In any marketing it's vital that you're able to communicate with your audience in a way that gets them to actually listen to you.
Nobody listening, nobody paying attention = nobody buying.
Now I've written before about some of the key principles here:
- Make sure you understand your potential clients at as deep a level as possible: know their hopes, fears, aspirations, goals. What they like, what they hate.
- Try to write (or speak) conversationally. In the way a friend or trusted business colleague would communicate.
- Use stories and examples, make it real and concrete for them.
Of course, that's easier said than done. If I look back at some of my early blog posts and emails I cringe at how stiff and formal they sound. Even today over 8 years later I often lapse back into trying to sound clever.
If you're not used to writing it can be tough to find a voice that works well and really connects with your ideal clients. So here's a simple technique that might work for you: study things that you know work.
Just to clarify: I said “study” not “copy”.
What I mean is that you take a piece of marketing or writing that you believe works well with your audience and you study it to figure out why it worked. WHat was the headline? Who did it target? What got their curiosity? How did they keep that going to get your to read (or watch) further etc.
I'm not a big fan myself, but some people advocate hand-copying something in order to learn from it
What you're trying to do is embed the patterns and style in your brain so that eventually, you'll integrate those successful patterns in your own writing.
Not verbatim, of course. Not copying. But learning. Apparently the more you write out material that's worked, the more you pick up little subtleties from them. They infuse the way you yourself write in future.
It's important you do it by hand by the way. Recent research in cognitive-neuroscience, including a landmark study at Princeton and the University of California, has shown that we learn differently and better when we write things rather than type them.
For many decades, professional copywriters and a number of fiction writers too have developed their styles by copying out classic works in their field by hand to learn the style of the masters.
That doesn't mean they ended up becoming imitators. Hunter S Thompson for example, hardly a copycat, reportedly wrote out “The Great Gatsby” and “A Farewell To Arms” by hand in order to learn the styles of F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
He had his own completely unique voice. But it was informed by study of those masters. Not just by reading them, but by copying out their exact words.
I haven't got the patience for that. But I definitely try to study what works. Not just listen to people telling me why it worked but figuring it out for myself from first principles.
It's a bit of a slog, but it's worth it.