It was 10pm, and I'd only written ONE sentence.
Words were swirling around my head, but nothing landed on the page in front of me.
The cursor blinking on the swathe of white space heightened the volume of the nasty voice inside my head:
"What the heck is wrong with you!?"
I only needed 150 words.
Why was writing a video script to promote my business so hard?
Why did I feel so stupid when I talked about this stuff every day?
Why couldn't I express my expertise and passion – in a simple yet compelling way!?
The following day, I learned I wasn't the only one.
At the table beside me were business coaches, financial experts, fitness gurus and online marketers…
Yet when it came to writing 150 words… ready to film our promo videos that day…
None of us were ready!
(Now, if you know me – you'd know I could talk with a mouthful of marbles underwater. Which is an advantage when it comes to socialising and networking…but try and rein me into a 60 second sound bite – and it seemed impossible.)
Here we were, all accomplished business owners and entrepreneurs. We were all experts in our industries and niches. We all had important messages to communicate.
So, what was holding us back?
Were we all stupid?
… or were we unfairly cursed, by our knowledge?
When being an expert hi-jacks your marketing…
Here's what I know you've been told to do:
You've been told to create high-value content.
You've been told to make engaging videos.
You've been told to be on every social media platform under the sun to reach your ideal audience…
And yet your content isn't converting.
Time is flying by too fast...
And you're exhausted trying to come up with what to say/write/create every day.
But, here’s also what I know you can do…
When you do manage to get the words out – and write content – you share your best.
When you speak, you share the juicy stuff — the details.
When you create those videos, you explain fantastic insights and advanced knowledge about why your product/service is the best on the market…
And how you can help people more than ever…
But it's not converting into sales.
(Nope, it's not because you're stupid)…
It's actually the complete opposite…
It’s because you know too much!
When YOU know what you're talking about…
But no one else does… and they don't care!
"oh – so there’s nothing wrong with me!?"
It's highly likely that in all that content you're pumping out, you're using expert language, experiences, and knowledge, which flies straight over the head of those you can really help.
Simply put: You're not meeting your audience where they're at. You're trying to show them where you're at – and the gap is just too big!
Yup. The curse of knowledge sneaks up on you when you least expect it – and if you don't watch out it can completely derail your marketing success.
Here are 3 ways to overcome the curse of knowledge:
1. Get someone to help elicit your marketing message from you.
The advantage of being surrounded by others crafting their messages that morning was we could help each other simplify the expert complexity we were all so used to using.
Getting someone else to listen to you explain your message – and then offer new ways of expressing it, or asking questions about it, is a fantastic way to take a step back and see your business from NEW perspectives. Through non-expert eyes.
2. Craft stories and metaphors to help explain advanced concepts.
People love stories. Stories help us remember and help us remain engaged in (potentially overwhelming) content. So, if what you do as an expert IS complex… take the time to craft some go-to stories for you and your business that you can rely on in ANY situation to engage, enthrall and explain what you do.
Simple metaphors can work magic, too – try using this statement next time you're explaining something complex, "It's kind of like…."
…whatever comes next allows you to bypass the dreaded "expert curse" and keep your language "non-expert suitable".
3. Remember back to when you were a newbie… and start from there.
If your product or service solves a problem for your audience – start with that. Remember what it was like for you BEFORE you knew the answer. BEFORE you had access to a product like yours.
Use language they're using right now to describe their situation, struggles, dreams, and must-haves.
To get them to tune in – and make them care – speak to them in their language. Not at them in your language. Yes, there is a BIG difference!
The Engaging Expert Emerges!
One thing I love to do is watch TEDx talks. And here's what I've noticed. The best ones are crafted. They tell stories. And they resonate with the audience. Connecting experts to non-experts through a considered approach to language and emotion and knowledge.
(Now writing a short video script like we were doing on that retreat is a little different to writing a TEDx talk – I know.)
But when it comes to getting your message across, clearly, remember: If you're aware of the curse of knowledge before you start… you'll enjoy much more success at the end.
The result for all of us? Promo video scripts written, filmed, and edited by the end of the day.
“Farewell the curse of knowledge!”
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