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Writing For Results Two Roadblocks And Three Solutions

By: thomasgray | Total views: 83 | Word Count: 488 | Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2013 - 10:00 PM

Let's be honest. Potential customers care more about what you can do for them than they do about your company or your story. No offense, but they really don't give a shit.
In today's ever-stretched business world where people don't have time to spare, the benefits matter, not the features. People want to know right from the get-go what's in it for them, how fast you can do it, and how much it will cost. If you like to talk about yourself, do it in a chat room. If you want to earn new business, tell your audience how their lives will improve from using your product or service.
The Roadblocks:
1) Ignoring the audience. There are two common roadblocks when writing for results. The first is ignoring the needs of the reader by focusing on yourself. Talk to what the audience cares about, not your own resume. Make sure everything you do relates to their concerns.
2) Ignoring the goals. The second mistake is to use the wrong kind of language all together. Do you want copy that sounds snappy and "wows" company creatives, or do you want content that achieves results for the company executives? I believe it's always better to win new customers for the company than to win personal awards for the work.
The Solutions:
1) Benefits, not features. People don't have much time and always want to know, "What's in it for me?" The WIIFM philosophy is easy to dismiss for untrained content developers because they think notion of About Me is really "about me." It's not. You have to turn your features into benefits for your customers.
Example:
"Offering tea from the world's best source means selling at higher profit margins."
not
"We have tea from the world's the best source."
2) "You" not "I". One of the easiest ways to remember your audience is to address it directly. Focus on using the right pronouns, and you will succeed in shifting the focus in the right direction. Talk about them, not you.
Example:
"You will learn insider secrets from my 25+ years of experience."
not
"I have been in the industry for 25+ years."
3) The right motivation. Hire agencies or individuals that have your best interests in mind and that understand how to talk to your audience. Look at their own marketing materials. If an advertising firm spends all its time talking about the different awards they won, question its motivation and its tactics. A brochure that wins an award for them won't necessarily win new customers for you. Accolades are features of the agency. They have no direct benefit to you.
Example:
"We will help you achieve a 20 percent response rate on this campaign."
not
"We won awards for the Acme campaign, and we believe we can win more with our ideas for your campaign."

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