It’s the start of the new year, which is a pretty perfect time for reflection, contemplation, and adjustment. Recentering your goals as a business owner is a powerful way to see if you are heading in a direction that will serve you and your ideal customer well. Are your goals serving the larger why behind your business and your customers’ lives?
Often, my clients are facing a crisis of voice. They can’t key into writing and content that feels good to them because they are trying to emulate everyone else. It’s exhausting and 99% of the time, it’s fruitless. Instead of wasting your time with to-the-t formulas and “blueprints to success”, get serious about letting your personality shine through in your content if you want to see results.
If you hang around writers for very long, the “f” word is bound to come up. No, not that “f” word. I’m talking about “flow.” It’s thrown around in writer-to-writer conversation pretty frequently these days. As a writer, I know the importance of flow and how it enhances even non-writers’ messaging. The thing is, flow is sort of an elusive concept. It’s one of those things that makes it so easy to read and connect with content that you don’t even notice it’s there when it’s done really, really well. Unfortunately that doesn’t make it it easy to define if you don’t eat, sleep and breathe words like some of us weirdos.
So, to help demystify that pesky “f” word and make achieving the sweet, lazy river kind of flow easier for you, I’ve put together some tips. Trust me, the impact is worth a little extra education.
A lot of the time people aren’t ready to dive deeper than the elevator pitch and the carefully crafted summary statements. So once you have your audience's interest piqued - then what? The elevator pitch serves as a way to reel in your potential customers, clients and creative partners. If that’s the purpose, you need to have the rest of the story ready to tell. It’s not enough to pull someone closer and have nowhere to go once they’re hooked.
Content is not a formula you can pick and plug your name, your business’ name, and select details about who you are and what you do into a mad libs-style document and suddenly have brilliant, witty, engaging copy that resonates with you, is on-brand, and pulls your ideal audience in like a magnet. But a lot of the time, businesses treat it like that.
You have a great website, a brilliant logo, and you seem so knowledgeable, yet personable. Then they start reading through the pages on your website. The copy is choppy, doesn’t flow well, and seems to contradict the special sauce you’re showcasing in other parts of your business. Your blog is no better, and leaves them conflicted on what to do next. They were really thinking about buying from you, but now they aren’t so sure.
You write for you, about you, your products, and the goings on in your business. It’s natural for you to write about and it’s fairly simple, too. Plus, people love to see behind the scenes and know all about what’s going on in your business, right? Honestly? Not really. Not until you’re already an important daily fixture in their life. And you won’t be anyone’s go-to resource if you can’t stop yapping about yourself.
You slay at the work you do and you’re beyond committed to the people you do it for. You’re damn good at your job, and you stand firm in that knowledge. Buuuuut, when it comes to writing about your area of expertise, all of a sudden the self-consciousness monster stomps in, roaring so loudly you can’t hear that clear, confident voice that propels your business.
One of the things that struck me as everyone in my online and in-person network mourned the loss by revisiting their words and retelling the stories of when they were first introduced to the artistry of either individual, was the sheer power of well-commanded, emotionally-compelling storytelling.
Content Marketing. You’ve seen articles about its importance more times than you’ve scrolled by that video of the kitten riding the roomba in a shark costume. But sifting through it all to find the tips, the strategies, and the processes that work best for you is headache inducing at best.