Words and Marketing are Inseparable
When you see the words “blog post” or “article” or “marketing brochure”, does your stomach turn?
Do you squirm?
Do your palms start to get warm?
Or maybe you say to yourself, as many business owners do, “Who has time to write” and forget about it.
Today, that’s a lot like asking who has time to market their own company.
If you’re a sales or service professional, you have to make time to market your own business.
And today, words are the marketing currency of your business.
Words are and have always been your marketing moolah. It is the currency you pay to get the attention of those you want to reach.
- Words are how people communicate, share ideas and persuade.
- People use words when they are searching for your products and services.
- The most popular words get you higher in search results because words are what the search engines use to produce their results.
- Descriptive words help search engines identify and find your images online.
- Fascinating words get your stuff read.
- Informational words get people to take notice of your products and services.
- Compelling words get your prospects to become customers.
- Engaging words get your videos viewed.
- The right words at the right time, keep your customers coming back for more of what you offer.
So what do you do if you’re not a creative wordsmith, a Hemingway, a J.K. Rowling?
You do the work and you practice.
Your goal is not to write the next great novel. It is to communicate to your audience and you need to use words to do that.
It’s not as difficult as you think.
Every time you speak, you use words – order a meal, interact with your customers, share a story with a friend, talk to your Mother, talk to your pet. The point is you know how to use words. You just aren’t comfortable with writing these words down. So, let’s develop a plan to help you overcome this imaginary word boogieman.
11 Steps to Getting Comfortable Writing Words for Marketing
1. It is not brain surgery
Remember that writing is just putting the words you speak – the words you use every day – onto paper, into a blog post, a brochure, an ebook or into any format others can read. If you can speak, you can write.
2. Figure out your Preferred Mode
If you begin to hyperventilate just thinking about writing, then figure out work-arounds.
Work-around 1: Consider recording your thoughts via audio. Microsoft Windows has a speech recognition program built in so you can easily dictate your words in Word or in PowerPoint. Apple probably has one as well.
Work-around 2: There are also dozens of free and premium apps where you can create audio files and have a virtual assistant transcribe your thoughts for you.
Feel you have the right words, but you question your grammar? For some audiences proper grammar is required and a sign of professionalism.
Work- around 3: Draft your document in Word or PowerPoint and use the Spelling and Grammar tool.
3. Know what you want to communicate
It is way too easy to get side-tracked when you are talking or writing. So have no more than 3 key points already outlined for your document. Use a Mind Map system if you like that tool or just write down your key points so your don’t go off on tangents .
4. Pretend you are talking to a Special One
Form a mental picture of that special client or a mentor you love to share ideas with and speak to them. You want to write just like you would talk to this unique person.
5. Resist $5 words when 25 cent words do the job
When it comes to writing, some feel the need to use fancy $5 words when simple words work better in communicating your point(s). You want your words to sound like you, personal and genuine. The best way to instill that personal touch is to use the words you use every day to communicate.
6. Schedule a Time to Write
Being comfortable writing is just like any other skill set. It requires practice. It would be nice if it didn’t, but it does. The best way to practice is to schedule a special time to write, every day. Then just do it.
7. Add some Time Pressure
Use an egg timer and give yourself 20 minutes to get your thoughts down. This way you won’t dilly and dally around. You’ll be focused on getting the piece done and you won’t be wasting your time. Any business owner can spare 20 to 30 minutes any day of the week.
Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar. You want to get the gist of your thoughts down and quickly. You can always clean it up later.
8. Pay Attention to SEO
While SEO is not the King it used to be, it still matters. When you do your editing, be certain to include those keywords in the strategic places (headline, subheads, body and at the end) that will help get your piece found.
9. Keep a little Black Book
Not that kind of Black Book…but one where you can capture writing ideas when they pop into your head. You may think you’ll remember, but chances are you won’t. Jot them down.
10. Swipe what you like
The best way to learn how to craft compelling headlines, irresistible email subject lines, compelling website copy is to swipe it. No, I’m not referring to plagiarism! I’m talking about using what you like as templates for what you create for your company. Set up a swipe file to store all of those great templates and refer to them…often.
11. Promote Your Words
It’s not enough to just create your marketing pieces. You need to have a promotional plan to spread your words around so others will see it. Yes, on Social Media, but also through other sources – forums, other related bloggers, industry trade websites and publications, via email marketing.
Promote your words smartly and it will pay you dividends.
It is through your use of words that you will build your business – online and off.
Are you using your online currency, your words, to capture your audience?
What are your reasons for avoiding writing blog posts, articles, eBooks?
What tips can you share about how to get comfortable writing for your business?