Saying No to Comparison Content

Please note: This challenge is now in session! The next round will begin soon. You can join me in October by signing up at the end of this blog post!

I won't be posting on the blog throughout the rest of September, and look forward to connecting with you in this space in October! But make sure you stay tuned. Fun things are coming!


The other day (yesterday? Was it only yesterday? My how time flies), I posted on Instagram that I was feeling trapped in the comparison zone.
 
And boy oh boy could you relate.
 
As I’ve been working on those changes I announced a few weeks ago, I’ve been coming up against this idea again and again:
 
So much of the work we do on our content is a result of comparison.
 
We live in a time where we have access to endless amounts of fantastic content. And because we consume so much of that content every day, it’s easy to start thinking that everyone else has it all figured out.
 
And we get nervous. We think we need to keep up. Our hearts start beating faster and we just know we’re falling behind.
 
So we see a creative doing something that seems to work for them and we think, Okay, I’ll try that.
 
But then we see another idea. And another. And another.
 
And suddenly we’re buried under Okay, I’ll try that—with no room to come up for air, with no room for examining why we’re trying what we’re trying and whether or not it truly works.
 
I don’t know about you, but suddenly I’m feeling a little claustrophobic.
 
The work I do is about peeling back the layers of other people’s ideas to get to the heart of what works for you.
 
And today, I’m announcing something new to help you get started.

Content-Freedom-Challenge_Erica-Midkiff_Content-Coaching

The free four-week #ContentFreedomChallenge starts on September 7, and I would love for you to join me by signing up below.

Each week, you'll receive two emails from me—one with an in-depth challenge and worksheets that will help you focus on what feels right for you, and one with support and encouragement.

In these four weeks, you will:

  • Dig deep and get clear on what you want to share. Clarity is the foundation for meaningful content.
  • Set yourself up for success. Create a plan for consistently getting your core message out there.
  • Share freely and confidently. Learn to write in layers and deal with fear head on (instead of letting it control you).
  • Make space for your voice and your ideas. Take control of what you're consuming! You can't create great content if you're overwhelmed by everyone else's.

I’m really excited to help you step back from the comparison game and look at what’s right for you.

So if you're ready to take control of your content, sign up below! I can't wait to see you on the other side.

When you sign up for the challenge, you'll also get weekly blog posts from me (resuming at some point in October once the first round of the challenge is over)
as well as occasional email-only updates, announcements, and so on!
Check out the terms of service and privacy policy so we're on the same page.

The Way Forward Is Through the Work

The work I do is grounded in clarity. I firmly believe that if you don’t take time to look at where you are and where you want to be (or who you are and who you want to be, or what you have and what you want, or…I’m sure you get the picture), you won’t get there (or be that or have that). So clarity is crucial.

But without action, clarity doesn’t mean a whole lot. If you don’t use what you’ve learned to make a plan and then take consistent action, you’re not going to get very far—and in fact, you’ll probably wind up pretty frustrated.

This is an especially hard truth for me. At my core, I’m a planner—I have this innate drive to examine how all the pieces of an idea will fit together and also fit in with the bigger picture before I act. This is a good trait in many ways, but it also means that if left to my own devices, I would only work behind the scenes, thinking and researching and planning and iterating in private, only releasing something when I feel like it’s fully formed and it’s the best it can be. It’s why I love writing in layers.

But (sadly, for many of us), we know it just doesn’t work that way.

When I think about the creatives and the brands I admire most, I realize that not a single one of them emerged from a long hideout session with fully formed, best-they-can-be ideas and offerings and content. Instead, these creatives started with an idea (born from a problem they wanted to solve or a passion they wanted to share) and, after doing a reasonable amount of thinking and research, put that idea out into the world. Then they gauged reactions, listened to the people interacting with their ideas, and changed / revised / tweaked their idea. Then they put it out there again, and started the cycle of gauging and listening and changing all over again.

So the (hard) truth is that while initial clarity and a plan of action are crucial, you also need the kind of clarity that comes from putting your ideas out there and seeing how they do in the real world. You won’t grow—you won’t get to where you want to be—if you’re not putting something out there.

So today, your mission (should you choose to accept it, of course) is to write down a few creatives and brands you really, really, really admire. Then dig through their past. Read the very first blog post they ever shared. Scroll back a couple of years on their Instagram. Check out their old tweets. Look at where they started and then come back to where they are now. Notice what they experimented with, what has changed, what they’ve refined, what they’ve added, and what they’ve let go of.

And then look at your own past and present with an objective eye. What has changed? What do you still want to change? Can you see the evolution of your ideas and your content? Where do you want to go? Can you see that future in your present? If not, what needs to change?

And then make a plan, take consistent action, and get your ideas out there. Because the way forward is through the work.


P.S. Remember last week when I told you about that guide I’m working on? It’ll help you find that initial clarity, make a plan for consistent action, get your ideas out there in the form of meaningful content, and then evaluate and change as you go. I’m really excited to get this into your hands, and can’t wait to see the awesome things you share with the world.

Remember, the newsletter crew will get the first crack at it (plus a sweet discount!). So if you’re not already on my list, sign up below—along with first dibs and a discount on this super-helpful guide, you’ll get a free copy of Consume Mindfully, my guide to overcoming information overwhelm, plus weekly blog posts in your inbox and a monthly email about clarity and consistency. You can read more about what to expect here, and check out my privacy policy here. (Just to be clear, you'll be offered a discount even if you don't sign up, but I'm notifying my email list first!)


Meaningful Content Doesn't Happen by Accident


I was blown away by how much last week's post resonated with you. So many of you said it's just the type of post you love reading, and you know what? It's the kind of post I love reading, too.

But not everything I write turns out that way. Plenty of posts that felt super meaningful to me (and that I thought would be meaningful for you) just didn’t get the same kind of response. And I’m totally ok with that—either way, I’m going to keep on going.

And that’s because I know that meaningful content doesn’t happen by accident. It takes commitment. It takes clarity. It takes persistence. So much work and worry and love and struggle and passion goes into creating content (and really, a business) that feels meaningful for both us and our audiences, and we’re just not going to get it right every time. But it doesn’t mean we should stop trying. The only way to hit on those posts that do have meaning is to keep on putting your work out there and learning from what happens.

Next week, I’ll be sending you some questions to answer, so that I can make sure I’m on the right path as I update my website (!) and create an even more powerful version of content coaching (!!). These (and other fun things I’m creating) are designed to help you create meaningful content…intentionally. And I’m super excited to hear what you have to say next week, and then of course to reveal it all to you soon!

But that’s all in the future, and we are still here in today. I’d love for you to spend some time thinking about where you are now, so that when we start talking about where you could be, you have a benchmark for measuring change. That truth again:

Meaningful content doesn’t happen by accident.

Are you creating on purpose? If not, what's stopping you? I’d love to hear your ideas, your questions, your fears, and your victories—below in the comments, on Instagram, or by email. Today feels like a great day to start making intentional changes!