Kari Baynes differentstrokesswimming.jpeg

Kari Baynes Became the Writer and Leader Her Business Needed

Kari was passionate about her newly established adult swimming business, Different Strokes Swimming. But working with adults who couldn’t swim was a far cry from her previous corporate life as Head of Business Development at News Corporation Australia.

Kari knew writing would be an important skill for telling the story of her fledgling business, but she lacked confidence. Kari shares, “I worked in corporate roles for twenty-five years and my writing suited that environment. But corporate writing is formal and technical. It uses a lot of in-house jargon. I needed a voice to use for my new business to establish myself in the industry and reach our market.”  

Kari wanted to write blogs and newsletters and become active on social media. She needed a profile too, she felt as if nobody knew who she was. “I kept thinking to myself. What would I know? Who am I?” 

Being a new operator in an established sport, Kari was nervous. She wasn’t a swimming champion or sports institute coach. She was fearful of putting her writing out into the world. “I thought I would be judged or even vilified. I was pretty scared.” Kari recalls.

Kari felt stuck and confused. But one of her swimming students was also a business owner and had recently done a blogging course. Jane introduced Kari to Katie McMurray and Dangerous Blogging. 

Kari signed on to Katie’s program and was soon writing regularly using Katie’s Dangerous Blogging method.  Kari’s confidence grew as Katie pointed out the valuable stories Kari could write. “I realised I did have something worth saying and even told the story of learning to swim myself.”  

Kari says she enjoyed the discipline about writing. “Katie held me to account to drafting blogs regularly. Soon blogging and publishing was a regular part of my business.” Kari found the monthly Dangerous Blogger Webinars and the Dangerous & Brilliant Writers Retreat supportive. She got to meet other Dangerous Bloggers and read their work. “Writing is solitary but it’s wonderful to be part of a writing community. We each have different businesses but we’re all becoming bloggers. I get to read other people’s Dangerous Blogs and hear the voice come through their writing.” 

Now Kari comes up with her own blog topics much more easily. She can draft, edit and sub-edit her writing using the Dangerous Blogging method. “I’ve definitely become a better writer and people comment positively when I post my blogs. I can motivate myself now, but still engage Katie as my sounding board and quality control.

Kari published her first Dangerous Blog in April 2016 and has since written many more. She puts some blogs on LinkedIn and uses others on her website and in regular newsletters. She also shares her blogs through social media. Kari recently used the Dangerous Blogging style to prepare a speech about her business for a national swimming industry conference.  Her three year old business is thriving and now operates from six swimming pools. They have also been selected to deliver adult learn to swim programs for Sydney Community College and other organisations.

Through the Dangerous Blogging program, I’ve developed a reputation as an expert in the adult learn to swim industry.  I realise I am a pioneer and people look to me as an innovator and leader. Thanks to the regular writing and Katie’s method, I feel empowered with my own voice and confident writing about the business and my personal experiences.

Kari Baynes is Director of Different Strokes Swimming and Sydney Swimmers
Read Kari’s Blog Embracing the New Australian Swimmer