Tips to write with confidence as a small business owner

If you’re a small business owner, writing with confidence is essential for you to effectively communicate your message and engage your audience. And, let’s face it – in the world of small biz, there’s a lot of copy to write. All. The. Time. If you find yourself putting off writing for your biz or second-guessing everything you create, you’re not alone. You’ve got things to say – and an audience who needs to hear from you, but you need a confidence boost. I get it. In this article, you’ll get practical tips to write with confidence as a small business owner. I’ll walk you through some common challenges and offer strategies to help overcome them.

Future you might just be inspired to tackle those social posts, email newsletters, website updates and other copy assets with a sense of optimism. Let’s go!

Here are seven reasons you might lack writing confidence and some strategies to overcome them.

Reason 1: You lack small business writing experience

Writing confidence doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re new to writing – or to business – or you just haven’t had much practice, you will get better. Think of writing like a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it gets.

Try these tips to write more confidently in your small biz:

Start small

Begin by writing short pieces, like social media posts for a quick win. Give a behind-the-scenes update, introduce yourself to new followers or share about your services. As you gain confidence, you can work up to larger assets such as newsletters, blogs and website updates.

Read and learn

Immerse yourself in quality content, created by other small business owners and writing experts – and make sure you read widely for fun, too! The more you read, the better you write. Get stuck into books, blogs and articles to see how the pros do it. A couple of my favourites are On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (yes, that Stephen) and Everybody Writes by Ann Handley.

Ask for help

You could invest in some professional learning to improve your skills. You could join a writing community designed for small businesses, such as Not Just About Copy: The Community, get some copy coaching or just connect informally with fellow small business owners to exchange writing tips and support each other’s growth.

Reason 2: You’re afraid of judgement by your small biz peers – or you’re judging yourself

The fear of being judged or criticised can be paralysing, especially in the extremely public and busy social media space. But I want you to know your words have value and deserve to be shared just as much as anyone else’s.

Try these tips to write more confidently in your small biz:

Embrace imperfection

Not every piece of writing will be flawless – that’s just a fact. So focus on expressing your ideas and connecting with your audience rather than striving for perfection. Any constructive feedback you receive is an opportunity for improvement and learning.

Mute or unfollow 

If reading Isabel’s amazing Instagram posts, Betsy’s well-crafted blogs or Will’s incredible website have you feeling wobbly, a little bit jealous or distracted from your own stuff…hit that mute button. While it’s great to get inspired by others, looking around and comparing ourselves to others can stoke self-critical feelings unnecessarily.

Share with a trusted biz bud 

Start by sharing your writing with a trusted friend, colleague or mentor (like a copy coach!) who can provide constructive feedback and support. Organise a swap so it works both ways. You can gradually expand your circle of feedback to gain diverse perspectives.

Reason 3: You’re not a ‘good writer’ 

Feeling uncertain about your language skills or grammar knowledge can undermine your writing confidence. But let’s keep it in perspective. Clear and authentic communication is more important than flawless grammar – and there are proofreaders and tools available to help.

Try these tips to write more confidently in your small biz:

Be you

It sounds kinda obvious, but focus on conveying your message in a genuine and relatable manner. This includes weaving through your values and some backstory (curated, of course). Your audience will appreciate the chance to get to know you better and connect with you.

Use writing tools

There’s a reason grammar and spelling checkers exist. Grammarly or Hemingway Editor are two such tools, handy for helping you to catch errors and improve the clarity of your writing. These tools can boost your confidence by making you aware of your particular writing habits.

Get an editor’s perspective

For significant pieces of work, such as a grant application or your website, consider working with a professional editor or proofreaders to give your work a final polish. Their expertise can provide reassurance and enhance the quality of your content – especially useful if it’s going to be very public.

Reason 4: You’re overwhelmed and procrastinating when it comes to small business content

The sheer volume of writing tasks in a typical small business can feel overwhelming, especially if you think of them all at once. To help beat procrastination, start breaking it down into manageable steps and a priority order – there’s no need to do it all right this moment.

Try these tips to write more confidently in your small biz:

Set realistic goals

Break your writing tasks down into smaller, achievable bites and then prioritise them. Which ones align with your business goals? Now, can you commit to writing for 20-30 minutes a day? What could you achieve in that time? Probably more than you think. 

Develop some habits or a writing schedule

Set aside dedicated time for writing. Establish a routine that works best for you, whether it’s early mornings, late nights or even designated writing days for those bigger pieces. Not sure when you’re most creative or productive? Track your time or energy to get some hard data.

Seek accountability

Find an accountability partner, book a copy clarity session or join a writing group to stay motivated. Sharing your progress and celebrating milestones together can help overcome procrastination and keep that momentum going on those days you’re just not feeling it #happenstoeveryone.

Reason 5: You’re comparing yourself to others on socials or in your website stalking

Comparing yourself to professional copywriters or competitors can erode confidence unnecessarily. Unless your core business is copywriting, content writing or you’re an author, take the pressure off yourself. Remember that your unique voice and perspective are what make you ‘you’. 

Try these tips to write more confidently in your small biz:

Double down on your strengths

Embrace what sets you apart from others. Highlight your expertise, personal experiences, and the value your business brings to your customers. Only YOU can do what you do, exactly the way you do it. Own that differentiator and double down on it.

Celebrate progress

Instead of comparing yourself to others, or an arbitrary timeline, celebrate your growth and progress at regular opportunities. You don’t know the help your competitors may have or how much time they can allocate to writing. Reflect on how far you’ve come and the positive feedback you’ve received (save a handy swipe file of this feedback). Run your own race.

Be inspired by others

Instead of comparing, seek inspiration from successful writers and other businesses. Analyse their techniques and strategies, identify what resonates with you and why, and adapt them to suit your unique style and goals. Just remember to build in time between inspiration-gathering and creating so you can develop your own spin on things.

Reason 6: You don’t have enough time as a busy small biz owner

As a busy small business owner, finding time for writing can be challenging. But if it’s a priority, you’ll find a way. We all have the same number of hours in a week, but it’s how we choose to use them. Time management strategies such as time blocking and using small windows can help you prioritise writing and build your confidence.

Try these tips to write more confidently in your small biz:

Book creation in your calendar

Dedicate specific blocks of time in your calendar just for writing, creating and inspiration-gathering. Treat it as an essential business task, just like any other important appointment. After all, purposeful content creation is a cornerstone of your marketing strategy.

Delegate or outsource 

If writing is really not your strength or you’re pressed for time in a busy period, consider delegating or outsourcing certain tasks. You could hire a freelance copywriter or pass on some tasks to a VA, if you have one, to alleviate the burden and just ‘get it done’.

Make moments count

Don’t wait for a huge chunk of time to materialise (except if it’s scheduled on your calendar) and capitalise on short pockets of time throughout your day. Carry a notebook or use a note-taking app on your phone (I love Notes on iPhone) to capture ideas, phrases or outlines whenever inspiration strikes.

Reason 7: You want every piece of small business copy to be perfect

Striving to get it right the first time (see what I did there?!) can hinder your writing confidence. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Writing is an iterative process and it’s okay to make revisions and improvements along the way. Even copywriters don’t get it perfect on the first try – far from it!

Try these tips to write more confidently in your small biz:

Embrace the ‘dirty first draft’

Allow yourself to write freely without judgment or the need for perfection in the initial draft. Give yourself permission to let ideas flow, knowing you can refine and polish your draft later. Leave space between the writing and editing where you can – overnight is best but any break can help.

Set realistic standards

Aim for excellence, but don’t forget to be realistic. Consider what makes sense in terms of content creation for your business using a minimum frequency mindset. A daily content marketing frequency might suit you, or three times weekly might feel more achievable and motivating.

Seek feedback and iterate 

Share your work with trusted individuals or an accountability group to receive constructive feedback. Embrace the iterative process of revising and refining your writing based on the feedback received. Even seasoned copywriters look for opportunities to improve their work. The more you learn and practise, the easier it will get.

Over to you

You’ve now got a whole host of tips to write with confidence as a small business owner. Remember, practice and perseverance are key – and a good ol’ dose of self-compassion. Happy writing!

Which confidence challenge can you most relate to as a small business owner? And which tip will you implement first? Let me know. Ready for some support? Explore the copy coaching options.