How to Write From the Heart
It’s that time of year when people complain that they’re either alone or don’t know what gift to give their significant other for Valentine’s Day. This very first-world problem is what I call VD Anxiety, and there are three important things you need to know about it:
- It’s a thing, and if it isn’t, I’m making it one
- It’s not that VD
- The nice part about being alone--besides having the freedom to do whatever you want--is that you don’t have to angst over writing the perfect Valentine’s Day card
Finding a gift for my wife is not difficult because she’s easy to please. However, writing the Valentine’s Day card message is a struggle for me because we’ve been together for 18 years, and it’s hard to come up with new material. What makes me snap out of it Moonstruck-style is when I write from the heart and convey honest, genuine feelings--that are loving, I should mention.
What does any of this have to do with your business? For content writing to be successful, it must resonate emotionally with your audience. I’m not suggesting you write love letters to your customers and prospects; rather, when your messaging comes from a place of empathy and speaks to their pain, they will listen and want to learn more about how you can solve their problems.
Here's how you do it:
Understand the Difference Between Good Writing and Right Writing
You can craft copy for a website, blog, newsletter, etc. with smart words and flawless grammar, usage, and punctuation. I call this good writing because it sounds good to you. The problem is that it doesn't connect with the reader, and when you share it with the world, you get crickets in return.
I tend to run into this problem myself when I’m drafting content. I wind up with a piece that's written in my voice and not my client's. I’ve made me my audience, which is a no-no. Luckily, I’ve been doing this long enough that I slow down and ask: What do my client’s customers and prospects want to hear? For example, I work with a real estate attorney who represents home-sellers. Having sold two homes myself, I had tons of questions regarding closing and what happens afterward like:
- What are my closing costs?
- What should my home look like before I close?
- How long does the closing process take?
Sellers are thirsting for this information, so I wrote a blog post about what they can expect when it’s time to close. I call this right writing because I put myself in the shoes of my client’s audience to identify with them.
Write in Your Voice
Since I mention the term "voice" often, I should probably define it: "Your writer's voice is the expression of YOU on the page," explains The Writing Cooperative, better than any way I can. "It's you, as a person, that gives life to the writing."
Who are you? Are you serious? Personable? Laid back? No nonsense? Whatever your personality is, express it in your writing while appealing to your readers' needs. But remember to always make it about them.
Share! Share! Share!
Don’t let the effort of good writing and finding your voice go to waste. When you publish a blog or article to your website, have a system in place to automatically post the content to social media. Then repost within the same week. If your content is evergreen, share it again every few months. Social media platforms allow you to monitor how posts are performing, such as Facebook Analytics and LinkedIn Analytics. While HubSpot offers guidelines on when and where to post, I highly recommend you experiment to see what works for you.
When your writing is authentic, you can't go wrong. I can’t tell you what to get your loved one for Valentine’s Day, but never go along with, “Let’s not get each other gifts this year,” because that never ends well.
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