Waiting to publish is the killer.
It’s the killer of new business, of great conversations with prospects, of enthusiasm and progress and the change you’re trying to make in your business.
It’s a killer because the potential is there – it’s right there!! But those who need to see it aren’t seeing it, because you’re….waiting.
You’ve accepted that you can start to write anywhere.
Notes on your phone, a few sentences in a Gsheet, conversations on Slack.
You’ve got potential content everywhere. You’ve started what could eventually become so many great blog posts or PDF guides or emails or whatever form of published content.
After last week’s note, one of my new members wrote back to me and said:
“For me it all boils down to distraction. On average I think I usually have about 2 articled unfinished with me most times. Either I wait and wait for the perfect ending or completion or I somehow lose interest wondering whether people might even like to read the stuff I write.”
But starting to write is one thing – in many ways the easiest thing.
Finishing is another.
And I’m no exception! I know I write almost continuously – I can’t help it. I write these notes, I write Marketing Tips along with the PF team (those come out every Friday, by the way). I write little mini blogs on Instagram, I write emails, I write blog posts and LinkedIn articles….
…but I, too, have hundreds if not thousands of ideas. Notes. Half-scratched out thoughts, quotes, images of screens from events, circled sections in books….I have so much writing that isn’t finished.
It overwhelms me at times.
I feel like the more I say, the more I want to say. Last week I was at two Xero roadshows in Belfast and Dublin, and the conversations I had with accountants (and those who serve them) were absolutely fascinating. I noted a few things, but missed most of them. I am a little envious of someone like Gary Vee, who has documenters following him around constantly so he can share little clips of conversations and communications.
But I don’t have to be Gary Vee. And you don’t have to be me. What you have to do is create a system that works for you, so not only do you document great ideas, but you finish them and publish them in the form of content.
When it comes to finishing, it’s all a mental game. You can have systems and plans – you can set aside a day to write or two hours to finish content. You can create a content schedule or have someone keep you accountable but these are the three things which help me most:
Not perfect but done.
I preach it all the time, and I’ll keep preaching it. Half of the stuff you haven’t published is because you’re waiting for it to be perfect. It will never be. Get it out there.
Publish it when it’s fresh.
You will have so much more enthusiasm (and so will your audience) when you share something you thought about that day. That morning. That moment. I’ve left an event and stepped outside or to another room, or stopped a conversation briefly in order to send something while it’s fresh. I was at an event in Edinburgh and was talking to my friend Ali Mcgill about creativity, and how every accountant is actually creative (in a good way), and we were discussing how to express that. He gave me an idea and I quickly sat down, dashed off a LinkedIn post to ask opinions on a talk I’m giving on creativity, and got 60 comments and over 6000 views on that one post, because it was fresh. (Weigh in with your opinion here!)
Set a deadline.
One of the best ways to make sure you actually publish content consistently is to tell yourself – and the world – that it will come out on a particular day. The PF Marketing Tips go out every Friday. These notes go out every Saturday morning. The PF “long email” goes out at the end of every month. We run a webinar every month (or every other month). Having those clear deadlines which we are consistent with helps us to stay consistent – because if we start to miss them, people will notice. It takes time before the world notices you’re not keeping to your schedule, but they do notice.
Schedule editing and publishing time.
Setting aside time to write is one thing (and for me nearly impossible, but each to their own), but have you set aside time to get it out there? To edit, review, draft, preview, publish, schedule? If you’re the one doing that, you need to plan time for it. Drafting up the first round of content is great and is a really good feeling. Editing it and making sure it’s spelled mostly right and the links work, and drafting it in the website and setting it up to be shared with the world…that can take a few hours especially if you’re building the habit. Either set aside that time, or make sure the person doing it for you knows when they’re doing it.
These notes come out on Saturday mornings. In a perfect world I get the content to Jenn, our marketing manager, by Tuesday, so she has plenty of time to prepare the email and the blog and the social posts and everything related to it. But some weeks I’m sending it to her last minute on Thursday night… and last week I actually texted her on Saturday morning with sincere apologies, and she made sure it got out on time because she’s awesome, even if I was late.
Press the damn button.
This is the phrase of my friend Brian Fanzo. It means, if you don’t have a little fear when you publish something, you’re probably being too safe. Press record. Press “go live”. Press publish. Press submit. Press update. Press the button and move on with your life.
What have you been waiting to finish, to publish? Get it done and send me the link. I’d love to see it.
I send these tips and sketchnotes out every Saturday! Sign up to get them here.