“a confused mind, never buys while a confused seller never sells” Anon
Have you ever had one of those annoying emails drop into your inbox, with a great subject line, but when you open it up, it is full of, well, junk?
We are all familiar with sales jargon, exaggerated and dubious testimonials and endless streams of information about how you can be as rich and powerful as the people presented in the email.
And if you’re anything like me, you’ll hit the delete button before you get to the third paragraph.
A great advert doesn’t have to do that. A great advert reads a bit like a classic novel. You just can’t put it down, you talk about it, you share it because you can see yourself in it. It fills a gap, solves a problem. It speaks to you. It is what I would call intuitive-centered writing. Huh?
Let me cut to the chase. The main purpose of marketing is to increase profits, or put you on the map.
But there’s an art to it, a simplistic process that when applied correctly, can make your writing fly off the page.
Simply defined, intuitive-centered writing is your deeply personal intention to impact the world through your business copy. It doesn’t matter how large or small an impact you are aiming for, it is this impact which is leveraged into every single awesome word of content that you put out. It applies to whatever you are doing in your business now – regardless of whether you’re writing website copy, a whitepaper, adverts or news stories.
Intuitive-centered writing is an inner and outer process that ensures that you go straight to the heart of the difficulty your potential clients are having and advocate a fresh approach to resolving that difficulty.
It is being able to market your authenticity that can only stem from knowing exactly what you’re here to contribute and an unwillingness to be anything other than you.
So what’s the secret?
Well first it starts off with really being clear on who you’re writing to. Who is your ideal client? Once you have that in mind write your copy as if you were addressing it to them. It is not about you, it is about your audience. As an expert, you sometimes know what they need before they do, so weave that in. Engage them in a way that speaks to them and lets them know that you really care about their needs.
One good way to do that is to ask people for their feedback –carry out those surveys and conduct informational interviews with people. The better you know your client base, the more relevant your content is going to be and the more it is going to get out there.
This leads onto another point which many business owners and entrepreneurs miss which is how to fill that gap and convince your clients that you’re the man (or woman) for the job? You have to…..
Show them the evidence of what’s possible
This is where a lot of salespeople and marketing executives fall at the helm. If you’re selling washing machines for example, rather than robotically describing its dials, various buttons and features, you might start with explaining how it prevents the shrinking of that favourite top you’ve got and decreases the burden of what is for most people, a boring household chore.
Perhaps you’d include funny anecdotes about shrinking baby clothes, or the kids coming home for the weekend with eight baskets of clothing. Then maybe you’d gently touch on how it is you can avoid those kind of scenarios, which most people can relate to.
If your copy inspires the audience into believing that you can fill a gap or thwart a frustrating inconvenience, then the likelihood of motivating them to buy all of that cool stuff you’re selling, increases exponentially.
Essentially what you want to do is….
Influence them to act
Your ultimate goal is to get people so excited by the power of your words that they pull out their credit cards, or at the very least put your ad aside as their number one priority on their to-do list. Marketing isn’t just selling stuff to the client.
It is the art of communicating your value to another human being, in a way that fits into their world. It is the knack of successfully convincing a stranger why their life would be just that little bit better because of something that you’ve created in some way.
You can only do this by stepping into their world. Not by inviting them to step into yours. By conjuring up a descriptive and well considered image in their mind of how you can work for them, you can literally create magic by speaking their language. But you don’t just want to influence them to act. You also want to….
Influence them to share
Here we get into a game of Chinese whispers. Because not only do you want that client to come back, you want them to bring all their friends and family with them too! In a sense, part of influencing them to share will be down to their experience of your product – which is why it is always so important to keep any promises made in your initial marketing, because contrary to the laws of physics there is one thing that travels faster than the speed of light and that is – reputation.
But in light of that (excuse the pun!) there are some technical things you can do to make that sharing process just that little bit easier for a prospective client. This includes installing ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ buttons at the end of your page, including hyperlinks and by simply encouraging people to share your material if they liked it.
Another great way to grab the attention of your ideal client is to..
Inject your personality into the piece
Write in the same way that you talk. Use contractions, start sentences with ‘and’ or ‘but’ and end with prepositions. This doesn’t mean it has to be overly casual or sloppy, but readable. Doing this also makes it easier to write. People buy you first, your product second, your company third.
But if you don’t put yourself in the writing, they’ll either see through it, or they’ll buy the person they see in your writing and you’ll end up with clients you don’t want. Just be comfortable in your own skin. This isn’t a call to simplistic or dumbed-down writing– but just the opposite. It is about showing off your talents, writing clearly and with personality.
Every form of marketing that uses words has writing as its foundation. Even if you know that your ideal audience loves video and you do a lot of video, the chances are that you start at least in the beginning with a script.
Then as you get better at it, you probably have an outline and for SEO purposes, you typically would have some writing below the video encapsulating what it is about.
It is the way you set yourself apart from anyone else in your industry who does what you do. As you practice this, with the intention of influencing your readers, keep one thing in mind – clarity. Make it clear and make it skim-able. In this way, a client can always revisit your page when they need to and it is likely to imprint much faster on their psyche.