Three questions to ask when you’re writing
Your message is important. What you have to say matters. And whether it’s in an email, a blog post, a newsletter or any other piece, your communication needs to cut through the clutter. How? Ask yourself three questions before you begin. Knowing the answer to these three questions will make sure your message makes an impact.
1. Know your audience.
Imagine you could hand-pick every reader. Imagine you have the attention of your ideal clients — so who are they?
Let’s be honest, one-size-fits-all usually ends up fitting no one well. When you focus on your ideal clients — your best clients — you are able to communicate your message to them, and your organization can grow. Writing for your perfect clients keeps you from watering your message down. With an ideal client in mind, you can give them focused topics that matter, content they’ll share, information that helps them and supports them. Win-win.
At Fervor, we like to define best clients by thinking about a real person, with a real name and identity. Thinking of a person, rather than a generic “target market,” gives you the context you need.
For one Fervor client, we call their ideal client “Bram” — yep, named after a real person who they really serve. What does Bram want to hear? What are his goals? What are his needs and his hopes? How does he interact with your brand? Why did he choose your company? When you know who you’re telling your story to, you instantly become a better storyteller.
2. Know your goal.
So far, you know WHO you’re writing to. Now, decide WHY. What’s the goal of your communication?
What goals could you have? Some common reasons for communication:
- Educate — You’re the expert, so tell them what they need to know.
- Introduce — What’s new? Programs, products, people . . . the list goes on.
- Build awareness & personalize your brand — Because personality isn’t just for people anymore.
- Call to action — Donate. Buy. Reserve. Read. Share. Call. Do something
It’s easy to fall into one of two big traps: too many goals or no goals at all. With too many objectives, your ideas can easily get lost. Without any goal at all, you’ve used a lot of words to say nothing at all.
When Bram is done reading, what’s the one thing you want him to remember? If he takes just one thing away from what you’ve written, what should that be? These questions can help you frame your goal.
3. Know your voice and tone.
You know what you’re saying — and your brand’s tone is how you say it. This is your brand personality, and it sets you apart from your competition, helps your best clients become even more connected to you and builds trust too.
One Fervor client specializes in building brand partnerships, particularly in the food and drink industries. We’re talking wine plus cheese, chips plus salsa, prosecco plus popcorn. It’s a fun segment, so it’s a fun and edgy brand voice. The company communicates with its audience in a variety of ways each month — a monthly call-to-action style Cross-Merch email, a twice-monthly “Happier Hour” with a fun and share-able stat and a blog digest. But what unites all three is the brand voice.
Apple is another good example of a brand with a solid tone and voice. It’s all about innovation, designing and dreaming. So as you write, make sure the tone matches your brand personality.
Fervor is more than just marketing. We make an impact by helping those who are out to do big things. You too? Then you’re in the right place. We’d love to talk through these three questions with you, so get in touch with us.