I knew I had a great friend when he offered to send me abusive messages

Yesterday I had tea and pastries with a friend. He’s a talented strategist. I learnt a lot from him during the four years we worked together. Now we’re both freelance, and I still come away a little bit wiser every time we meet.

Through mouthfuls of pain au raisin we talked about freelance life. The hours we’re keeping. The conversations we’re having. The ways to procrastinate we’re discovering.

I’m a brand strategist, I said. I’m a writer. I bang on about content; I produce it for my clients. But even though my workload is light this month, I can’t seem to find the time to write for myself.

My friend closed his eyes. He took a deep breath. Bill said it once, he said. I’ll say it again. Content is king. Stop procrastinating! Dig deep, write something good. Hit share.

But it’s spring, I said. I need to get outside! The countryside is carpeted in zingy yellow and purple blue, my sleeves are pushed up and my freckles are coming out to play. Surely now’s not the time to be creating content?

Come on, Rose, he said. Spring’s the time of year when valencia filtered cappuccinos are replaced with gingham filtered mojitos, #cozy becomes #carefree. Wild flowers are admired on the underground on Retina HD displays.

Love or lament it, he said, in 2017 we’re online whatever the weather. Most of us spend nearly two hours a day on social media, gobbling up information. We have long-term relationships with people we’ve never met and brands we’ve never bought. Snow on the ground or blossom on the trees, now’s the time to write what your audience needs to read.

Tell you what, he said. I’ll help you practice what you preach. I’ll send you abusive messages when you haven’t shared anything great for a while. Angry messages. Sweary messages. Passive aggressive public messages, when it comes to it.

What a brilliant friend he is.

We all know it by now. In every view of your blog, like of your post or follow of your page, there’s promise of a new relationship. And great content invites views, likes and follows. The struggle is one we all face, even when we write for a living. It’s letting go of the idea that there’s a perfect moment to create mindblowing content for your audience, and just putting your thoughts to paper.

So if you’re running a business, find a friend to be nasty to you when you’re getting slack at telling your story online. Ask them to troll you until you tap out some words. Then post a photo of the thank you latte you bought them, filtered appropriately for the season.

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