Have you noticed that traditional styles of advertising are getting more and more stale?
That’s because the internet has torn down so many different barriers that we don’t realize how much has changed, until we take a look at the real numbers. And across many different businesses that friends of mine own, in many different industries, we’re seeing “traditional” ads become increasingly obsolete (i.e., those featuring the name of the business, and a basic listing of the services provided).
So look — I’m not a marketing guru. I come alongside families to prepare them for painful trials, down the road. That said, I’ve learned that there sure are plenty of other accountants out there who would love to take my clients from me.
So I’ve had to learn to stand out a little bit — and the best way, today, is by writing to connect deeply with prospects.
So, I’ve cobbled together some great advice on effective marketing writing, no matter the industry. It’s a difficult subject to attack broadly, but these principles can serve as a useful checklist for you when you sit down to put together your advertisements.
Let me know what you think — and do let me know if there is any way that my staff and I could assist you before year-end.
Stephen Venuti’s 5 Marketing Rules for 2015
“It doesn’t really matter who you used to be, what matters is who you’ve become.” – Robert Tew
There’s a big difference between the stale advertisements of earlier days — and the kind which is working today, in the age of social media and the boundary-free internet. The difference comes down to writing your marketing in such a way as to build a real connection with your clients and prospects. Those of my business owner friends who work to build that real connection do see the difference in their results.
So how do you advertise and write in such a way that actually draws people in and builds connections? Here’s how.
1) Share Yourself
Chances are, you’re not the only person selling what you’re selling, right? But people will listen to what you’re saying, not only because of your content or products, but because they enjoy hearing you share your actual experience.
If you’ve had a specific experience that relates to what you’re talking about, share it. Believe it or not, this can actually have a big impact on people feeling like they can trust you. They’ll feel as though they know you more. The internet has torn down the false wall of impersonality. The pathway to profit lies behind it.
2) “What’s In It For Me?”
The old “WIIFM” question is one you should answer as quickly as you possibly can, in any kind of marketing piece. Marketing content which rambles on and on without being crystal-clear about what the reader is getting does not get read (or acted upon), period.
Not only should your WIIFM be totally clear, but you should put it as early in your content as possible. That way, people will know why they should keep reading as soon as they start reading.
3) Be Conversational
Write like you talk. Don’t use corporate fluff-speak. You’re having a person-to-person conversation — just over the internet, or through a piece of mail.
Use slang. Start your sentences with “and” or “because” if it sounds natural to you. And, most importantly, put your passion and spirit behind your words.
4) Let It Sit
Before you publish or send out your content, let it sit for a day or two. Then, come back and review it one more time before you publish it. Often, the second time around, you’ll pick up on things you didn’t the first time. These could be grammatical mistakes (though these aren’t always a killer), or it could just be more information you can put in that will make your content even better.
5) Show Your Credibility
There are so many people on the internet giving different advice, it’s hard to know who to listen to. Have you helped over 1,000 people solve this specific problem? Make sure they know that. Have you been featured on Fox and CNN? Make sure that’s plastered all over your website. Have you done exactly what you’re teaching, in spades? Make sure they know that.
In short, the questions of “why should I listen to you?” and “why should I trust you?” should be answered before you ask your readers to take your word on something.
Here’s the bottom line: If you write in a way that really connects with your readers, you’ll build more internet traffic, more responses, more loyalty, more referrals and more sales.
Write to connect with your prospects.
Feel very free forward this article to a Newtown Square, PA business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Newtown Square, PA families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.
Warmly (and until next week),
Stephen J. Venuti, CPA, MST, LLC