Why’s it so hard to write about yourself?
It’s squeaky bum time!
Today I am listening to recordings of four client interviews to create case studies. As a copywriter, I do this all the time without batting an eyelid, but today feels very different.
I received the recordings over a week ago, and it’s taken me until today to listen to them.
Because the recordings are all conversations with my own clients about what it’s like working with me.
Talking about yourself is hard. Really hard. I remember how petrified I was standing up at my first networking event over 7 years ago, trying to explain how I could help people in 60 seconds. I felt nauseous and was shaking!
Writing those words down is even more difficult. They never look right, or genuine. That’s if you can find the words you want to use.
You either stare at the white screen of death for what feels like an eternity, or end up editing what you’ve written because it sounds too much like you’re blowing your own trumpet. Because you’re not as good as that, are you?
Or are you?
Here’s how I felt when I listened to the interviews.
I felt warm (my face went a little bit red), fuzzy, and a little bit tingly. I let out an occasional giggle at my clients’ comments. They used flattering, complementary words like gentle, objective, enquiring, concise, reliable and fun to describe working with me. And at times the conversations brought a tear to my eye.
After I’d let their words sink in, I felt proud - because my clients described exactly what I set out to achieve.
Website client case study interviews
The interviews are all part of my plan to develop content for my new website - one of my big objectives for the year. The case studies will form part of my online portfolio, so it was really important to me to get them absolutely right.
To make sure I got the content I needed:
I asked someone I trust to have the conversations with my clients
I gave her a good brief (what else would you expect!)
I selected a range of client projects to showcase the diversity of my writing talents
You’ll have to watch this space to read the final case studies. They will be revealed on my new website later in the year.
Tips on how to write about yourself
In the meantime, if you’re facing the task of writing about yourself or your own business, here are my top tips on how to approach it.
1. Step back and gain some perspective
The biggest reason why most people find it hard to write about their business is that they are too close to it. Being so involved in what you do makes it more difficult to look at it from a customer or client perspective. Take a walk around in your customers’ shoes for a while. What questions are they asking? What do they want to know? If you don’t know, ask them!
2. Get the facts down first
Writing your own biography or LinkedIn profile is challenging. We tend to focus on things that are important to us rather than what is valuable to the reader. I find a good way to get around this is to write in a very ‘matter-of-fact’ way, without any emotive words. Once you have the factual information down, you have the bones of your profile to begin enhancing.
3. Focus on the benefits
Every sentence you write should be relevant and valuable to your audience. Keep asking yourself whether your copy delivers on these two things as you write.
4. Ask someone you trust to review your writing
Before you publish any content, ask for a second opinion. Ideally it should be someone not connected with your business who will share their honest thoughts. Ask them to proof it for errors and typos as well as suggest improvements.
5. Ask someone else to write it for you
Outsourcing your content to a copywriter like me ticks all four boxes above. I bring a clear sense of perspective and deliver benefits-led content. But there is another option. How about asking one or two colleagues to have a go at writing about you and your business before you do. You might be surprised by what they produce.
Looking for content writing support you can trust? Don’t struggle with writing about yourself, contact me to discuss your project.