Whether you are speaking with your clients through social media, blog posts, emails, websites or other forms of media, you want to be able to make a connection.
There’s various ways you can do that, but the most important thing is to speak with them in a way they can understand. Don’t complicate your message with big words that make you sound impressive or with technical jargon that’s not relevant to your readers.
Here’s how you can do this in a way that will compel them to act by following a few simple steps:
Knowing who you want to read your tweet, blog post, book, email or whatever it is you’re writing will determine what voice you convey and which information you share. If you are writing to women who are in their mid-40s and want to change careers you will need a much different conversation than you would with those in their 20s who want to make a career change.
In a similar way, you’re writing style for holiday travel ideas for students will need to be different to how you’d write – or communicate in general – with a group of science professors interested in the latest industry technology.
So understanding who you’re communicating with is the first step.
This focuses your writing on where you will be publishing your work. Will it be published in a periodical, online, in an email, as a blog post, or as a social media post?
Will there be a possibility that a potential client or potential peer will see the article or visit the site?
Knowing how and where it will be published will help you find the voice of the writing more precisely and help you connect with the correct audience.
Before you begin writing you also want to know what the concerns or problems are that your audience is facing and what you want them to do as a result of reading the article or post. This allows you to speak directly to your intended audience when you focus on solving one problem or concern.
Once you know the who, how, and what of your writing you need to begin building a connection by grabbing their attention, engaging them and entertaining them all while maintaining your professionalism. Use vivid imagery wherever possible and allow your personality to show.
It may seem like a lot, but as you practise you will find that these aspects are all found naturally in your writing.
You need to grab attention as soon as possible so that your readers will continue reading.
Having life changing information in your writing will not matter if your intended audience doesn’t read it. Use a title that catches their attention and causes them to want more.
Where appropriate, include images or videos too.
After you have gained your readers’ attention, engage them in the writing. This is going to differ depending on what you’re writing. The general concept here though is to create a scenario where they answer questions and begin to relate the material to themselves.
Now that you have their attention and they are engaging with your content, entertain them. Unless your audience is looking for only facts and numbers, giving them the information in an entertaining way will keep them from falling asleep.
Stay on topic and use vivid, descriptive words – where that’s appropriate to do so.
Although you are connecting with your audience and working on building a relationship, you still need to remain professional. You want them to see you as an expert in your field and trust that you can help them. One of the quickest ways to lose trust is through poor grammar and spelling.
So make sure you double check or have someone else check your work before publishing. You want your audience to easily read your material and get the meaning and answer they need.
That said, I wouldn’t be too concerned if there are one or two minor errors once in a while.
Yes, I know this is going to upset some people but hey, nobody’s perfect! 😉
Mostly, readers will forgive the odd typo, especially if the content is worthwhile. But content that is full of errors doesn’t exactly scream professionalism.
I also recommend keeping yourself professional if someone posts something you don’t like in reply to your content. Sometimes misunderstandings happen … and sometimes you’ll come across someone who’s just downright nasty! Either way, you can address their statements or complaints without getting into an online slanging match.
There are ways to disagree with people in a polite, adult way and you should always make sure you don’t let your emotions take over and start saying things you may later regret.
One way to keep from boring and losing your audience is to let your personality through. Your readers will be able to build a deeper connection with you when they feel they know you. If you are a bit quirky, let that show through. If you are more serious, let that come through in your writing.
Your audience can feel your honesty in your writing. When they feel you are not being honest, they will lose their trust and connection with you.
Not everyone is going to like you or appreciate seeing your personality shine through in your content. That’s perfectly okay! You will attract more people who DO like you and feel they connect with you and these are the people you want around you.
The most important thing to remember is to get to know your intended audience and to write directly to them.
I know a lady who curses constantly throughout her marketing and makes no apologies for it. She’s also very spiritual (which is just a little too ‘woowoo’ for many). Some people are offended by this or thinks she’s off her rocker and don’t want anything to do with her.
But for others interested in her area of expertise – particularly others who curse a lot and are more spiritual – they absolutely LOVE her. Where some had felt they didn’t fit the stereo-typical “professional” within their niche, they see her as an example that they can be successful without having to change who they are or how they behave.
This lady has built a huge following and has earnt millions from being herself and connecting with others like her. These are the people she focuses on, not those who don’t like her or think she should change her behaviour.
It can take a little practise to get this right. Over time though, you’ll find it easier and easier to write in a way that best suits your particular audience(s). Following the guidelines above will help you to be able to build a solid connection and understanding with readers. With this, those people will keep coming back to hear more of what you have to say.
Donna-Marie is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Author and Content Marketing Specialist. Through her business, Jacaranda Business Support Services, she has been helping other small businesses to grow since 1998, with a knack for teaching systems that allow business owners to increase profits while working less.