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Where to find originality

Updated: Jan 2


A summer evening in the meadow

What’s the secret to writing good copy for coaches?


Originality.


I realise the irony of this statement, in that everyone seems to be saying the same thing, right?


I’m talking about the nuts and bolts of getting to that magic kingdom of original ideas.


And I'll start by letting you in on a secret: you’re more likely to get a headache than an incendiary thought by sitting and straining your eyes at your laptop, so what can you do?


Beyond analysis paralysis


The second irony in this piece: namely how a coaching term can be used to describe something that many coaches feel when they sit down to write.


What do I mean?


It’s a fine balance. There are others out there who seem to have figured it out: they’ve walked before you and they seem to be doing pretty well. You’re tempted to reverse engineer their secret sauce (or maybe they’ve sold you some) and away you go, cloning their recipe for success.


On the other hand, you want to sound like yourself but whatever you write seems too simplistic. You worry that people won’t take you seriously.


This is when indecision and fear set in. You can’t eat the frog because it’s now 10 feet tall, bright red and breathing fire.


Don’t panic


All is not lost. It’s time to plug back into you, the well of knowledge and insight that will never run dry.


Here are a few suggestions to make this happen:


  • In stillness we receive so the saying goes. Meditation doesn’t have to involve half an hour on your yoga mat with incense (although if you’ve time and space for this knock yourself out, gently of course). It can be half an hour of weeding in the garden and listening to the birds.

  • Dance it out. Grooving is known as a portal to broader ideas and deeper emotional connections. I love a moving meditation (there are heaps of soulful tunes on Insight Timer to get you started) but rocking out to a few cheesy 80s hits will also hit the spot. Get your sparkly leggings on and hit the dance floor.

  • Let the dog take you for a walk. When was the last time you allowed your most trusted friend to lead the way? Amble together and take as much interest in your surroundings as they do. If you don’t have a dog, go for a wander on your own but don’t rush. Even if you only have 20 minutes, allow your brain to digest everything around you. Not only good for your long-term grey matter health, but it also lights up your creativity.

  • Ask a friend. I have so many well-loved buddies within my business community. Whenever we get talking, it doesn’t take long for me to start scribbling ideas on my notepad. In fact, a conversation with anyone will do you good and you don’t necessarily have to chat about what you’re stuck on. Any variety of natter is likely to shake the good stuff loose.

  • Hang the laundry. Yes, I know I come back to this one time and again. Apologies for this but it’s so darn useful. If there’s no washing, empty the dishwasher. If you’re in an office, sort the pens in your desk drawer or take your paper basket out to the bins. Just find some small menial task that will a) make you feel accomplished and b) get you away from the demon-blinking cursor.

  • Scare yourself stupid. By this, I don’t mean leaving a dummy roach in your teacup to find early the next morning. I mean do something radically different. Sometimes I make outrageous suggestions to my clients like starting a podcast or talking about a really controversial issue. As a coach you’ll know that the comfort zone stretches as we push outwards so give it a go.

  • Hide. But only for a while. Walk away and promise yourself you’ll not look again upon your infuriating writing task until the assigned time. Shut your laptop and give yourself over to rest. Idle for a while. Be recumbent. As Julia Roberts would say ‘lay like broccoli’. Give your brain some time off and it’ll come back fighting, I promise.


I really hope these suggestions help. Your voice is so valuable because your expressions may just build a link between you and someone who really needs your help. You may have just the set of skills, life experiences and personal delivery that are the keys to turning their life around.


So be you and do everything you can to sound like you.


Emulate those whom you respect and who are further along the road you want to go down but remember this is your journey and there’s only one way to do it: your way.


Still stuck?


It's likely that the story that sits at the centre of your communications is not clear or at the very least, not up to date. Having a crystalline overall message saves so much time and energy because you can break this down and adapt it to different channels, the time of year and your offering.


This is the well-nourished bed from which your bright ideas can spring.


Every business morphs as it goes so if ideas aren't flowing it might be time to take stock of:

  • What's working and what's not.

  • What you love doing and what's not so fun anymore.

  • What your clients are lapping up and what they're leaving behind.

  • The gaps in the market that you know you can fill.

This personal reflection then informs your storytelling and messaging: it shapes your tone of voice and brand language too.


Book a brand language session with me to get you underway. It takes just 90 minutes of your time, during which we'll do a deep dive to find your inner treasures. It's not just about talk. You'll get a personal, practical brand language guide to help you turn those ideas into words for use wherever you need them.



More in the blog:


You may have been told that you need to write killer copy that sells but if it sounds a little bit icky to you, that's because it is.


And my first piece of advice for anyone setting fingers to a keyboard is to lead with benefit. Find out what I mean by this and how to do it here.


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