I am really good at what I do. Despite what impostor syndrome screams at me at times, I know this. I have spent the past decade working hard to grow and learn so that I can say that with confidence.
I am also really good at talking about what I do with others in my field. You’ll regularly find me participating in Twitter chats and I love sharing insights with fellow colleagues in my industry who are at different points in their careers. The landscape for digital marketing is constantly evolving, so we should continue to keep each other in check and learn from each other.
When I first started this blog, it was without a plan. All I knew was that I wanted a place to talk about the things I’m passionate about, in my voice, painted with my experience. There’s always the never ending struggle of “Why should I even bother when there are so many established websites/blogs out there?” My answer to that question has always been “Because no one else out there has had the same exact experience.”
This is how Amplify Yourself/Your Biz was born as a philosophy and business. As a storyteller, I’m good at helping those around me think differently about their story, their business, and how they should bring it to light.
Unfortunately, I have not been very good at doing this in my own business. It’s the curse of the business owner. Majority of my creative and strategic energy has been spent on my clients for the past few years, as expected. So this blog in particular has been in a kind of limbo.
Every time I sit down to make an editorial plan for this site, I freeze. I get stuck. I keep going in circles and then I give up because there are other more important things to focus on.
One of the biggest struggles I’ve had is taking my own advice. I tell my clients to figure out what makes them unique. I ask them to identify their target audience. I make them think about the kind of community they want to build beyond making a single sale. I remind them over and over not to be tone-deaf.
I’ve become tone-deaf because it’s easier for me to talk about marketing to other marketers instead of serving my audience and community.
The client that challenged me to think differently.
As a consultant, I have been lucky to work on projects that served small businesses but I didn’t always work directly with small businesses. I’ve worked with other marketers and journalists who shared a common passion and audience. It wasn’t until I had my first ongoing small business client that wasn’t another agency that things finally started to click.
My client was a professional right here in Seattle who is extremely good at what he does, and what he does has nothing to do with marketing. Every conversation we had felt like a challenge to me because there was a lot more educating than I was used to.
I had become rusty talking to other small business owners because I was so used to talking to marketers.
This client challenged me beyond belief but we made good progress. More importantly, this client reminded me who I want to serve, especially with this blog.
I don’t want to talk to other marketers on this platform.
Yes, there will be occasions where the content will overlap and will help serve other marketers who are in the same boat. Like this post where I share content marketing lessons from my unexpectedly viral tweet. But I don’t want to go in circles about the same topics with other marketers.
I don’t want to talk about best practices.
I don’t want to keep having the same conversations.
I want to break free of this echo chamber.
So, who will I be talking to on this blog?
When I first began freelancing, there weren’t a lot of great resources for people like me. I was lucky enough to have an incredible network of professionals in DC who took me under their wing and gave me chances on projects, but there wasn’t a community of freelancers. Most of the resources for “working for yourself” were related to sales, or being a virtual assistant, or a writer traveling the world.
These days, I’m part of a lot of communities of entrepreneurs and one of the things I love about them is the variety. They’re not all writers. They’re not all great marketers. They’re makers who are following their passion and yes, some of them don’t have the first clue about social media or content marketing.
I want Amplify Your Biz to become a resource for these individuals who are really good at what they do but don’t have the time or money to invest in help when it comes to content marketing. Or they are ready to hire their first employee to help with marketing but they’re not sure of what they should be looking for.
I don’t want to sell my services to these individuals anymore. I want to become a resource. Trying to focus on the business aspect has stripped away my passion, energy, and most of all, mental capacity to truly be a resource.
I want to tell the stories of these small business owners. I want to break down the reports that have become second-nature to us marketers and translate them in an actionable way for them.
I’ve lost my voice along the way because I was trying to sound like everyone else. I’ve become tone-deaf not only to my audience but to myself.
What’s next for Amplify Your Biz?
I’ll be focusing more on lessons from my own adventures as a consultant/business owner, spotlighting other small business owners to share their lessons, and creating tangible resources for solopreneurs who need a little extra help other journeys.
Marketers? Don’t worry – I’ll still be around for our awesome conversations on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other blogs. But Amplify Your Biz is breaking free of the echo chamber.
See you around.