Simply being yourself can have a profound impact on your marketing writing.

There is a lot to good marketing writing other than simply writing about your business. The days of getting readers to pay attention to commercials, or passing off straight advertising copy as a blog post are over.

No one sits down at their computer to read eight hours worth of commercials. They sit down at their computer to make informed decisions. They sit down at their computer and read compelling writing because they want to learn from you and be a little entertained along the way.

So what does that mean for a small business wanting to blog to grab a little more attention for their business online? What does that mean for the business looking to attract a larger audience with their marketing writing?

It means you have to get personal and be friendly. It means you don’t need to be so robotic and stuffy. Just be you.

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. No one alive is youer than you.” – Dr. Seuss

today you are you

Use Your Marketing Writing to Separate Yourself from the Competition

There are probably hundreds if not thousands of businesses that do what you do, and a significant chunk of them reside in their little corner of the online world. That means your potential customers have a choice. They’re not just your potential customer, but your competition’s potential customer as well.

Your readers may already know people in your industry. They may have looked at a handful of websites before they stumbled on yours. But you know what? You still have a chance at attracting their business. But the thing you have to remember is that people do business with people. No matter if you’re B2b or B2c.

Be Likeable – Get Personal

Let people understand who you are, not just as a business, but as a person. For example, I write about being a dad, and have mentioned my love for sports, music, and good TV. My Twitter cover photo has the Wrigley Field marquee on it.

I’m not saying that any one of these things has been THE reason that clients have contacted me, but they have all been the subjects of conversations with clients in the past.

It’s not enough to simply know your stuff. To stand out from the competition requires knowing your stuff, and the ability to convey it in a way that conveys some personality.

Some other practices to endear your readers:  

  • Write how you talk – This is a great way to convey your personality. So picture yourself out for coffee with a client or customer. What kind of language would you use to describe what you do? Chances are you wouldn’t be using big stuffy industry words to your clients, because you can physically see their eyeballs gloss over. Don’t do it in your writing, either. Or, at the very least, if you have to use them, define them. You can also use contractions, to keep a friendlier, more informal (but still professional) tone.
  • Sell a solution, not your product – Show your readers that you understand and even empathize with their problem. If you once had their problem yourself, tell them. Don’t just rattle off a bunch of features of your product, because quite honestly, no one will care and it’s boring. Instead, show the benefits of your product, and how it works to solve customer problems.
  • Have a plan – Give your readers an idea what it’s like to do business with you. From reading your blog and other marketing writing, they should be able to tell what kind of product services you offer, what it’s like to do business with you, and how you can help. A lot of that can be established by being deliberate in your marketing, and creating a marketing plan.
  • Tell a good story – People remember stories, not data. They remember how a good story made them feel. The art of storytelling can be learned, and can help you sell more through your marketing writing. Make sure you are doing everything you can to give your writing a narrative flair.
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say – Do your readers really know what you want them to do? Make sure that your marketing writing includes a clear call to action, that gives your readers an action they can take. Nothing is more frustrating than being sold on a product or service, and not knowing how to take action. For your blog, your calls to action can be to comment, download an eBook, sign up for a newsletter, or to share the content.

How has your marketing writing helped you sell more? Or, if it’s not, have you given your readers a reason to choose you over the competition? It might be time to get a little more personal in your writing.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-based marketing writer and copy editor.

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