Messages From Friends Get Read First
This is true for most of us. When we open our email, messages from our friends get read first. This is because they (generally) make us feel good. Causes our brains to generate a little dopamine.
Did you know when you write blog posts as if they were notes to a friend, you help the people who read them feel good about you?
Did you also know that notes you write to friends follow certain patterns? Which you can use in your blog posts?
#1 Write For One Person
While this may sound counter intuitive, picture in your mind your ideal customer. Go so far as to know if they’re married or single, if they have kids or not, if they own pets. Go so far as to give this person a name.
Then when you write, write to this person.
Don’t write to the world, or the people on your email list. Write to this specific person.
#2 Talk to Them, Not at Them
Address them and their needs. They’re probably much more concerned about their problems than they are about yours. By keeping that in mind you’ll write to address their needs and concerns.
#3 Don’t Talk About Yourself
A blog post is not a journal entry. It’s not a place for personal reflection. It’s a place to treat your reader like a friend and focus on their needs.
#4 Don’t Sell (Overtly)
If you were sitting across the table from your friend sharing coffee, and you knew a solution that would solve a problem of theirs, you would tell them. If it so happens your business provides a solution to a problem they have, by all means tell them. But not in an overtly selling way.
When people feel you’re giving advise, they listen (depending on the person). When people feel you’re selling, they tune you out.
#5 Ask Questions
If you were really talking to a friend, you would ask them questions to help you better understand their mindset. Do this where appropriate in your blog posts.
#6 Use Small Words
For what it’s worth, this is one I need reminding of sometimes. To be easily understood, write at the level of 8th or 9th grade. Use small words and short sentences.
Of course if your audience is M.D.’s and the friend you’ve imaged requires scientific explanations of things, adjust your writing accordingly. However this applies to very few of us.
#7 Keep it Short
By which I mean for you to write short sentences (this is so important I’m saying it twice) and short paragraphs.
The meaning of any communication is what the receiver understands, not what you meant to say.
Keep it simple.
#8 It’s OK to Break Rules of Grammar
Of course it helps to know them first, but don’t feel your tied to them. In natural conversation many people start sentences with “and” or “but”. Write the way you talk.
#9 Be a Little Controversial
But just a little. Saying things that encourage people to stop and think do in fact cause people to stop and think.
#10 If You Use Slang, Then Use Slang
If you use slang in your natural voice, then use slang in your blog posts. After all, it is from you and you want it to sound like you.
#11 Are There Things Only You Say?
I’ve known people who have pet phrases like “Cool beans”, or “Jeez Lousie”. If you use any pet phrases in your natural speech, you should also use them in your blog posts. It makes them more yours.
#12 No Tech Talk and No Jargon
Tech talk also means legalize, corporate talk, etc, etc. The last thing you want to sound like is the mission statement from anywhere (unless you happen to know some business that actually has a good mission statement).
Do you want to sound like a real person? Then talk the way YOU talk.
#13 Don’t Be Afraid to Be Vulnerable
People like people who are like them, and we are all vulnerable from time to time. We all know this, even if we don’t like to admit it.
When you share your wins and your failures, you come across as more genuine.
#14 Tell Stories About Yourself
I know I said not to talk about yourself. Now I’m contradicting myself. If you have a story from your life experience that helps make a point, use it.
Again, if you were sitting with a friend, wouldn’t you?
#15 Provide Specific Examples
Everyone talks about theory. When you’ve got real honest to god tangible examples of whatever, share them.
Examples help bring big picture ideas into focus.
#16 Act Like a Friend
Most of us do not talk to our friends the way we talk to our prospects and customers. Try it. You’ll be more relaxed. Bond a little. Sell a little later.
Try it in person and in your blog posts.
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