Should every business owner learn to write content?

VC

Content matters but if you’re running a business do YOU need to learn to write it? Or should you hire others to write the content for you?

Should business owners learn to write content?If you’re running a business today it’s more than likely you’ll have heard that content matters. Blogging, tweeting, sharing video, sending out email newsletters – sharing valuable content as an approach to marketing a business is definitely all the rage.

But who should write it?

You might have heard stories of business leaders who have blogged their way to business success. Founders like David Hieatt of Hiut Denim, Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, Peldi of Balsamiq.

Do you, like them, need to lead the content writing charge?

The three founders we’ve mentioned above are awesome writers. Their passion for their business and its mission is palpable in the content they create and share, and they can really communicate this through their writing, through the communities they’ve built on social media. The content they create is compelling, and definitely brings them business results.

So what happens if you really don’t like to write?

As a business owner you wear many hats. Director, sales person, head of operations, the list goes on. To date this may not have included writing. In fact many business owners really don’t like to write.

For many, the appeal of running your own business is that it gets you away from having to sit down at a desk all day. Getting out, meeting potential clients, coming up with ideas, solving problems – all of them can be more appealing and more immediately useful than staring at a blank sheet of paper trying to think what to write.

The spectrum of dislike of writing is very wide. Some people just don’t like it much, others struggle and wrestle with it, and feel like they will never win. We met a young and truly impressive owner the other day who had a physical reaction when we talked about writing. It turned out he was dyslexic. Brilliant business brain, yes, but he’s never going to love writing.  So what happens if writing is not for you?

Does every business owner need to learn to write content?

The short answer is ‘no’. Not every business owner needs to learn to write content. You can hire brilliant content writers to write for you, and focus on the things you’re best at.

But, and there’s a big BUT, every business owner needs to understand why content is so important, and to be bought into the content marketing process.

Every owner needs a way of telling the story of their business in a way that captures a listener’s imagination. Every owner needs to be clear what content will be valuable to their business, so that they can inspire/commission/delegate it to other people to create it.

If your dislike of writing is mild, there is a lot you can do to get better at it. Training, resources, coaching, classes, research and lots and lots of practice will help you improve. And there are many benefits to having good writing skills. Writing and sharing content is a powerful way to lay your claim to your territory, to show what you know, demonstrate your authority, and build up a following for your ideas and your business.

However if your dislike runs as deep as hate, then free yourself from the writing worry. Shift your focus. Focus on uncovering what to say with your content, and lead others to help you say it.

“Focus on uncovering what to say with your content, and lead others to help you say it.”

At the heart of it is this. You need to be able to identify the story your business should be telling. It means opting out of the writing isn’t a cop out. Put your attentions instead onto the big question that underpins everything your business shares with the world. What exactly should we be saying?

Every business could tell a thousand stories, and you need to know which is the one that people will love and remember. Learn what valuable content is for you, and work with others to help you create it.

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