Would you like to hear a secret?
Now you must be wondering, what could I possibly be telling you that you don’t already know. It’s a small thing actually, that they don’t teach you at school. It’s the fact that we all do in the name of marketing, on daily basis. We don’t think about it or plan it carefully beforehand, but we do it.
What I’m talking about here is social media. We write posts and update statuses a few times a day, and write long-form articles weekly too. Well, in the name of online presence, who doesn’t?
The truth is when we are writing content, we are actually marketing ourselves. Some do it unintentionally and some intentionally. I invented a cool term for it, I call it as a Sophisticated Undercover Marketing. We tell our stories, share tips, provide motivational quotes and support to other people. This leads often to positive brand presence, growth of your network and brings business to you. Everything is being done indirectly in the name of securing sales, hence the term I created seems to well sync with the activities.
If we look this from another perspective, it’s not just marketing it’s personal branding as well. When you write, you are establishing yourself as a subject matter expert or practitioner. You indirectly showcase who you are in the writing, what you know, what you do, where do you stand on certain topics and so on. Your stories and experiences are part of you. They are you actually, and they are brand.
There are some key elements that you need to take into account when writing your content. Don’t simply write for the sake of writing but do it with a purpose. And now I’ll reveal to you what you must do next time when you write.
- Authenticity, it is important because no one likes content that is similar to other people’s.
- Be yourself. Never ever try to pretend to be someone you’re not, People can smell it easily.
- Honesty. Be honest as people love true stories.
- Value. Provide value to others. Something beneficial to them. It can be in a form of advice, information, opinion, idea, suggestion or a real-life story that has a moral lesson attached to it.
- Write to a person. Write as if you’re talking to another friend or person. Don’t address a group, but an individual instead. Make the reader feels that you’re talking to him or her.
Never write a monologue or pure data, people don’t usually read them. It makes them remember a school textbook. Like I said in my last article, people just into stories, not so much into factsheets.
Oh, one more thing. Have fun when you write. Play with those words, be creative in crafting them. You don’t need to stick to the theory what’s taught at school, but modify it to serve your purposes. Make the story humanised, use simple set of words that is not so complicated. There’s tons of ideas and tips on social media marketing and how-to of storytelling, but I’d say that you need to find your own style and path. You don’t want to sound like everyone else. Status quo is boring. It’s the authenticity and originality that sells.
Would you read posts or articles that are sound the same? I wouldn’t. I see often posts that are so similar that I end up bypassing them to find something different, something new and interesting. Many actually fall into the trap of writing about the same topic, same substance and ideas as others hoping to get the piece go viral. It doesn’t work that way.
Now here’s my last secret. Build a relationship with your readers. A relationship is the ultimate foundation of everything branding and marketing. Yes you can spread the word, get creative with the exposure and the awareness but nothing will happen when there’s no trust. People will only offer their trust when there’s a relationship, a bonding in place. So, you must first build a relationship to get the trust out of them. Then only the business will start to flow in.
My own secret weapon is simple and straightforward. I just be myself, pure and unedited. On LinkedIn, I’m known for making business humane and simplify everything that is being written on social media. I think I broke all the traditional rules of doing business online. I’m actually proud to be different. Some called me a fresh breeze as I show my life of business consultant and coach as well as being a stay-at-home mother. I provide value to the broad spectrum of people – support, encouragement and advice on the area of my expertise. I don’t dress to impress, it’s the message that counts, the value people are getting out of it.
Now answer these questions.
Are you getting the result you want? Are you providing value to others? What can you do to improve the situation? Have you found your own unique style of writing and telling stories? If the answer is no to most of the questions, then you may need to take a step back and review what you’re doing. You may need to start finding a better approach. Unleash your creativity, find your true strength and style. Conquer the world with your personality and knowledge. There is no other person like you in this world, and that alone makes you a very unique person.
Finally, I want you to remember that practice makes a master and patience is a virtue. Finding your unique style of writing takes time but it’s well worth the effort. Building relationship and audience doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen eventually. Value is what attracts the readers. Have fun, play with words and be creative with them. Sharing your real-life story will help your audience connect with you. This is where the bonding starts.
No matter what your goal is, the moral of the story is this. You need to differentiate yourself from others to stand out. This is how you play your game.