by Safaraz Ali, CEO – Pathway Group
Have you often thought ‘I should write’ but then the thought has seemed too overwhelming or the benefits of doing so not clearly visible, and therefore you have not pursued it?
On top of everything else you are doing; writing may seem like an extra chore but nowadays it is much easier and more impactful to get your message out to a wide audience and a lot more reasons to do so.
There are more outlets and more opportunities than ever before available to you starting from writing thought leadership pieces or informative updates on your own company website, as well as grasping the opportunity to update via informative emails to colleagues or customers. Then there is the creation of newsletter for your business as well posting on social media platforms, blogging on sites such as Medium and Blogger and opportunities to submit articles to professional publications.
While you may argue that writing may not immediately deliver new business for you, it often can help with personal and company branding, deepen relationships with stakeholders and help towards recruiting talent and creating collaborations. Nowadays many business leaders see it as a crucial part of their activity to build trust and influence but recognise that you do not have to be the greatest of writers, you just need something interesting and stimulating to say.
It Forces You To Look For New Ways Of Thinking
Writing encourages you to communicate not only your own ideas, but it also helps you learn how to observe the thoughts and ideas of others. You will become more aware of the way others think on a regular basis and generate inspiration for new concepts you may not have previously considered.
Identify Clearly Your Professional Expertise/Specialty
Writing makes you think deeper about the details of your ideas and really explore what you are trying to communicate. The more you write, the more you will learn about your subject, and the more your audience will trust you to deliver a great service or product. Sharing your knowledge and educating your audience also allows you to demonstrate your own expertise. The more you get your name out there by regularly sharing content, the more those in the industry will notice therefore, you will soon be positioning yourself amongst the experts.
If You Are Green, You Grow. If You Are Ripe, You Rot
Learning new skills is always a priority in business if you stop learning, you are on the path towards failure. Learning a new skill such as writing takes time and dedication. The ability to construct and shape your ideas into a coherent piece of text provides you not only with a creative skill that can be applied to other parts of your business but can also enhance your thoughts on leadership.
I personally have found that sharing my ideas in the public domain has enabled me to become more introspective, I have begun to become more aware of my thoughts and views and how they can impact others. This has allowed me to keep learning and become better at whatever task I ensure. I subscribe to the view that It is the responsibility of the leader to build a high performing team to unlock the potential within the organisation and ensuring a learning culture is the way to go.
It Is A Great Way To Position And Market Yourself
Writing for a publication, your website or blog is a great way to let your audience get to know you personally by providing insights on what are about and can offer. Additionally, it acts as an effective way of drawing potential customers in and leading them onto a journey of referring or buying into you and from you. If a reader finds your approach appealing/takes an interest in your approach, then they are more likely to follow you, consume more of your content, engage with you and trust you.
How To Begin Writing?
You may have all the intention in the world to write, but the hardest part is often getting started. It takes time, dedication and practice to find a way of writing that works for you.
Decide On Your Target Audience
Who exactly are you aiming to communicate with and for what purpose? This could even be an individual with specific needs and traits, rather than a group of people. Have this person in mind and write to them each time and offer them solutions to their burning questions. Taking time to revaluate your content is key, ensure you are creating content that you would find valuable if you were in the reader’s position.
Get Into A Routine
Setting expectations for your audience is key. Consistency in producing blogs will let them know how frequently they will see content from you, which in turn will help to build and maintain your audience. In terms of writing and publishing, it is good practice to put together a schedule that allows you to set aside time for research and writing. Do not feel like you must write for the sake of writing.
Forcing an idea or not giving yourself enough time to research or constructing your thoughts will not benefit anyone. Give yourself time to think about the message you want to get across and the people you want to reach, this will ensure that your content flows more naturally and comes across as being authentic.
Be Open To Engage And Welcome Feedback
The new kind of leader is open and not hidden away, allow your readers more easily to get in touch with you whether that is via LinkedIn, Twitter or by email. Making yourself approachable allows your audience to engage with you and can create some great connections. It is very rewarding when people react to your posts, whether that is responding with an idea that has sprung from your post, or even just a comment to say they enjoyed it. When it comes to writing for social media, I always try to include a question or some reason for the reader to engage and contribute wherever possible.
There’s no great formula for writing the perfect content it all comes down to communicating ideas that are worth sharing. ultimately, it is a choice to continue just consuming other people’s content or start creating your own. Give it a go, you have a lot to gain.