Have you ever had this happen? You’ve finally carved out some time to sit down and write an important piece of content – like that long-awaited blog post, website copy, brochure, or copy for an ad – and all you can do is watch the cursor blink on a blank screen. But, you power through and begin typing everything you can think of to say about your product, company, or whatever your subject is.
Often when we create content or marketing materials we are tempted to write too much, because in all honesty, we probably don’t really know what we want to say. We don’t know what we should say or how we should say it, so we end up writing way too much and confuse and overwhelm our reader. So, how can we communicate our message with maximum impact and success? Simplify! Here’s how.
I’ve got a framework for you, below, that you can follow anytime you have to create content, no matter what it is.
Step 1 – What is the problem you want to solve or change you seek to make?
Anytime we produce a piece of content it’s important to think about and articulate the problem you want to solve and/or the change you want to make. This will create focus for you message. Your customers will be more apt to read your content if it has a purpose.
How do I do this? Ask yourself these questions: How can I solve a problem for my customer with this content? What is the change of mind or action that I want to affect with this content? These are not easy questions to answer, but critically important.
Step 2 – Why do your readers care?
Let’s face it, we are all self-centered. Not in a bad way; it’s just a fact that we are genetically programmed to be concerned with our own survival. So, how does your piece of content help me. Our clients need to always be the hero in our marketing and the focus of our content. If we approach our marketing and content creation with serving them in mind, we will succeed in gaining their attention. However, if your content is focused on you, your company, your product or service, and all the great things about it, your message will fall flat.
How do I do this? Practice using the pronoun ‘you’ in your writing rather than ‘I’ or ‘we’ and you will notice how your messaging changes. For instance, say you are launching a new product and you want to let your customers know about it, you may be tempted to write: *We* have a new product *we* have created that is bright and shiny and new (listing features). Instead begin with your customer in mind: ‘You’ have been asking us for a product like this…it will save ‘you’ time, make ‘you’ more beautiful, make you the hero of your family, friends, etc. (list some benefits). Notice the focus is on your customer.
Step 3 – How do you want others to experience your product or service?
The words you choose to describe yourself, your product or service, and your company are the same words your customers (and employees) will use to describe their experience with your company. Create simple, clear, messaging around your company and products.
Take for instance phrases others in the real estate and mortgage industry have used to create an experience of their company:
Rocket Mortgage – “Mortgage Confidently”
Realtor.com – “Discover Your Perfect Home”
Remax – “Doing More from For Sale to Sold”
SoFi – “Welcome to a new kind of finance company”
So, next time you sit down to create a piece of content for your business, keep this framework close by and use it to create a focused, simplified message for maximum impact. And remember, I love helping businesses just like yours create effective, impactful written content, so please let me know how I can help you.
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