in me began to panic a bit as she thought about slowing down the group.

But a deeper wisdom emerged in these moments, telling me that only I could be responsible for my own feet. If I thought it was a burden by being slow, how much more of a burden would I be if I misstepped and sprianed my ankle and couldn’t continue?

I realized that I could only go as fast as I could go. My obligation to the group was to take care of myself. To be responsible for my feet. To step with care so that I could keep walking.

?Do you respect your own process and listen to your intuition about how much and how often you write?

?Do you stay focused on your own progress, even when you worry other people in other businesses are passing you by?

#6 Decide to Keep Going

As I neared the peak, my legs were wobbly and my face was flushed several shades of red with exertion. I stepped up onto one particularly large boulder and fell backward. Not all the way down on my butt. Just back onto the foot on solid ground. I had to fight the backwards momentum and try again. This was one of many moments when I had to decide to keep going. To keep reaching toward my goal.

There have been several times in my business when I’ve set myself big goals and for one reason or another fizzled out on them. And it’s almost never because I decide to quit. It’s because I lose sight of the big goal and stop focusing on doing what I can in the moment to keep moving.

I realized that the secret to reaching the goal is to stay present. To actively commit myself to the goal. To decide again and again and again to keep going.

?Do you have practices that help you stay committed to your big writing goals?

?Do you use mindfulness in order to anchor yourself in the present moment so you can create content consciously?

Coming Back Down

I’m so grateful that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into with this hike. I might have come up with an excuse not to go.

Which means I would have missed out on seeing the sunrise and the glimmering lights of the city below.

I would have missed the chance to make myself stronger by discovering where I am weak.

I would have missed out on learning these key lessons.

At the top of the climb, when we sat to journal and think about our intentions, I wrote the following:

“I can have everything I want if I’m willing to do the parts that are hard for me but that take me to the next level.”

Does that resonate with you?

Are you ready to do the thing that feels hard, but that you know will take you to the next level in your business?

?Megan

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Calling BS on Inauthentic Social Media Content https://meganbarnhard.com/2019/11/12/inauthentic-social-media-content-bs/ Tue, 12 Nov 2019 12:00:51 +0000 https://meganbarnhard.com/?p=3196 Call it the Mama Bear in me, but I've got to get something off my chest. My passion is helping business owners who are putting their entire soul into trying to write authentic, compelling content. And I don't want them comparing the hard, often messy but hugely rewarding work they're doing with something fake that [...]

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Call it the Mama Bear in me, but I’ve got to get something off my chest.

My passion is helping business owners who are putting their entire soul into trying to write authentic, compelling content.

And I don’t want them comparing the hard, often messy but hugely rewarding work they’re doing with something fake that I see all over the internet.

So I’m calling it out.

The Backstory

Facebook shows me a lot of sponsored content where business owners are trying to sell me their latest course or group program or get me to sign up for their free webinar.

Cool. I dig it. I want to know about the neat stuff going on that can help me show up with more pizzazz in my business.

But there’s a certain type of ad that bugs the life out of me.

You may have seen one or two of these yourself.

There’s a photo of a Pinterest-perfect looking 27-year-old next to ad copy telling me that this gal who looks nothing like anybody I’ve ever met in real life knows how I feel.

As in, literally, the ad will say, “I know how you feel.”

Like Neo from The Matrix, I can pretty much see through the ad to the demographics that were selected: female, under 45, lives in California, interested in online entrepreneurship.

Yup. That’s me.

But the idea that the person behind the ad knows me? I call bullshit.

Show, Don’t Tell

If you really know how I feel, don’t TELL me.

SHOW me.

Give me an example of how I’m feeling. Use the words — or heck, even the emoji — that I would use to describe my experience.

Show me that you understand me. That you see me. That you hear me.

Because what I want in a course or a coaching program or even a free webinar is someone who speaks authentically. Someone who really gets where I’m stuck. And has the solutions for helping me move forward.

My own greatest mentors have been people who invested the time to understand their audience at a crazy deep level so they know how to help in totally transformative ways.

And they know how to talk to their audience so that the right people sign up to work with them and get amazing results.

TELLING people you know how they feel completely misses the point.

There’s no connection in TELLING.

The connection happens in SHOWING.

When you SHOW someone you know them, you’re taking the time to be with them in the space they occupy.

I bet you’ve experienced this in your life.

How annoying it is if someone says, “I know exactly how you feel.” And then launches into the story of how THEY feel?

It’s completely different from someone taking the time to make eye contact, hold your hand, breathe with you, and say, “That must feel really upsetting.”

This kind of connection is the opportunity to build trust.

To show up as a true leader.

And to create a bond that makes people not just willing but downright excited to sign up to work with you.

Can you feel the difference?

The TELLING problem isn’t isolated to these sponsored posts.

It’s pretty systemic in the world of online marketing.

The Sneaky Ways Social Media BS Shows Up

Feeling you need to create a super detailed client avatar, including a 10-page bio.

You don’t need to know where your ideal client went to college and what kind of toothpaste she uses in order to help her with your coaching. If you’re a thoughtful person, doing this kind of exercise has probably driven you bonkers. You want to be honest in your answers, so you’re probably staring at all those questions thinking, “I have no clue! Oh my god, my coaching program did not prepare me for this!”

Thinking you should be able to know your audience from a distance.

Stop putting the pressure on yourself to know everything about your audience from the outset — and from the outside. It’s by working with clients that you’ll come to know them in intimate ways. You can also get to know them simply by listening to them talk about their experience in their own words. Hang out in communities where your ideal clients are. Listen to them. Get to know them. Let them tell you what it’s like to be in their shoes.

Talking like everyone else.

I groan a bit when I see a Facebook post that addresses me as “Lovely.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for compliments. I love opening up Denise Duffield-Thomas’s emails that start with “Hey, gorgeous!” But it’s because that’s the way she really talks when you interact with her. That’s her genuine voice. When you sacrifice your own voice in order to sound like everyone else, you end up blending in with the crowd. The thing people do to stand out doesn’t work if absolutely EVERYONE is doing it to stand out. Make sense?

How To Escape the Social Media BS

Listen to real people, not avatars.

Get to know the people you want to serve. Instead of wondering what brand of jeans they wear, learn what brand of self-doubt they struggle with. Start interesting conversations on social media channels or on your blog. Ask people how they feel instead of telling them how they feel. Connect and empathize. Get curious about your audience’s core beliefs and desires.

Get up close and personal with your audience.

Show up in community with the people you feel called to serve. Offer them tips and strategies you know will help them. Respond do their comments and questions. Show people you’re listening. Create a conversation rather than a monologue.

Find your authentic voice.

Talk the way you talk. Your voice is compelling to the people who will resonate with the work you do. It can take time to find this voice, and that’s totally normal. It may feel awkward at first to be yourself in a public arena. Or to figure out which version of you that needs to be. But you’ll only find your voice by trying it out. You won’t find it by imitating other people.

***

OK, Rant Over

I should end by saying that I don’t feel angry when I see these BS trends.

I don’t think the people buying into them are doing something bad or wrong.

I just think they’re missing the boat in such an enormous way.

There’s a chance to connect, and instead they’re projecting.

There’s a chance to bring hope, and instead they’re bringing hype.

There’s a chance to make marketing more honest, and instead they’re doing business as usual.

Now that I’ve shared my perspective with you, I wonder whether you’ll start noticing this trend… or maybe you have already.

Let me know.

I’d love to continue the conversation with you.

Happy writing in your own beautiful voice,

?Megan

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10 Writing Habits to Dump So You Can Write in Flow https://meganbarnhard.com/2019/11/05/10-writing-habits-to-dump/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 12:00:02 +0000 https://meganbarnhard.com/?p=3100 Habits can be wonderful. When you're barely awake in the morning but you've brushed your teeth, made your lemon water, and are sitting on your yoga mat before you realize it -- that's a great habit. But habits can also keep us stuck in a rut. When we continue the same pattern of behavior or [...]

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Habits can be wonderful. When you’re barely awake in the morning but you’ve brushed your teeth, made your lemon water, and are sitting on your yoga mat before you realize it — that’s a great habit.

But habits can also keep us stuck in a rut. When we continue the same pattern of behavior or thought over and over again — even though it’s not serving us — that’s when it’s time to do a habit-overhaul.

Taking a long, hard look at your writing habits is especially important. 

Writing is a fact of life for business owners and entrepreneurs. You have to write blog posts and social media posts and emails and website copy.

If you’ve got some rusty old writing habits that aren’t working in your favor, trying to write content can grind your business to a halt.

Which means you’re not getting your powerful message out.

So your ideal clients aren’t finding you.

And your gifts are languishing, going unused and unshared.

Yucko!

Let’s take a look at some of the most common, most damaging, most unexamined writing habits. And what you can replace them with.

It doesn’t happen overnight. After all, these habits have built up over the course of years. But shining a light on these bad habits is the first step in changing them.

Here are 10 writing habits to say “NO” to so you can say “YES” to writing authentic, compelling content for your coaching business. 

#1 No to flying by the seat of your pants.

Find the freedom in structure. Use a writing recipe, a checklist, or a plan.

 

#2 No to writing gremlins.

You don’t have to believe the voices in your head that tell you your writing isn’t good enough or that you don’t have enough time to write. (Or whatever other crapola they’re selling.)

 

#3 No to perfectionism.

Published is better than perfect. No one can read that amazing blog post that only exists in your head. 

 

#4 No to stress.

Scale back. Adapt. What can you get done with ease? How can you modify your plan to fit the schedule you actually have instead of the schedule you wish you had?

 

#5 No to doing everything before you do your writing.

Writing takes energy. Give it some good brainpower! Try moving writing up to the beginning of your work day, or right after some physical activity so your blood is flowing. Avoid writing after doing something draining, like a task in your business you really dread or have to work hard at.

 

#6 No to unrealistic writing goals.

If your’e waiting until you’ve got two uninterrupted hours before you write, you’ll be waiting for a long time. Set a smaller goal so you can achieve it. Writing for 10 minutes is awesome!time to write

 

#7 No to doing it alone.

Grab a writing buddy. Find a writing community. Co-work. Work with a writing coach to get accountability and support.

 

#8 No to all or nothing thinking.

Getting some words on paper is better than none. Celebrate your small wins and let go of the habit of moving the goal posts.

 

#9 No to putting all the pressure on yourself to come up with great ideas.

Listen to your clients and potential clients and join the conversations they’re already having. Not only is this easier, but it also produces better copy and content. The best marketing messaging taps into your ideal client’s hopes, wishes, dreams, fears, and struggles. 

 

#10 No to staying silent.

Find your authentic voice. Tell your story. Share your wisdom. Change the world.

 

BONUS: #11: No to trying to make all the changes at once.

Choose just one thing from this list. Which number feels the most pressing? Or the easiest to tackle? Take it one step at a time and you’ll be able to consciously create the new writing habits you want.

 

What habit will you change to make your writing flow?

Happy flowing!

Megan?

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How Blogging Adds Value to Your Business https://meganbarnhard.com/2019/10/22/blogging-add-value-to-your-business/ Tue, 22 Oct 2019 10:36:39 +0000 https://meganbarnhard.com/?p=2995 Do you feel like you don't have time to blog? In your business, saying you don't have time for something really means "I don't see the value in that activity." You make time to work with clients because that's how you make money. You make time to hold consult or discovery calls with potential clients [...]

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Do you feel like you don’t have time to blog?

In your business, saying you don’t have time for something really means “I don’t see the value in that activity.”

You make time to work with clients because that’s how you make money.

You make time to hold consult or discovery calls with potential clients because that’s how they turn into clients.

You make time to do your bookkeeping and sort out your taxes — even if it’s at irregular intervals — because that’s how you take care of the money you make from coaching.

But blogging…

Where’s the value there?

Great question!

Let’s go on a Ms. Frizzle type adventure together and find out what value blogging has for your business.

Explore Your Voice

Blogging is an opportunity to share your authentic voice without artificial constraints. You’re not trying to squeeze yourself into the space of a heading on your home page or a Tweet or a “professional” sounding summary on your LinkedIn profile.

This is where you can wax poetic or make puns or dig deep into your inquisitive nature. Be yourself in your blog. Give potential clients a chance to feel your passion for your subject matter and what you do.

Let them hear your compassion for the people you coach. 

Hearing your true voice helps people connect with you. Connection leads to trust and a feeling that they know you and like you. Are you familiar with the statement “People buy from people they know, like, and trust”???

This is especially true when it comes to a relationship as intimate as working with a transformational coach. 

One of the biggest values of your blog is giving you not only the space to speak with your authentic voice…

But also the space to find that voice.

To practice writing as yourself in a low-stakes way. (Because you get a new crack at it each week!)

To figure out what a conversation between you and your ideal client feels like. And to get really good at being in that conversation. Blogging regularly can even improve your coaching skills by giving you practice being really present with the questions and concerns your ideal client is facing. 

Give Out Samples

If a bakery wants you to buy its cookies, what does it do? Provide you with a sample. They know that’s by far the most effective way to get you ready to invest in your own full-size cookie — or pie or Mr. Bean cake.

Mr. Bean Cake

Guys, I think I need this for my next birthday…

Your blog is an opportunity to show samples of the work you do and get potential customers excited as they start to imagine what it would be like to work with you.

You can provide samples in a few different ways.

?Offer tips, techniques, and quick wins so that readers get a sense of what they can expect from working with you.

?Show people some of the tools you use in your coaching and a preview of how to use them. They’ll see firsthand the effectiveness of what you offer.

?Share client success stories. Tell tales with plenty of detail to show where clients were before they worked with you and then where they were after. Help readers feel the same relief or joy. Give them an emotional sample of how you can help them.

Actionable steps and authentic stories make your work specific and memorable. They help you stand out from the other coaches your potential client is reading about or engaging with on social media.

They provide  a sample of what it feels like to be your client.

They also show your generosity. When people help us, we remember them. Especially if they help us before we’ve ever purchased from them. When we’re ready to invest, these generous folks are at the top of our list.

Share Your Special Sauce

A lot of people do what you do.

But no one does it the way you do it.

Your special sauce is what makes you stand out.

  • What do you do that’s different?
  • What unique approach do you have?
  • What sets you apart in your industry?

If you’re not sure what your special sauce is, take some time to think about it.

Once you’ve got an idea of what your special sauce is, you can define it and refine it through your blog. 

  • What tips, tricks, and tactics are you always sharing?
  • What are your signature stories?
  • What do these show about you and how you show up in your business?

Your blog is a valuable resource for finding and owning your special sauce. And also writing about it. 

Your blog is unlike any other page on your website. There’s no room on your sales page to explain why you do things the way you do. A sales page is where you want people to take decisive action!

Your blog, on the other hand, is the perfect place to provide the background that leads to the decisive action.

You can teach, instruct, provide context, and explain WHY and HOW.

Writing about your special sauce on your blog allows you to lay the foundation for the desire and action prompts in other places on your website and in your sales emails.

So, does blogging add value for you?

Basically, blogging is like a masterclass in using your authentic voice to resonate with your ideal clients. It gives you a low-stakes, sandbox-type maker space where you can develop your message and your writing.

That’s the kind of thing you would pay for, no? And blogging is free!

  • Do you want to define and refine your voice?
  • Do you want to offer samples of your fabulous coaching style and get people excited to work with you?
  • Do you want to get clear on your special sauce, and then show it off?
  • Do you want potential clients to know, like, and trust you?
  • Do you want to get known as an authority in your field?
  • Do you want more visitors to your website and more content to share on social media?

If you said “Yes” to even one of those, blogging will add value to your business.

That means it’s time to make time for it. 

Look at your weekly schedule and be honest about where your time is going. How can you create a window or a pocket where you can take time to draft blog posts — even short ones?

If you know blogging is right for you but you’re a bit stuck about your next steps, I get it.

I know it can be a bit overwhelming.

❓Where do you start?

❓What should you write?

❓How do you stay consistent?

❓How do you come up with new, high-quality content each week?

❓And what do you do when you get totally stuck in procrastination or perfectionism?

If you’re ready to be a blogging badass but you’re not sure how to make that happen on your own, check out Blogging Flow. It combines mindset, planning, and writing strategies plus accountability and a big ol’ dose of fun so that you have all the tools and motivation to commit to your blog.  

If you want the value that blogging can give you, you have to invest your time and energy in it. But you don’t have to do it alone. I’d love to help you blog in flow.

To your blogging success!

?Megan

The post How Blogging Adds Value to Your Business appeared first on Megan Barnhard Writing Coaching.

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A Simple Trick to Go from Stuck to Writing Flow https://meganbarnhard.com/2019/10/15/simple-trick-go-from-stuck-to-writing-flow/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 11:00:33 +0000 https://meganbarnhard.com/?p=2957 "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." ?Dr. Wayne Dyer I love this bit of wisdom from Doc Dyer. You've experienced this, yes? That when you change your perspective, everything feels different. I've got a very-easy-to-implement way you can use this kind of thinking to change your [...]

The post A Simple Trick to Go from Stuck to Writing Flow appeared first on Megan Barnhard Writing Coaching.

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“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ?Dr. Wayne Dyer

I love this bit of wisdom from Doc Dyer. You’ve experienced this, yes? That when you change your perspective, everything feels different.

I’ve got a very-easy-to-implement way you can use this kind of thinking to change your perspective in your writing so you can get unstuck.

Wait, but DO we need a perspective change in writing?

Here’s a handy-dandy quick quiz to find out:

  1. Have you been staring at the same paragraph for eons, unable to think of how to shape it into what you’re trying to say?
  2. Have you been staring down a blank screen, paralyzed about how to begin writing?
  3. Have you opened your Google Doc several times, only to find yourself checking your email?

If you answered in the affirmative to even one of those questions, a perspective change would do you good.

Think of it this way: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ? Some dude whose name is synonymous with genius.

Ready for a simple way to get back your writing flow?

Change Location

Change your location. Pick up your laptop or your notebook and take it somewhere else. 

Don’t make this complicated. You can simply swivel 90 degrees or move to the other side of the desk or table you’re sitting at. That will change your perspective. You’ll be looking at something different over the top of your screen. The light will change slightly.

If it’s available to you, walk to a different room in your house or co-working space and plop your writing down there. Before you dive in, take note of any changes. Maybe the light, ambient sounds or air quality is slightly different. 

If you’re really stuck, experiment with leaving your location altogether. Head to a coffee shop, or a library. Move from home to your co-working space or vice versa.

This isn’t about stalling but about listening to your brain. Its uncooperative-ness is a signal of something.

Make Your Brain Happy

You may have heard me refer to the drafting part of the brain as a five-year-old child. It’s wildly creative, impulsive, and delighted by ideas that pop out of the blue and course through her like electricity. She’s also a bit stubborn and easily bored. 

And that’s her prerogative as the center of your creative mojo, right? Doesn’t she have the right to tell you that your surroundings simply aren’t stimulating enough for her creative needs?

I think so. Because whatever metaphor you use to describe it, there’s a part of your brain that you’re asking to create something out of nothing! To turn blank page into brilliant prose. (Or at least prose that will be brilliant once your revising brain has had a whack at it.)

Creating something worthwhile takes effort and energy.

You can discount this. You can sit in the same place and force yourself to pound the keys and hope for the best.

Or you can take the path of least resistance.

Move some place that draws you. Maybe it’s near a window with a bit of sunlight. Maybe it’s into a room farther away from the traffic of the street. Maybe it’s simply anywhere but “here” because you’ve been “here” for a bit and now you associate it with the feeling of being stuck.

Leave Icky Feelings Behind

Have you ever had a restless night of sleep, tossing and turning? You roll from one side to the other to your back to your stomach. And whatever position you take, it feels stale.

When this happens, have you ever tried sleeping upside down on your bed, with your head at the foot of the bed? Or moved to your couch or guest room? It works brilliantly in my experience.

It’s as if when you change locations, you leave behind all the negative associations of feeling stale and stuck in the old location.

For your writing, changing locations is also a reminder to stand up, take a breath, and stretch for a moment. Those are great additions to your writing repertoire as well. 😉

Try this out. Where do you feel called to move to? What is the path of least resistance.

✨What’s your go-to second location?

✨ Where can you move to that gives you an instant perspective shift?  

✨ What spot makes you feel freer, calmer, or more inspired?

Did you like this method? It’s only one of 25 ideas that serve as first aid for writing resistance that you’ll find in Blogging Flow, the membership program for business owners who want to produce high-quality content consistently without feeling like it’s a slog. You can learn more about Blogging Flow here

The post A Simple Trick to Go from Stuck to Writing Flow appeared first on Megan Barnhard Writing Coaching.

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