Fear is a tough emotion. It can serve as a warning, so it’s important to listen to your fears. But fear can also lead you astray, causing you to hesitate when it would be better to leap into something.
For a long time now, I’ve been working on not making decisions or judgements that are based in fear. And that’s served me well. But I’ve recently been thinking about that dual nature of fear — how it can be useful or completely counterproductive — and it’s given me some ideas for using fear (when it’s there) to make better decisions.
And naturally, I thought I would share those ideas with you since I encounter many other writers who also wrestle with fear and how it can interfere with decisions.
When I’m considering doing something like sending out a new marketing campaign, making a new connection, or publishing a new book, there’s always some fear there. I’m afraid the marketing campaign will bomb, the new connection will be annoyed at my invitation, and the book will get bad reviews.
I don’t let these fears stop me, but I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that they slow me down sometimes.
What’s changed recently is I’ve started weighing the fear of action versus the fear of inaction.
Sure, I might be afraid that my marketing campaign will bomb… but the more useful fear is that if I don’t take action and market myself, my projects might dry up and I might find myself without any income coming in. That’s no good. Definitely better to send that marketing campaign out there and hope it works.
And yes, sending a connection request is a little scary in the “what if it’s awkward?” kind of way… but the more useful fear is what if it’s a perfect connection or leads to a perfect connection down the road and I miss out because I was afraid of a little awkwardness that may or may not occur.
So how can you use this idea of weighing different fears in your business? Let’s look at three common scenarios…
When you launch a product or service…
It’s tempting when you’re ready to launch your website, your business, a new service line, or a new product, to be afraid of pulling the trigger until everything is just perfect.
When you’re coming up on a launch and that fear rears its head at you, look for the other fear of what happens if you don’t launch… the clients you might miss out on, the secondary revenue stream that might bring your world travel dreams that much closer, the satisfaction of doing projects you really love.
Weigh those two fears against each other. And then launch!
When you need to land clients…
This is a big one for writers. The fear of rejection. The fear of putting in a lot of time and effort and having it not produce the results you were hoping for. The fear of getting a yes and then not feeling ready.
Measure that fear against not landing clients.
If you don’t land clients, you won’t have the scheduling freedom, the financial freedom, and the freedom to pick and choose your products. In my mind, that’s the bigger and more useful fear.
When it’s time to follow up…
You’ve completed a project. The client is using your work. It’s been two weeks, and it’s time to follow up to see how everything is going. You write the email and then hesitate before you hit Send. What if the results weren’t great? What if the client isn’t happy? What if they’re busy and you end up annoying them? These are all very normal fears, and they can stop you from doing diligent follow up.
But the more useful fear is what if the client isn’t happy and you miss a chance to fix it? Or what if the client is over the moon, and you miss out on a great testimonial? What if the client looks back and wonders why you never checked in? What if the client has another project you’d be perfect for and you miss out because you didn’t follow up?
Next time you’re feeling nervous, anxious, or afraid about taking a step forward with your business, think about what you might be missing out on if you don’t. Nine times out of 10 (probably more), that’s going to be the fear worth paying attention to.
Will You Be Our Next Reality Blogger?
The Digital Copywriter Summer Challenge is open, and this is a big one.
This is your opportunity to become the next Reality Blogger for our community. Our current Reality Blogger, Suzanna Fitzgerald says this to encourage you to enter the Challenge: “I’m well on my way to complete financial independence, to seeing my goals realized. And more than all of that, I have the confidence in myself that was lacking before.”
See how you can enter, and what it will mean if you are selected to be our next Reality Blogger.
In Case You Missed It
So many writers (myself included) make the journey to success harder than it needs to be. In this conversation with Ilise Benun, she and I talk about how to smooth the process to becoming a successful writer. If you’re looking for ways to move forward more effortlessly, you’ll want to give this a listen.
So much of writing success comes down to how often you follow up with leads and with existing clients. The better your follow-up game is, the faster your business will grow. In her most recent Reality Blog, Suzanna Fitzgerald talks about ways you can make following up with existing connections and clients a little easier.
Paid online advertising is a much larger industry than you might suspect. You’ve almost certainly seen many paid ads yourself, from banner ads on websites to ads in your Facebook feed. In fact, any ad that requires payment to be featured on a designated website falls under the umbrella of paid online advertising. But what does paid online advertising mean to you as a writer? Zoe Blarowski helps you answer that question in her recent PPC & Advertising column.
What’s Coming Up
This coming Monday, my next UX/CX Copywriting column will explore seven ways you can bring more clarity into your writing. If your reader is confused, or even just a little uncertain, it’s unlikely they’ll keep moving forward with you. If you give them complete clarity on what you mean, why it’s important, and how to move forward, you’ll get better results… for your readers and your clients.
Then the following week, you’ll hear from Michele Peterson on how you might inadvertently be adding friction to your email calls-to-action… and what you can do instead. This Email Marketing column gives you a super-easy way to help your clients improve their response rates.
Plus, keep an eye out next week for our next Practice Assignment!
3 Things You Might Enjoy…
Website forms don’t require a lot of copy, but they can dramatically impact the user experience… and that means they can have a big effect on results. Forms have words on them, so your client might need your help. See five different forms you might be called on to write the copy for.
So your client says they want to increase brand awareness… what exactly do they mean, and how can you help? Marketing Sherpa has some good examples to draw from.
LinkedIn. It’s the social network for businesses. But are your clients showing up on LinkedIn in an effective way? Here are five things you can do to help your clients make a splash on LinkedIn.
That’s all for now. Have a great weekend!