Why it’s so hard to write about yourself

It starts in school, continues through college, and really hits its stride when you start looking for jobs. Now you’ve started your own business and it’s back.

Every careers blog, entrepreneur’s Facebook group, American business podcast, and LinkedIn random is telling you that there’s one thing you need to do to boost your brand.

But you can’t shake it off – the paralysis. Staring at the blank screen (or page if you’re a little old school) and wishing the blinking cursor would disappear, you realise that you

Just. Can’t. Write. About. Yourself.

Whether it’s your college application, your first resume, or the About Us page of your innovative and exciting new business venture, words never seem to flow like they usually do.

The world (and all the podcasts) are telling you that personal branding is important. Like, more important than eating your vegetables or having an opinion on how Game of Thrones ended. So what are you going to do?

Well, first things first, it’s not just you. We’ve all been there. No one likes writing about themselves and how great they are. Well, some people must, but we’re British so we don’t do that kind of thing over here. In fact, it turns out that it’s science. Psychology Today published an amusing article a few years ago on why we find it so hard to tell people about our accomplishments. It mentions a study from October 2014 in which recalling a time where they had to talk about their professional accomplishments made participants feel physically dirty.

This is why it’s hard, our brains are making us feel like we need a wash!

So, now you’re back from having a shower, here are 3 reasons why writing about your brand is difficult, and how we can help.

You lack perspective:

Getting to the heart of who you are, and what you do requires a little bit of perspective. And, as a business owner, you can’t see the wood for the trees. You’re too close to the problem, and you’re busy working out cash flows, stock levels, and whether your Facebook ads are actually working for you. Finding someone to help you look at the big picture is the first step to working out how to communicate that vision to others. Thankfully, it’s also the first step in our Start Your Own Legend process.

You don’t think you’re special:

Surely someone else, somewhere, must be doing this already? I can’t be the first one to figure it out. Well, it is possible that there is a version of your idea somewhere out in the world already. But so what? They’re not you. No one has your particular blend of talents and experiences. No one else has gone on the same journey as you to develop your business. You are the special sauce.

The second step in the Start Your Own Legend process is all about distilling your vision and finding your special ingredient so that we can weave it into a legendary story.

You’re the expert:

You are the expert on you, and you are the expert on the business you have created. Whether it’s a product or a service, no one knows as much about your brand as you do.

Why is that a problem? Because when you sit down to write your About Us page or your sales emails, you are making assumptions about how much your audience knows. You might not think that the 104-step process you use to turn a client’s life from a cluttered mess into a Marie Kondo rival is straightforward. Of course you do, you made it up! For everyone else, a little more explanation is necessary (and possibly diagrams if there are really 14 steps). It’s difficult to step out of that place of expert knowledge and put yourself in your audience’s shoes. It’s like when I try to teach my 9-year-old maths: he stops listening and I reach for the wine.

This is why the third step in the Start Your Own Legend process is putting ourselves inside the brain of your ideal customer and working out how to clearly explain to them your brand story.  And why they should give you the time of day, rather than carry on playing Minecraft (wait, I think that metaphor went on a bit too long!)

Remembering these 3 steps can help you give that blinking cursor something useful to do.

But, if you still find yourself getting stuck, why not give us a call?

We love to help people turn their business ideas into legendary stories. Let’s see what we can do with yours.