Do you speak (or understand) more than one language?
Once you do, it's like being able to flip a switch in your brain to go back-and-forth between different modes of communication.
When I speak Spanish, I don't just say Spanish words—I transform.
My voice gets lower, I speak faster, and I wave my hands a lot more. I’m a pale southern American, but I speak Spanish like a native.
Like many Americans, I took Spanish classes in High School, but that wasn’t enough. At work, I practiced the Spanish I was learning in conversation until I relied on it, and it came naturally.
That is real fluency you can’t learn from a textbook—and you need to do the same thing online.
If you're creating content to grow your business, it is tempting to do a bit of everything—writing clever messages, posting snazzy pictures, and recording upbeat videos to repost on every platform you can.
But would you try and learn Spanish, French, and Romanian simultaneously, just because you can?
Technically they share Latin origins... but they are unquestionably different languages to natives and foreigners alike. Not just in words and spelling, but in speech and culture, each language requires a completely different approach to acquire true fluency, and speak like a native.
The same is true for each medium of communication online.
Good videos, podcasts, and articles all require a different structure and style, and you're choosing to learn three languages at once if you try to master all three.
Similarly, each marketing platform is like a different country or culture. You can speak Spanish like a native in Mexico but sound like a foreigner in Argentina, and the same is true for YouTube and TikTok even though they’re both video-focused.
To master one medium, you need to focus on that single communication style to hone your craft and acquire true fluency, or you will sound like a foreigner to everyone from everywhere before long.
I made this mistake. I launched a podcast, YouTube channel, and this email newsletter all at the same time.
Academically, I've studied each medium. Heck, I wrote a book on how to succeed with each medium! I know all the words. Still, after a season I realized I lacked real fluency, and needed to back up and pick one medium to speak like a native and master one medium, at a time.
For me, I chose writing. That's the medium I enjoy the most, get the most praise for, and it's where I've achieved the most success.
That means I'm pausing my podcast and YouTube channel but focusing on this newsletter, to write more and use that writing in conversation with subscribers (like you).
I’m already conversationally fluent in writing, but I want to speak like a native when I write.
That's my decision, but what about you?
To grow your business, you need to communicate with customers (and potential customers) on a regular basis. Will you commit to mastering the medium of writing, video, or audio content first?
You don't need to speak a language before pursuing fluency, you just need to pick one and learn.