The content coach for people with purpose [how to know it’s what you need]
The remit of a content creation coach, like any other coach, is to draw out the very best.
In terms of content, this means helping people (for me this is specifically people with a purpose) to dig deep to draw out and express the messages and work they are here to share.
Just for the record, I didn’t wake up one day and decide, Ah, yup, today I’m gonna have a crack at being a content coach. In fact, I’ve deliberately shied away from the ‘coach’ term because I felt it was loaded. In my head I thought: too much responsibility. Didn’t want to go there. However, with some not-so-gentle prompting from a coach of my own, I accepted that yes indeed, I’m a content coach.
So what does that even mean?
Let’s dive into that now.
What is a content coach?
Good question. Here’s what I think.
Back in the early days of freelancing, I lacked confidence about my work’s value. As a freelancer ‘newb’, I felt like there was oh-so-much to learn. Now a few years under my belt and over 100 clients, I discovered a couple of things. First, many skills and experiences I’d acquired in previous roles translated directly to this new work, so I knew more than I previously acknowledged. Second, I found creating content is less about the content and more about how we evolve through the content creation process. Really, it is. Regardless of the body of content you’re working on, whether it is a website, book, or blog, even though content is the output, the opportunity to evolve is found within the creation process.
Because content is not just words on a page or a screen. No, it is much more. And creating content requires that a person – let’s assume it’s a business owner with a purpose – pauses for long enough to reflect, formulate, and articulate in written form* what’s most important to them. That’s right, the message they are here to share. What I’ve learned is most people rarely do this work, at least not of their own volition. And of those who do, the vast majority will only approach it when they feel there is nowhere else to go; like when they’ve hit a content brick wall. Even though they’ve heard content is an important (maybe even essential) part of doing business now. I’ve also learned people tend not to do this work because it takes time, effort, and they must think. If you’re time-poor, unwilling, and are reluctant to create new brain cells, then content creation will seem like the proverbial bridge too far. Frankly, why would you want to cross that bridge? We’re human, and it’s human nature to avoid that which we think might be just a teensy bit uncomfortable. In truth, we do not tell ourselves the things we need to hear or do because it’s just more comfortable if we don’t. And this is where a content coach can help.
A content coach is someone who:
- Believes you have an important message to share (in fact, they believe in it as much as you)
- Prompts you to dig deeper than the superficial to identify your message (they help feel the fear and reach deep inside you for your content gold anyway)
- Works with you to discover language that is true to you and makes sense to your audience (imagine the joy of feeling confident in your own business lexicon)
- Nudges you to share the deeper aspects of your story to forge more meaningful connections with your audience (and in doing so, overcoming limiting beliefs about what others think)
- Develop your own abilities to create content so ultimately, you no longer need them (and thereby becoming masterful in your own content creation)
You might wonder, Is a content coach really all that useful? Hmm, well, yes I think so. If we work from the premise that content is an essential and valuable asset in our business, wouldn’t any time spent in reflection and creation be inherently valuable? Personal view: I think it is.
If you’re a person with a purpose who feels lost about how to start creating a body of content, stay with me to the end of this article, because there you’ll discover the prompts to thinking like the content creating gold digger you are. Work your way through the Business Owner’s Content Checklist [20 questions about content every business owner should be able to answer]. It’s the perfect place to start if you know you want and need to create valuable content, but have no idea about where to start. Or you can launch right into creating conscious content for you business by reading the article I’ve linked below.⤵️
>>> Also helpful: Creating content: Craft meaningful messages for business content <<<
Why have a content coach [or any coach]?
As a kid, I was a pretty good swimmer. I never made to a representative level, but I went alright. Without question, the success I experienced as a swimmer was attributable in large part to my coach, Gordon Petersen. Uncle Gordon was my grandfather’s brother and my great uncle. In his words, he was a grumpy ol’ bastard (and he was – a function of having survived the depression and WWII military service). Not only was he affectionately known as ‘Grumpy Ol’, he was in the vernacular, ‘old school’. He was a tough coach. I remember some days getting out of the pool after a two hour training session red-faced and sweating (how do you even sweat in a pool?) because he’d worked us so hard. Some days, we swam 10 kilometres. They were long gruelling training sessions that left you satisfied-tired at the end. The summer I trained my hardest and longest was the season I performed my very best and was the top swimmer in my age group. Here’s what I know: there is no way I’d have achieved that on my own. Without Grumpy Ol’, it wouldn’t have been possible. I learned a lot that summer and one of the enduring lessons has been that I don’t need to like my coach. In fact, a lot of times, you won’t like your coach because they are going to tell you those things you won’t tell yourself. There were days when Gordon would give us drills like 40 x 50m drills on the minute or a 1km kicking warm up, and I would swear underwater. Did I like doing it? Um, how about no? Was I happy when I clocked my best times over and over. You bet.
Let’s translate that swimming analogy to content creation. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re starting from scratch with content, intend recreating your website, or want to write a book, you will need content. And if there’s one thing I know – like really know with every fibre of my being – is that content is the biggest roadblock to moving forward on each of these projects. For many reasons, most of them associated with fear and doubt around:
- Writing ability
- What people will think
- Not having a clear process
- Not knowing what to say or how to say it.
Yup, these are pretty much the standard blocks to content creation. Doesn’t matter what the project is. However, with the right support, we can move on from all these, not necessarily all at once, but we can move on. And that’s exactly where a content coach can help. A content coach will help you:
- Develop your writing ability
- Address what’s holding you back
- Help build the emotional muscle around managing how you feel about what others think
- Teach you a repeatable process you can use for every significant content creation project
- Help you articulate your own lexicon and communicate it in ways that are true for you and yet still make sense to your audience.
If you’re wondering Hmm, do I really need a content coach?, you might find it helpful to jump into the blog below. It covers the topic of finding the right words and learning to write for business.
>>> Also helpful: How to find the right words [and write for business] <<<
When is the right time to work with the content coach you need?
The short answer? There is no right time.
Early in this article I talked about it being human nature to avoid doing things that cause discomfort in the short term, even in lieu of longer term gain. It’s kind of dumb, really, but that’s human nature, right? But it’s not our true nature. Our true nature is always for expansion and fuller expression. Creating content consciously – like that book you have to write, business you have to start, or purposeful message you must share – are intrinsic to the process of expansion. So, if you are feeling fearful and full of doubt, don’t know where to start, and not even sure about what to say, but you know you have it inside you and it must be shared, then a content coach could be right for you.
Our true nature is always for expansion and fuller expression.
There is no doubt some people will do ‘the work’ without a coach, but most won’t, which is why a coach is super helpful. Bonus comment here. I have evidence to prove it. Clients have said there is no way, like absolutely no way, they’d have written their book, finished their website, or created that significant body of content without the right support. I am not saying it was me. I’m just saying that working with a coach on a content creation project provides invaluable guidance, accountability, and support. It’s remarkable what a clear process, direction, and education can do, huh? With that in mind, here are some signs it might be the right time to think about checking into a content coaching program:
- You have this sick feeling inside you because you know you have something important to share, but you don’t feel courageous enough to follow through
- You’ve been wanting to write a book since forever, but talk yourself out of it with excuses and procrastination
- You feel overwhelmed about the process of creating content and frustrated that you don’t know how to go about it
- You’re committed to evolving and you feel the right person to help push along your content creation way.
Although I said there’s no right time, that’s not completely true. The right time is when you’ve had an absolute gut full of feeling like stuck and not doing what you’re here to do – and finally, finally, finally make up your mind this. is. it. Having seen what happens when people with purpose make this decision, I know that it’s not about the content; it’s about who you become in the process of its creation. People change. They become more confident, articulate, connected, certain, aligned, and happy. Yes, they even get happy. If you think it might be alright to feel all this, maybe it’s the right time for a coach. But not just any coach; the content coach you need.
>>> Also helpful: Ready to write a book? These roadblocks could be stopping you <<<
The bonus for people who can’t commit to the content coaching they need
Giving life to the content that’s buried deep requires boldness and courage, two things often in short supply when we’re mired in fear and doubt. I should know because for much of my life, this was my default MO. Learning to do things differently required making a decision I could no longer live this way if I ever hoped to enjoy life, and more importantly, do what I am here to do. With my nose planted fair up against the window and zero perspective, I started with a coach. She has challenged and supported me every step of the way. There have been plenty of times I’ve left a coaching session feeling like I’d just done a cross-fit bootcamp, but just like training as a swimmer, the time, effort, and mindset change required has been worth it. Totally.
>>> Also helpful: What’s in a name? Straightening up and stepping out <<<
Now if you’re not ready for commitment, no problem. Doing nothing is always an option. Or you harness the power of Goethe’s words: boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.’ And then answer the 10 questions every person with purpose should ask to know if working with the content coach they need could just be the way forward for you.
>>> Take action right here ➡️ 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Working with a Content Coach
Let’s face it, nobody really wants to die with the gold in them, do they? Not really. If they’re honest. But if you’re not quite ready to share the trove of treasure inside you, answering these questions could be the tentative first step forward you can manage today. Read the article below where I share my own hesitant steps towards courage and boldness, and if you’re feeling brave, click on the image to access the free download for people with a purpose ready to share their content gold.