It’s easier than ever to start a freelance B2B writing career. A computer and internet access are pretty much all you need. You can find clients, research article ideas, and participate in online writing communities (like B2B Writing Success).
But this access to information has also led to a lot of conflicting feelings. Fear, doubt, and, most of all, overwhelm can easily take over. There seems to be so much to read and know that you always feel like you’re behind, and you’ll never catch up.
So, how can you overcome the feelings of overwhelm and move forward with your B2B writing career?
At a basic level, you just have to start. Start writing, reading, and marketing today. Just keep moving forward without having all the answers. You’ll learn as you go and will feel more and more confident as you gain experience.
If that sounds easier said than done, that’s okay. We’re all in this together. Here are five steps you can take to cut the overwhelm and get your B2B writing career moving forward.
1. Pick one expert to help build your career
There are so many experts and gurus out there who write and speak about B2B writing, copywriting, and marketing. They publish blog posts, videos, webinars, courses, and e-books about it all. It’s just too much!
The solution? Pick one expert that produces content you like in a format you like and then ditch the rest. Choose one (or two) experts who have good credentials and experience and speak to you in a way that resonates. Focus on their content and leave the rest behind. If they’re good, they’ll still be around later if you want to read their stuff.
The point is, you need to reduce the amount of information coming at you down to a small flow of high-quality information that resonates with you.
2. Look for actionable advice, then stop
As you read your pared-down information list, what kind of content are your experts publishing? Is it actionable advice that’s simple and practical? Good. Practical advice can be one of the quickest ways to overcome overwhelm since it gives you a single focus that’ll move you forward.
Now, stop reading. Wait, what? Stop reading? Yes, you read that right.
When you find that one action item that speaks to you, that’ll move your writing business forward a little bit further than you are today, stop. Ignoring the rest of the information your expert is publishing may seem counterintuitive, but it helps. By stopping at that one thing, you’ll feel more focused and ready to move on to the next thing. Most of the time, the advice you’re reading about isn’t time-sensitive, so there’s no need to read it all right now.
3. Stop worrying about what you’re missing
Worry and anxiety are nasty things. They keep you frozen in place because you think every decision you’ve made is a mistake. You wonder about what would’ve happened if you’d chosen the other option (or read the e-book from a different expert) and that the outcome would’ve been more positive than where you’re at now.
Ignore those feelings and remember that when you take action, even a wrong action, you’re learning. You learn what works (or doesn’t work) for you and your B2B writing career and move forward. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is learn about the “wrong” thing because it points you in the right direction. You’d have never known about the new direction unless you’d tried that first thing.
So stop worrying about it. Stop worrying about the action item you didn’t do and think about the one you are doing. It’s still a valuable experience.
4. Take that one action
When you’ve found that one action item that speaks to you, whether it’s a great marketing tip, writing prompt, or perfect course, stop and do it. Focus all of your attention on that action and ignore everything else.
5. Lather, rinse, repeat
Now you’re ready to dive back into your expert’s information and discover more. Then go back and do Steps 2, 3, and 4 again — and again, and again.
By chunking out your learning and coming back to it repeatedly over time, you’ll be surprised at how much progress you make. You’ll learn more and apply more of it to your business regularly. Your business will change gradually and evolve more naturally, leaving you feeling more confident about it and your success.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as a freelance B2B writer. There’s just so much good content out there that it’s easy to want to read it all before making a move, which leaves your business frozen in place.
Instead, use these five steps to pare it down to the information that speaks to you directly. When you do that, you’ll feel “unstuck” and more free to tackle any project or client that comes your way. You’ll be on a path of continuous improvement at the same time that you’re writing and growing your business.