As the saying goes, content is king, though for many founders focused on business plans and tech development, writing it often seems like it is easier said than done. However, you don’t have to have a communications degree in order to be able to tell people a compelling story about your business and brand.
The key thing to remember is that you’re not writing the next great Australian novel, you’re trying to sell your products or services to people, and to do that, you have to tell them what they need and want to know; that means shifting your perspective as you write from yourself to your customers.
Forget the fifteen different dot points you want to write about that one little specific feature you spent three months developing, your sales goals, and your business objectives – focus on what your business does that can make a customer’s life easier.
There are four questions you can ask yourself here:
- What does your customer need?
- What does your customer care about?
- What does your customer want from you?
- How can you help solve your customer’s problems?
Essentially, you need to understand why your customer should care about what you’re telling them and make sure to explain that your product is what they need. This doesn’t have to be hard: presumably you started your business because you faced a problem that you thought you could solve yourself. Think back to that problem and how you’re solving it. Failing that, you should have done market research and tested product market fit before launch, and therefore should be able to answer these questions quite easily.
In this sense, it can be helpful to write addressing one person in order to better connect with your audience, making each piece of communication a conversation rather than giving it the feel of a presenter addressing a large, generic crowd. You’re talking with them, not at them; give them the sense that you have taken to understand them and genuinely want to help them.
When it comes to the actual writing, you don’t need to be able to write Shakespearean sonnets to have readers engage with and enjoy your writing. Shakespeare has connected with people across centuries because he wrote about things that everyone experiences and understands; if you understand your customers, you will be able to do the same. Find the basic universal truth that will resonate with people.
When you find your universal truths, it’s important to then think about your brand’s tone of voice. Do you want to be playful, authoritative, irreverent? The answer may relate to your product or the market you’re in, and what your brand cares about and what it stands for.
Your tone may also shift slightly for different times and places. Think of it this way: your team may spend the day ribbing each other good naturedly, because each person trust’s the other, but you are more polite and understated at a networking event where you are meeting new people.
Once you know who you are and who you’re talking to, it should be easy to write like you are have a conversation.