In a recent blog post, Compelling Content: What Are Your Readers’ Hot Buttons?, we explored the top 10 hot buttons and the use of emotional words and phrases to tap into these issues. Here’s another model based on only 4 drivers.
4 Drives in a Nutshell
Driven: How Human Nature Shapes Our Choices (Jossey Bass, 2001), by Harvard professors Paul R. Lawrence and Nitin Nohria.
Based on evolutionary science, our drives can be categorized into four basic motivations:
- The drive to acquire
- The drive to bond
- The drive to learn
- The drive to defend
This is subtle and important. Let’s imagine you run an executive coaching business. You provide professional services to leaders in organizations. Since you work one-on-one with your clients, you probably have a pretty good idea of which of the above four motivators frequently come into play.
If your clients are results-driven competitive executives, you can’t assume that they’re motivated by the drive to acquire, but it’s a good bet. They may just as well be driven to succeed by the desire to form successful relationships with others, or to learn everything there is to know, or to defend their territory.
But one drive will probably be more motivating than the others, and it will be evident in your client’s priorities. Assuming your client is driven by the drive to acquire and to have more, you’ll need to write content to appeal to this need.
What is the fear associated with each drive?
Next, you need to identify the fear that your reader might have, associated with what motivates them. What would be the pain point that compels a person with the drive to acquire? It would be the fear that they are missing out, the fear that someone else has something they don’t.
This is how you use hot buttons to write compelling content. Give a case study, an example, to make it real. Make it resonate with your readers’ desires and drives. Spell it out for them by telling a story.
If you aren’t continually tying in your stories with what you do for a living, you aren’t giving readers the message that you are a working professional for hire. They won’t see the opportunities to work with you, or the benefits that your clients receive from you.
Relieve their pain
Tell readers what they need to do to solve the problem. This is a call to action. It depends on the context but the underlying message is that you have what they need. How can they get more of you and your solutions?
To summarize, in order to write compelling content that works to market your business, you must:
- Identify a problem your readers have
- Know what drives them
- Expand on their pain and challenges
- Appeal to their emotions
- Offer a solution
- Ask them to take action
What am I missing on this list? Did I manage to clarify some of what goes into compelling content? Other suggestions? Feel free to hit the comment link and share.