Be up front with your opinions

by Michele on July 26, 2011

I’ve been writing and posting web content for business in various forms for several years.  When I first started, I was shy about causing controversy.  I didn’t want to offend

Solopreneurs should say what they think

Solopreneurs should say what they think

anyone or go on record saying something that someone found offensive.  I was striving to be accurate and useful but not necessarily bold in my work.  Over the few years I’ve been writing for business, I’ve gotten just a little bolder and in the last few months I’ve really begun to write about what I believe, what I value, what I’ve learned and what I think.  It has been a bit unnerving to be so up front when you know that lots of people could read it and that your writing could exist forever.  My own business has undergone some big changes in the last year and some things were just bubbling up and needed to be said.

The surprising result is how much more successful my writing is!  I’m getting more Tweets, comments and emails from people reacting to things I’ve written.  My community is growing.  Believe me, nobody expected this less than me.  It felt a little self-centered to be honest, spouting off about what I think and feel.  I kept thinking that I should be sharing what the big name gurus say, not what I say.  Results don’t lie though, and I’ve changed my thinking to reflect that this is how I can provide value.  Here are some ideas you can use to be more up front in your business writing:

  • Pay attention to what people ask you.  Even if just one person asks a question, chances are more people have the same question.
  • If something happens that you feel strongly about, see if you can use the experience to generalize a larger point.
  • Conversely, if you are writing about a general rule try to use some specific points to illustrate it.  Including your own experiences can be great!
  • Don’t be afraid to show your mistakes.  Successful business owners do make mistakes, they just react to them differently than unsuccessful business owners.  Be sure not to undermine your authority when sharing your mistakes.
  • If something disturbing happens, by all means you can use it in your business writing but take some time to react to it privately first.  Don’t use your business writing to process your feelings.
  • Sharing yourself is great, but {opinion here!} I don’t appreciate hearing the gory details of someone’s personal issues when I’m part of their community to read their professional work.  Everyone goes through things, and sometimes you can illustrate coping skills and fortitude by sharing some of your personal life in your business writing but keep it in check.

If you have great things to share, try being a little more bold with your opinions.  You can be strong in your beliefs without making others wrong for disagreeing.

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