What’s the scariest blog post you have ever read? For me it’s a blog or website without any personality.
Storytelling and personalization is the key piece in content marketing as I see it. People are good at writing about what they know. They aren’t as good about expressing who they are and why they do what they do.
If you’re not writing real stories, your content – on your blog, in your newsletter, on your web pages – runs the risk of being boring. You may be excited about what you do as a professional, but your clients will get bored or overwhelmed if you just throw information at them.
What’s your back-story?
Knowing and communicating your back story – the background about the why and who of your business – is especially important in service businesses where people hire you to help them solve a problem.
I once asked a guy who founded an online training service what his back-story was, and he didn’t know what I meant.
He thought I would see the obvious, that there was a gap in what was available online and an opportunity to make money. Okay, that’s exciting… to you and your spouse for sure.
But there’s always more to the story than that: Why did he personally spend considerable time, energy and money creating what he did?
There has to be drive, passion and love. He had to care. That’s the story people need to know.
For me it’s all about the research and writing. This is quite evident if you know my back-story.
I was a journalist for 20 years, then I pursued my passion for psychology. Both professions allowed me to spend time doing what I love: research and write.
As a psychologist/executive coach, what I didn’t like was the amount of time I was spending in traveling and stuck in airports. However, it ended up working in my favor.
Here’s My Back Story…
One day, while sitting in a busy airport between client appointments, I bumped into a colleague. We talked about ways to spend time between flights, and ended up talking content marketing. He mentioned not having time to stay in touch with former clients or do any type of consistent marketing for his business. I thought to myself, “…this shouldn’t be so hard.” So I put together my first newsletter. Then I swapped out my photo for his, put his logo and banner at the top, and said, “Here, you can use this.”
The clients on his list loved “his” newsletter, and he got many responses.
Since then, I’ve moved on to ghost blogging and ghost writing expert ebooks, focusing on leadership and personal development topics.
What seemed like a daunting task to my colleague is pure fun to me. Research and writing is my passion; it drives me.
So what is your passion? Have you put it in a story you can share with clients?
People pay attention when you tell client stories or share your own personal experiences. We’re hard wired that way.
When you illustrate a concept with a story about real people, our brains light up. We become engaged. We start to care. Our mirror neurons get triggered and we put ourselves into the story. We imagine something happening to us and how we’d feel and act.
To engage the hearts and minds of readers, you need to be real, be human, and surprise them. Storytelling is the best way to do that.
But we don’t see that on many websites, do we? We’re still talking biz jargon and trying to sound like a corporation instead of a real person. In the blogs and websites I review, I still see bios written in the third person … what if you told your story and used the personal pronoun “I?” It’s not as scary as you might think.
What do you think? Is writing about yourself a challenge? I can help. Contact me here or on LinkedIn.