Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
Vanity has no place in content writing. You can wax lyrical about all sorts of things:
- How long you’ve been trading
- How much you value your clients
- How great you are at everything under the sun
The harsh reality is that no one really cares (except you).
Put yourself in their shoes
We’ve all had bad experiences with pushy sales people. Maybe you’ve gone to buy a new car and someone has tried to persuade you to get a certain model without asking questions about what you want from a car and what it’s going to be used for.
You’ve probably been at a business networking event and had someone introduce themselves then launch straight into a sales pitch.
What you’re really saying when you don’t consider who you’re writing for:
“Our company is great. We do all the usual things you’d expect from a company and we’ve been doing them for a long time so that means we’re really good.
If you give us your money for our stuff or services, we’ll feel even better about ourselves and that’s a good thing right?
Whatever you buy is exactly what you need, because we said so. We feel no need whatsoever to differentiate ourselves from other local companies doing exactly the same thing. Why should we?
We couldn’t be bothered researching what you’d really like from our product/services so we’ve just focused on ourselves and expect you to take a leap of faith with your hard-earned cash.”
It’s all too easy to play it safe when you’re launching a new website for example. You take a look at what your competitors are doing and decide rather than trying to appeal to your customers’ needs and desires, you’ll just talk about yourself a lot, because that’s what they’re doing.
Here’s a post we wrote about spotting the difference between content on professional service websites
Will somebody please think of the little children?
The reason for us writing this post isn’t because we’re perched atop some moral high horse and want to tell everyone it’s “my way or the highway”.
No sir (or madam), we’re sharing all this with you:
a) Because it’s true and
b) Because it taps into basic human psychology
If you have kids, nieces, nephews or whatever and want them to do something for you, how do you go about it?
Saying “Tidy your room little Timmy” is most likely to be met with a huffy response, a tantrum or being completely ignored!
However when you say “If you tidy your room Timmy, I’ll take you to the seaside for an ice cream” you’re going to get a much more positive reaction.
When people read website content or speak to a sales person they are firmly focused on:
“What’s in it for me?”
So whenever you write a service page for your website, an email asking for testimonials or a sales brochure – stop and think about what’s in it for the people who will be reading your content.
For example, instead of writing to past clients simply asking for a testimonial, you could send a little gift at the same time as your request. The power of reciprocity will ensure you get a much higher response as opposed to just saying “please write us a testimonial”.
To recap, if you want people to read what you’ve written and take action you need to:
- Answer their question “What’s in it for me?”
- Look outward rather than staring in the mirror
- Give, in order to receive