Are You Writing SMART Content?
(Snippits from our oh so popular Digital Glue Podcast!)
The written word is the art and science of strategically delivering messages, emotions, stories, and information — read or spoken — to an audience. It’s a powerful form of communication that can be used in every occupation, service, and relationship we have as human beings. In business-land, we call it copywriting. Which is the act of writing for the purpose of marketing. The actual product itself is written content. And its primary goal is to increase brand awareness and persuade a person or group of people to take a particular action.
To excel in your business’s copywriting, it is imperative to consider what you are trying to say before you say it … Imagine what your message will make people feel and think of and how they might respond to your words. Copy isn’t just a bunch of words on a page. Copy has the power to persuade, educate and inform your ideal clients about your business, offerings and expertise. If you have a sound strategy for the copy you produce, you can take advantage of valuable opportunities with your dream clients!
Now, most believe that copy is supposed to be “creative” or complicated with new tricky words that make a bold statement. But the copy should be simple yet memorable so your ideal clients can relate to you instead of scratching their heads trying to figure it out … and your business.
And quite fitting, this quote that I truly love from Joanne Wiebe …
Your job is not to write copy. Your job is to know your visitors, customers and prospects so well you understand the situation they're in right now, where they'd like to be, and exactly how your solution can and will get them to their ideal self.
This is the exact message I want to impart to you today … this is the goal of solid, compelling content.
Copywriting, at its core, is all about our ideal client. When you focus on your ideal client’s pain points and position your offering as the solution, you can successfully craft content that will lead directly to sales!
So first, I’d like to take you through 3 key concepts of writing smart content and then go through my very favourite yet very necessary rules for writing. Some tried and true, and as old as the hills, rules for writing intelligent, proper content that will get noticed and make you stand out as the rockstar you are!
Speaking of rockstars … consider this quote by Robert Rose …
“Marketing is telling the world that YOU ARE a Rockstar. Content marketing is showing the world that you are one.”
Do you see what I mean??
Ok, let’s seriously dive right on in …
These 3 key concepts are an “untangling” formula that we believe you can take to the bank when writing copy that will turn some heads. Whether you are writing posts for social or copy for a new lead magnet, these are helpful in all areas. No matter what it may be. And you need these critical concepts in place to hit it home!
Let’s begin by discussing the very definition of content …
It’s best to think of content along several different lines. In the wide world of digital marketing, content encompasses four core elements:
- Information– What are the actual contents of your message? It can be factual, practical, entertaining, informative, a combination, or all four.
- Context – What should the content help you and the reader accomplish? Who is the target audience? And why is it being published?
- Medium – What channel are you publishing the content on, and how does that influence the overall message? What type of audience will you reach?
- Form– Is the content text, graphic, audio, video, interactive, virtual, etc.?
So, now that we have defined the inner workings of content let’s explore the key concepts …
The FIRST step is to figure out who is your ideal client. And in doing that, you must research to understand your ideal client’s pain points. This can be done through market research and reading reviews on other businesses that have provided a similar service to clients of the same type. You could even send out a few short surveys, talk to people on the phone or virtually on Zoom. The possibilities are plentiful!
Whatever the case, knowing exactly what your ideal client is struggling with will make you more in touch with exactly where they are right now. It’s even better if you can hear it from their own mouths. Then the process of becoming their solution will be so much easier to target.
The SECOND key concept is knowing where they want to go. What exactly gets them to hit “buy now” is what you need to know! It’s about getting your ideal client from point A to point B and showing them exactly what that will look like for them. You need to paint them a picture of how things will be once they hire you, and you have fixed their problem! They will be hooked.
And lastly … the THIRD concept is all about the solution and tying all the pieces together into a genius marketing bow. Positioning yourself as the expert, showing them that you are the person that will take them from pain point to solution, is what will get you those loyal fans. The ones who will leave you raving reviews.
Copywriting is all about bringing their pain points to the forefront and showing them possible solutions. Then use your services (and/or products) to get them from dream to reality. Just make sure that the ideas are genuinely your original ideas. You are accountable for every word, every graphic, and every hashtag you put out into the world!
So, with that said, now that we are ready to write, write, write! Let’s dive right into 10 VERY important rules for correct, effective, super awesome writing!
RULE #1: TAKE SPELLCHECK AND PUNCTUATION VERY SERIOUSLY.
Make yourself a master of this to the greatest extent possible. There are no rights and wrongs with imagination, but there is a right and wrong way for spelling and punctuation. Even a tiny error can place a shadow of doubt in a potential client’s mind … and that would just be a straight-up shame.
RULE #2: DON’T BE A COPYCAT … EVER!
Getting inspiration from someone’s work is impressive and admirable. And wanting to emulate someone’s style is A-OK. Just ensure you create unique content for your writings and always give proper credit where it belongs.
RULE #3: REVISE YOUR WORK. AND THEN DO IT AGAIN.
A concise, informative, and easy-to-read copy is QUEEN (or KING!). So, when you write, read it repeatedly until you think it’s perfect. Often there is more than one way to say something, and the goal is to find the best way. Make it enjoyable and easy. They will love you for that … See? You are already making their lives easier!
RULE #4: PAY EXTRA ATTENTION TO YOUR OPENING AND CLOSING PARAGRAPHS.
These warm them up and ensure we close with a strong feeling and message. They are guideposts, and each should have special care paid to them to ensure they set the tone to get their attention and keep it!
RULE #5: WRITE FROM YOUR HEART.
Write passionately, and don’t worry too much about grammar and punctuation in your first draft — that comes later. Ensure you have expressed all the ideas you want to, and then rules #’s 1 and 3 are up! This will ensure you get out everything on your mind, a brain dump if you will. Then the fine-tuning and polishing can begin!
RULE #6: LEARN TO TAKE CRITICISM AND USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
Yes … it can feel lousy when it happens; this content is your baby, right? But here’s the thing … criticism teaches us and only makes us stronger writers. Learning from a more seasoned writer, or even from a client you may have missed the mark connecting with, can be the hugest gift. It will prepare you for when you knock it out of the park next time! These words come from your heart and feel personal, but do not let them hurt your feelings. Your talent cannot be measured by others. BUT effective content to get a sale — that can ALWAYS be improved upon.
RULE #7: WRITE FOR YOU FIRST; THE OTHERS CAN WAIT A BIT.
This goes back to not being a copycat and writing with passion. People can tell when you are passionate about what you write. They can tell when someone is genuine and telling the truth. So start there! Write your heart out, and once you love it, make it applicable to the task at hand. Find your audience and mould it to your ideal client and their needs.
RULE #8: BE GENUINELY YOU!
This echoes what we discussed in rule #7 … If you offer a product or service and want to be in business with someone, let them know YOU. Let them into your world; show them your truth. This will attract the right clients and mean that the chance of working with people who do not vibe with you will be lessened. Don’t try to be anyone else but yourself. And let your content sound like the real you! The world needs you!
RULE #9: KEEP YOUR PROMISES.
Do not ever, ever, EVER promise anything that you cannot deliver on. Do not think your key to beating the competition will come by being everything to everyone. It can’t happen, and anyone who tries to buy that from you is NOT your unicorn client. There is truth to the old saying … “If it sounds too good to be true, it is.” So, be honest, genuine, humble, and … be a good human and strut your honest self with pride.
And last but certainly not least is …
RULE #10: NEVER STOP GROWING!
Business is about growth. We must always be learning, changing, pivoting, and adapting. Writing is the same. As our businesses grow, our content needs to reflect that growth. So, find ways to keep your creativity turned on and ways to bring joy into your writing. As long as you get yourself out there, posting to places where you can find traffic and engagement, the content will find its voice and style. Plus, you can always change social platforms later on down the road; that’s the easy part. The key here is to keep a close handle on the content you create and ensure it is always consistent with your brand … always! YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH, and if you dedicate yourself to continually learning and growing, you will never run out of ideas. There’s always something to say, always something that you can share with the world. So, providing value is a massive strategy to make others pay attention to and follow you. And if you’re feeling stuck, you can always share other people’s ideas by putting your own spin on things.
Everyone, no matter their niche or interests, all around the globe, has a value for something and that something could be from you. You could literally change someone’s life. So, put it in writing, make a video, record a podcast, say it in a graphic or a blog … Whatever you do and however you choose. As long as it fits your brand!
With that being said, here at Virtually Untangled, we focus on crafting content that feels as if you were sitting right across from your ideal client. And as we create content, we look to also build relationships by providing valuable content to the world. So, when you keep these key concepts in mind, you can easily create content that will get your ideal clients lining up at your door, wanting all you have to offer them. Opportunities will always knock at the door of the entrepreneur who radiates positivity. Someone once told me, “You will shine where you feel the most love,” that is very true of the messages you send out into the world through your carefully crafted, unique content.
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