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Getting clear on solutions: the writing coach business

13 October, 2007 Posted by Joanna As Coaching

I’m working on ways to improve the way I write about my own business (do you have days like that too?)

Earlier this week I was reading Liz Strauss on ways to market your business. She was talking about business strategy too - like not inventing a new and better product just because you can. Because products only have value in relation to the problems that people have and the solutions that you can offer. This was pitched in the context of mice and mousetraps (go read the post for the whole story!)

A better mousetrap becomes a paperweight when no one has mouse problem.
Customers don’t want innovation. They want solutions.

Anyway, she got me thinking about the mice and the mousetraps in my business. I guess one of the things that I need to get clearer on is just what the writing coach ‘mousetrap’ is for. I know that a lot of people make a leap from the words ‘writing coach’ to someone who helps great writers finish their novel, or offers advice on plot lines and character development, or whips young journalists into shape on the training ground of a national newspaper.

And that’s not the kind of coaching that I do at all.

(Perhaps I need to find a better term for what I do - but it hasn’t occurred to me yet. If you think of one maybe you could let me know?)

I work with people who write as part of their everyday work - whether that’s writing reports, letters, e-mails, blog posts, correspondence, promotional material or a book about what they do. I work with people who would never think of themselves as ‘writers’. Just people who need or want to write with greater confidence.

I work with people who have:

  • lost confidence in their words after many years of being criticised by a teacher or a boss
  • unrealistic expectations about what they should be able to write, and hate writing as a consequence
  • fears and anxieties about grammar rules that they’ve learned from school, and can’t shake off
  • lost their own voice
  • got stuck in their job because they can’t find a way to release the power of their words
  • lost their own words in the dead lifeless language of large organisations
  • got so close to their own purpose or cause that they can’t find the words to describe it
  • an idea that ‘writing’ is something different to do what they do - and so disregard the power of their own words

Okay, I’ll stop there. It’s not a bad start. It’s a bit more about the problems with the mice than the benefits of the mousetrap. But it’s helped me in getting clear. Getting clear about who I’m working with, and why.

Helped me take some of my own medicine: finding my own words to talk about what I do. Stepping back from the fear of a sales pitch and reaching for the words that tell a more important story: why you do what you do. And why it matters.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

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Related posts:

  1. 9 Steps to Clear Business Writing: by Brad Shorr
  2. Who’s your on-line writing coach?
  3. Clear what you’re writing on the 15th?

Categories : Coaching

cat October 17, 2007

Joanna, thank you for writing this post. It’s explained a number of questions I had about your professional niche.

You certainly describe my needs!

ps: I’m looking forward to working with you :-)

Joanna YoungNo Gravatar October 17, 2007

Cat, so am I :-)
Thanks for the feedback - I found it useful to write this post, and think I need to keep coming back to what I’m about. Although it might be clear to me there’s no reason other people should be expected to mind read!


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