I’m currently on a flight to Los Angeles for a wedding. That makes me sound like some sort of jet setter, but we have family living there. Anyhow, as we prepared for takeoff, the usual safety video was playing. As I’ve flown a few times over the past few months, I’m pretty familiar with the video at this point, and to be totally honest, I mostly tuned it out.
Marketing your business works much same way. If you aren’t providing something of interest, the folks you’re hoping to reach won’t tune in. If you are just rehashing the same old stuff, they’ll tune you out.
You might be wondering how exactly you come up with interesting content that your potential clients will respond to. The answer is about as simple as it gets: ask your target clients, and listen to the questions they’re asking you time and time again. That’s where you get the best material to work with on your website, email newsletters, Youtube videos, Facebook posts, or wherever else you’re trying to reach people.
So ok, maybe that part seems easy enough. Maybe you’ve got a list of things you could write about. But, how do you actually compose something good? How do you make it interesting?
The first thing is to get out of ‘professional writing mode’ (or ‘school writing mode’ for those of you who still remember that stuff). For the most part, no one wants to read something that sounds like it was composed as part of an essay for a high school physics class (with all due respect to the amazing physics teachers out there!). If it reads like an annual business report or a legal document, you need to rethink your writing style.
Instead, draw on personal experiences, put in a touch of your personality, or pepper it with jokes if that’s how you roll. Something to make even the most dry content more fun for your intended audience. Be genuine and be yourself – don’t try to make yourself into something you aren’t, because that’s what you ‘think’ people want to read. If you take that approach, your content is more likely to get shared and have the right kinds of people (that is, those who might hire you!) coming back for more.
Going back to physics for a sec, a great example of this was the work of Richard Feynman. He was unabashedly a huge science nerd (to put it mildly)! But he also loved teaching others what he knew. He presented everything he taught in a fun, practical, everyday manner. While his work wasn’t marketing his business per se, it was a way for him to share science with an audience that might be curious but not science-minded. And his quirky personality certainly did make folks take interest!
This is what you really want for your business. You want people to go ‘oh, yay!’ when they see your newsletter in their inbox, or see your posts on social media. You want them to be interested to see what you have to share. You want people to tell others about your great newsletter/blog posts/YouTube channel/podcast/whatever-your-thing-is.
You don’t have to win a Nobel Prize like Feynman did, and you don’t have to have his quirks. But his love of his subject matter and passion for sharing information in an interesting way? That. That’s how you reach people.