I took part in a 28 day blogging challenge a few years ago. It was a 28 day challenge because it was for the month of February. The challenge was to blog every day for 28 days. So I did. It was tough at first, but it taught me I really did like to write – I just didn’t know it until then.
After keeping up the pace for about a year, it became difficult to continue blogging every day and do everything else I had to do on a daily basis for life and business, so I stopped blogging on Fridays. Then I made the decision to longer blog on Wednesdays, and finally Thursdays. I kept up my Monday and Wednesday blogging schedule, and topped it off with my short newsletter every other Friday, so that kept me going on a good schedule.
But what does that have to do with the title of this post? Let me explain …
I was pretty impressed with myself and what I’d learned. Plus, I knew I could provide good, solid information that would help people become better bloggers. So, not too long after that, I conducted my own blogging challenge. It was a 10 day challenge called “10 Days to a Better Blog.” The purpose wasn’t just to get people to blog more, it was also to help them understand blogging and the techie side of it more.
I asked everyone in the challenge to blog every day. Since the students were doing it, I figured I should do it too … at least for those 10 days.
By day 5 day of the 10 day challenge, I realized I’d learned a TON of stuff I didn’t expect to learn. At least I didn’t expect to learn anything myself since I was the one holding the challenge. But I did.
Running the challenge and coming up with the daily tasks wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. One of the biggest challenges for me was the “I know what I know,” mindset, so some of the things I shared in the group were based on the assumption that everyone in the challenge already knew “certain” other things. I didn’t intentionally make this assumption. But I made it nonetheless.Why not assuming others know what you know is a really good thing!
I assumed everyone already had a blog set up, AND that it was a WordPress blog, which was what the challenge was based on. WRONG! Not everyone had a blog yet, and some of those who did, had blogs on platforms other than WordPress. That was definitely something I should have established when promoting the challenge, as some of the plugins and features we worked on were not available for other platforms.
I also approached the challenge with the assumption (in my mind) that everyone else loves and understands the techie side of things as much as I do. Again, not so! When I do this again – yes hopefully at some point in the near future, I’ll be able to approach it with a much clearer view of the process and hopefully not make as many assumptions.
What I learned from this challenge carries over to many other areas of business … like online marketing! When you know a lot about a subject … or at least you know more than someone else does, you do your best to start at a point where everyone is comfortable. It’s not that easy to do though. So when teaching or instructing or advising others, make sure you find out what they do and don’t know before you embark on your journey. In my case … finding out who already had a blog and who didn’t would have been very important.
Lesson learned was … do your research, and if there are prerequisites that will enable others to get the most out of whatever you are teaching or instructing (like having a blog for a blogging challenge), make it clear. Approach everything from the “student’s” point of view and not from your own I know what I know point of view. It will make things a lot easier and less stressful for everyone involved.
For me, all of this has translated over to when I have a conversation with a prospective client about their marketing needs. Rather than running off half-cocked and telling them how we can help them grow their businesses, get systems in place, and become more visible to their ideal clients, I first need to find out what they already have in place.
Do they blog? Do they have a list they communicate with frequently? What platforms do they use? Are they visible on social media? What are they already doing in the marketing realm?
The same can hold true for existing clients when we just assume they know everything we do … and the truth is, they don’t because we might not have told them.
It really doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – coaching … speaking … consulting … online marketing. Whatever your area of expertise, don’t just jump into things with the attitude that you know so much and are going to enlighten everyone with your brilliance. Find out what they may or may not already know, and help them. Guide them. Take enough interest in those you are teaching, or coaching, or working with to find out what they already know, and how you can help best meet their needs, not your ego.
I realize I just took you from point A to point J in a matter of minutes, but in my mind (which can be a very scary place at times 😏), that is how I came to my conclusions … and the truth about how important it is to approach things from a “how can I help you” point of view rather than “let me tell you what I already know.”
So my question today is … How can I help you?
In business since 1991, Terry Green is the founder/CEO/President of BizEase Support Solutions, an American-based, online marketing support company comprised of a team of talented professionals from around North America. BizEase excels at providing speakers and business coaches worldwide with seamless online marketing solutions, from setting up ecommerce solutions, membership sites, web design and maintenance, to writing blog posts and managing Social Media and PR campaigns. BizEase clients (who span five continents) take great joy in allowing the BizEase team to take care of the details so they can get back to doing what they do best! Click here to get our bi-weekly tips ezine delivered to your inbox every other Friday, with tips on plugins, apps, and tools to make you more productive today!