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Consultants: How to Make Your Article Writing Infinitely Easier

You know that writing can be a powerful, business-generating vehicle for your consulting firm. But writing is challenging, and the toughest obstacle to hurdle isn’t time. Let’s find the bigger impediment and blast through it.

As a reminder, writing:

  • Allows you to send pithy reminders that your consulting firm exists to your prospects in a value-adding format.
  • Confers authority status on your consulting firm.
  • Forces you to advance, refine and clarify your own thinking. All three boost your ability to win new consulting projects.
  • Can create very broad visibility, which increases over time.**
  • Provides cover for your love of puns and suspect artistic ability.

Books and white papers can both be extremely powerful; however, each also requires a significant investment of time and, often, some capital too.

So, let’s focus on articles, which can range from roughly 400 to 2,400 words. Easily written, distributed and read.

Why aren’t you writing more articles? If your consulting firm is typical of most, the problem isn’t time. After all, you could hire someone to interview you and draft articles, which you then quickly refine for accuracy and voice.**

The initial stumbling block that trips many consultants is a fear of releasing material that’s shy of brilliant.

But the biggest snag—the one that halts ongoing article production, is not knowing what to write about.

You look wistfully at food bloggers who can write about a new cookie recipe every day and still haven’t hit chocolate-drizzled, peanut butter snickerdoodles. But your consulting firm’s specialty isn’t like baking. After ten, three, or maybe even one article, you feel like you’ve covered everything already. Now what?

Grab one of your previous articles and your metaphorical microscope. Every piece you’ve written is teeming with new topics.

  1. Choose one sub-point you presented in your article.
  2. Peer deeper into that small point until at least one best practice, trend, process, or useful distinction comes into focus. Ta da! Content for new article(s) identified.
  3. Rinse and repeat.

You can iterate this process infinitely, increasing your magnification and never running out of topics.

You don’t have to cover a large swath of your area of expertise in each article you pen. You don’t have to demonstrate the solutions to complex mysteries. In fact, the opposite is true.

There’s almost no such thing as an article that’s too simple or covers too little.

Cover less ground. Your prospects will appreciate your insights and the digestibility of your articles.

What’s one tiny topic you could write about? Share your idea in the comments section.

  1. Nils
    June 20, 2018 at 6:37 am Reply

    David – this is definitely the biggest struggle I have – and I have a daily writing practice! As in, I write plenty, but very little ends up on the blog. Your suggestion is awesome, and I hope to report in a few months that it’s made a big difference for me in terms of publishing quantity.

    • David A. Fields
      June 20, 2018 at 6:55 am Reply

      First of all, kudos to you for maintaining a daily writing practice! You’ve already embraced the most important step in producing good quality content: regularly producing any content.

      Second, the fact that little of what you write ends up in your blog shows that you’ve adopted another critical practice: editing. As a dear friend of mine used to say: “There’s no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.” Heck, half of the little article above was left on the cutting room floor.

      Thanks for contributing your experience, Nils, and definitely keep me up to date with your progress!

  2. rick maurer
    June 20, 2018 at 8:50 am Reply

    David –

    I’ve got to tape this quote to my computer: There’s almost no such thing as an article that’s too simple or covers too little.
    Sometimes I make writing harder and more complex than it needs to be. Thanks.


    • David A. Fields
      June 20, 2018 at 10:18 am Reply

      The corollary may be, “There’s no such thing as a note that covers too little of your computer.”

      Seriously, the good news is that you’re writing. And now that you see a way to lessen the burden, imagine how easy a lift it will be!

      I look forward to seeing your next article, Rick.

  3. Carole Napolitano
    June 20, 2018 at 9:00 am Reply

    David —

    I love this article . . . another of your incisive commentaries to support coaches and consultants in optimizing our value. I am hopeful that you will offer a companion piece outlining the best ways to ensure that what we do write gets the visibility we intend. A colleague told me that she has stopped writing blogs because she has the sense that they are not getting read. Can you please provide tips about the most effective ways to get our writing out there . . .so the universe can take us up on it? Thanks.

    • David A. Fields
      June 20, 2018 at 10:21 am Reply

      You’ve asked a very fair question, Carole. You may want to remind your colleague of the benefits beyond broadcast visibility. (They’re outlined at the top of this article.)

      Visibility is important though, and I’ll definitely consider writing about the topic you’ve requested. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Tom Borg
    June 20, 2018 at 10:48 am Reply

    This is an excellent insight. One topic I have been pondering is the problem with “inertia” in the C-suite when it comes to pulling the trigger for training or consulting. Your blog post is the spark that I needed to start this article.

    • David A. Fields
      June 20, 2018 at 11:19 am Reply

      Perfect, Tom! Your article on inertia in the C-suite sounds like a good one. No doubt you’ll make a few points in the article, such as, “Stocking the C-suite with chocolates and cookies will keep your entire leadership team on a productive, sugar high.” Each of those points are then fodder for a new article.

      Thanks for sharing your idea, Tom.

  5. Debbie
    June 20, 2018 at 10:54 am Reply

    Another topic: How to choose your first article topic.

    • David A. Fields
      June 20, 2018 at 11:26 am Reply

      Is that the topic for the article you’re writing, Debbie, or is it a request for an article by me. My suggestion on a process would be this:

      1. Write a list of possible article topics.
      2. Pick one.
      3. Celebrate your choice with something tasty.

      Ta da!

      If you’re writing the article on selecting topics, I look forward to reading it, Debbie.

      • Tayo Adedokun
        June 20, 2018 at 11:35 am Reply

        As a consultant, it is best to give an attractive topic to one write-ups. For instance, Looking at a present challenge facing your target customers,industry-wide, and draft the topic in that direction.

        • David A. Fields
          June 20, 2018 at 11:52 am

          That’s a good suggestion, Tayo. Certainly, it helps if your articles are relevant to your prospects. Relevance makes your article more effective from a visibility-building and credibility-building standpoint; however, publishing a good, non-relevant article is okay sometimes too.

          Anyone looking for more ideas on coming up with topics may find this article handy: 10 Endless Sources of Inspiration for Your Articles, Blogs, and Speeches

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