Imagine you’re at a party.
There’s a mix of old chums and people you haven’t met. Your buddy introduces you to the coolest woman. You like her immediately. She’s friendly, well-read, and well-traveled. She shares several of your interests.
“You two,” your buddy says, “should have a lot to talk about.”
Your new acquaintance smiles and shakes your hand. Your buddy drifts off. From everything he told you, you know this might just be your new BFF.
So you tell her about yourself in the most factual, detailed way you can. You keep your voice low-key, monotone, and without dialect. You don’t want to come on too strong. You skip the anecdotes and carefully remove all traces of personality from your words. You are sharing pure information.
Her smile fades. First her eyes slide away from you. Then she turns away her face, and eventually her entire body as she scans the crowd for someone else to talk to.
She turns back to you with a smile that’s a little too bright. She cuts you off mid-sentence.
“So nice to meet you,” she says. Then she walks away.
Content is conversation at scale
When you want to make friends with someone, you don’t drone on about yourself in a monotone hum. You make conversation. You ask them about themselves. You talk about shared interests. You let your dialect, your experiences, your personality shine through.
Good content is like good conversation. It’s engaging. It focuses more on the consumer than on the creator.
Good content has a voice and a personality all its own. The significant difference is that instead of speaking to one person, you’re speaking to many. Content is conversation at scale.
Content is conversation at scale.Tweet
You are your own secret sauce
The world doesn’t need more content. We’re drowning in it, thank you very much. The problem is that the vast majority of it is mediocre.
It’s not bad, per se. It’s just forgettable.
Like a boring conversation.
What the world needs is good content. Content that resonates, that plants a flag in your psyche so you find yourself thinking about it again a few days later.
Like an engaging conversation.
You are probably not the only business in your niche. There are other people who do what you do. There are other people who know what you know. And they’re creating content about it.
So how do you get your content to stand out from what they’re doing? You use the one thing you have that they don’t.
Your personality. Your experiences. Your values. Your voice.
This applies to companies as well as it does to solopreneurs. Your company needs to have its own personality, its own brand voice. The company’s personality may not sound exactly like yours. That’s why you need a brand guide that documents what the brand voice sounds like, so no matter who is creating content, it sounds authentic and reflects the same personality.
But isn’t that unprofessional?
I hear so many people say they’re afraid to create content that shows their personality because they don’t want to come off as unprofessional.
Bull dukey. You can be professional and still have personality.
Content that focuses on being completely neutral and inoffensive to everyone is like that monologue I described from the party. It’s not interesting to anyone.
It’s helpful to get a clear picture of your target audience. Who do you truly want to do business with? What is important to them? What do they value? That is the only group you should worry about offending.
If someone who does not fall into the description of your ideal customer is offended by your content, good. Because they were never going to be a great customer for you anyway. Trying to sell to them would have been a waste of time.
If someone is turned off by your brand’s personality, they’re not a good fit for you anyway. Your target market is the only group you need to worry about offending.Tweet
Showing personality in conversation is how you find friends. Showing personality in content is how you find community. When your community connects with you on a human level, they will be better customers. They may even become evangelists, going out and telling their community all about you.
Before you create one more piece of content, do two things.
- Think about your brand voice. Here’s a list of questions to help you crystallize this in your mind.
- Think about your ideal customers. What interests them? What’s important to them? What do they value? And how can you help them?
Now create your content as though you’re having a conversation with your ideal customer. Make it the kind of conversation they’ll remember later.
Need help figuring out your brand voice or working it into your content? Give me a shout for a one-on-one consultation.