This is a favorite phrase of one of my harshest critics.
Perhaps it is not surprising that she is also one of my oldest and most loyal clients.
She has seen, time and again, how writing skills (not just writing ability) can get her better results.
- There was the job posting that got all the applications she needed after a few ‘tweaks’ to the lonely original.
- Everyone enjoyed the boost in clients she saw with a few attractive Facebook ads.
- She was particularly proud of the articles that gained her community support.
You can get better results in your materials, too, by doing one simple thing.
No, I don’t mean close your eyes and visualize, though that wouldn’t hurt either. Whatever it takes to stand in the shoes of your reader will help your message.
This technique can be just as quick.
Literally, put a picture in front of you. Print a photo of the kind of person you’re writing for and tape it to the edge of your monitor while you write. Or split screen it while you’re working on your writing.
Using my client’s example from above, we would have used an image of a young person ready to work for the job posting, our target customer for the Facebook ads, and maybe a group photo from the last community picnic we attended, or a group of people involved in our same industry, for the articles.
You don’t have to get too carried away with a whole dream board of this person, just a snapshot image that immediately represents the individual you’re trying to reach.
Here’s why this works
No matter what you’re writing, you’re going to play with a few different ways to say it.
Think about it. Even when you’re dashing off a social media post, you probably change at least a few words while you’re writing. I hope you put a bit more attention into the things you write for your business.
As you play with the message, your eyes will naturally drift over the photo at the edge of your screen and remind you who you’re talking with. Seeing that person eye-to-eye, so to speak, will automatically inspire you to take on the tone of voice appropriate for your message.
See the job applicant on the screen?
You’ll remember you’re the boss in this situation and use professional language focused on the job you’re offering.
That happy customer smiling back at you will help you stay professional yet friendly, and the community crowd will keep you focused on the bigger picture and your role in it.
It’s human instinct to write the way we’re thinking at the moment. As you look at your employee / client / community / fill in the blank image, your mind will be focused on the conversation you’d be having with them.
Effective writing makes a connection to the person the message is intended for. There can be a lot of interior parts to this, but the bottom line is undeniable. For proof, just look at this infographic created by CopyBlogger.
Knowing how to frame your messages with just the right language can be a tricky topic at any time, but you can give yourself the DIY edge you need by incorporating this simple little practice into each one of your writing sessions.