Have You Outgrown Your Topic?

As a content strategist and content writer, I see and hear a lot of different reasons why people struggle to create their own copy.

Sometimes they don’t have any ideas…
Sometimes they have too many ideas…
Sometimes they just don’t have time to turn their ideas into reality…

And one thing I often hear is that they’ve just grown tired of talking about their topic. They feel like they’ve said everything there is to say (sometimes many, many times!).

They’re burned out talking about the topics they think they need to talk about to get new clients for their products and services.

If you’re nodding your head, there can be a few different reasons for feeling this way:

  • It could be that you are just too close to your topic; it feels like you’ve said everything, but maybe you haven’t. An outside opinion with a coach or strategist could help you see angles you haven’t covered yet.
  • It could be that you really have said everything (or nearly everything!) — but it’s been long enough that your newer audience members haven’t heard it all, so it’s time to start re-sharing older content.
  • Or, it could be that you have outgrown your topic.

Whether you’ve actually said everything there is to say about your topic or not, if you’re no longer feeling passionate or enthusiastic about it, that’s a big red flag.

First, it will be much harder to make yourself do the work of creating the content you need to support your business. Sure, you could outsource some of it to a team like ours, but we can’t do speaking gigs, podcast interviews, or videos on your behalf…

Second, even if and when you do force yourself to create the content, your audience will be able to tell when you are less than enthusiastic about the topic. (Believe me…)

And finally, you’ll just be making yourself miserable if you try to keep going down that path, churning out content that you no longer care about…

Outgrown your topic? Step One: Don’t panic!

The entrepreneurs I know who have realized that they’ve outgrown their original topic have almost universally freaked out when they realized it.

They panic that their brand was built on this one thing they’re known for — and therefore that it will hold them back from switching.

They worry that their audience will hate them and they’ll lose people by the thousands if they don’t continue talking about the same topic.

And very often they think themselves into a corner: I don’t want to create content about this old topic, but I’m worried about what will happen if I switch topics, so I just stop creating content altogether.

It can feel like a big problem when you think you’ve outgrown your topic, but the truth of the matter is that it’s a big opportunity to grow.

In fact, I think it’s very common for certain types of businesses (especially in the coaching, services, or online education spaces). As the CEO learns and grows as a person, so to their business will grow and shift.

Over the past 9 years, the topics I write about have definitely shifted.

I used to do a lot of how-to content: explaining how to do certain parts of the content marketing process. I spent a lot of time and energy creating free worksheets, downloads, templates, etc.

But then I realized two things:

First, although I have courses and products, I wanted to focus most of my efforts on growing my agency and our done-for-you services.

And second, the people who were opting in and downloading my freebies weren’t ideal customers for those done-for-you services.

In general, people who want a free resource on how to do something aren’t looking to pay a premium to have it done for them.

So I had to shift the type of content I was creating to try to attract more of my ideal customers. I wasn’t mad at the people who had joined me for those free resources — but for my business’ sake, I needed to shift and focus on the people who want to work with our agency one-on-one.

For some businesses, the shift more be even more dramatic.

I’ve seen plenty of individuals and brands make massive shifts and pivots in their messaging and what they do in their business.

  • Sarah Jenks was, essentially, a weight loss coach for women. Her program was about leaning into pleasure in order to lose weight effortlessly. Now, she’s all about body love and spirituality — with exactly ZERO emphasis on weight loss.
  • Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin went from being a women’s leadership coach to a voice of the resistance during Donald Trump’s presidency and beyond.
  • Tara McMullin went from being a business coach to a community leader — specifically eschewing being the coach or “guru” who tells people what to do, to being more of a facilitator of important conversations.

In each of these cases, these women made a pretty major shift in what they were known for and what they wanted to talk about. And in none of these cases did their brand suffer. Over time, they might have done things like rewritten and redesigned websites, etc., but they didn’t (as far as I could tell from the outside) lose a ton of followers or alienate their audiences. In fact, in at least two of those cases, they started reaching a dramatically larger audience when they changed their messaging.

In other words: In many cases, the fear of your brand “holding you back” from tackling a new topic, is usually just that, a fear. It’s not generally based in much fact.

How to pivot if you’ve outgrown your topic

If you think you want to start exploring a new topic with your content, there are a few things to remember:

  1. You don’t have to go all-in all at once. It’s perfectly acceptable to test the waters before you decide to completely revamp your messaging and rebrand your company.

    In fact, it’s a great idea to test your new topic and messaging before you make any big decisions or changes in your business.

    Consider designating one marketing channel as your test channel. Start sharing your new message there and watch the reaction. Adjust based on your feedback and test again.

  2. You don’t have to burn down your entire business because you’re bored of your topic. As a copywriter, I know that there are as many ways to approach a topic as there are words in the English language.

    Think about how a new topic or messaging might reach a different segment of your audience or a different ideal customer.

    For example, I talked about editorial calendars for years; now I’m talking more about thought leadership. It doesn’t mean I have to STOP selling my editorial calendar course or building editorial calendars for 1:1 clients. That’s still an important part of my process, it’s just not what I’m talking about right now.

  3. Allow yourself the space to experiment and play. If you feel like you’ve outgrown your current topic, but you aren’t sure what you want your new topic to be, it’s a perfect time to give yourself the time and space to research, read, take notes, experiment, and play.

    Don’t try to decide on a new topic all at once. Give yourself thinking time to explore what interests you. Then, test it with your audience to see what resonates with them.

    Deciding on a new topic doesn’t have to happen overnight.

I think the biggest reason entrepreneurs start to feel constrained by their topic or their brand is because they haven’t allowed themselves the space to explore and experiment.

We hear advice that suggests we should repeat the same message, the same three stories, the same tag lines and phrases over and over again so that they stick in our audience’s minds. But honestly, over years, that gets boring for us and for them.

Allow yourself the permission to expand, to explore, to experiment, and I can practically guarantee that your content will start to feel fresh, renewed, revitalized — and likely more effective than ever.

Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community

Author: Lacy Boggs

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