We’ve all heard that content is king. This is true, whether you are writing for your website, a blog, or a social medium like Facebook. The big question you must answer, though, is what sort of content will work best for your purposes? In order to write the best possible content, you must know three things:
1. Who is your ideal client?
2. What problem do you solve for them?
3. How are you different from every other business that offers a similar solution?
WHO IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?
It’s tempting to begin the answer this question with “anybody who…” I urge you to banish “anybody who” from your vocabulary before you write another word of content for your website. In order to speak directly to the clients who will buy from you, you must speak their language. That’s hard to do if you don’t know who they are. It may be cute for a chiropractor to describe their ideal client at a networking meeting as “anybody who has a spine,” but that’s not really true, is it? Would they want clients who didn’t take their advice? Were reluctant to schedule weekly appointments, even if it was in their best interest? Could not afford to pay their fees? Of course not. So the chiropractor’s client – and YOUR client – is always much more specific than “anybody who.”
WHAT PROBLEM DO YOU SOLVE FOR THEM?
The best content will use the specific language of your ideal client so that they feel as though you are speaking directly to them. In order to do that, you’ve got to understand THEIR problem from THEIR perspective. You can’t guess and you can’t assume. You must know this for certain. How do you find out? Ask them! A financial advisor went straight to his clients during the heart of the Wall Street meltdown to find out what, specifically, was troubling them. After interviewing a few of them, here’s the headline he used on the homepage of his website: “Are you afraid you’ll never be able to retire?”
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT?
Once you know who your ideal client is and what their problem is, you must tell them how your solution differs from everyone else with a similar offer. Here’s where so many businesses’ web copy fails miserably: it states the obvious. Would you buy a mattress from a mattress company whose slogan is “We’ll help you sleep through the night”? Isn’t that the LEAST you should expect from your mattress? What about a dentist who will get your teeth clean? Or a lawyer who will keep you out of jail? Do your research (or recon, as the case may be) and find out how you really are different from the others in your industry. Visit their sites. Call and make inquiries to their businesses. Download their free whitepapers. And if you’re not doing anything different, figure out a way to start. Then, be bold and brave by telling your website visitors that you’re a freelance editor who teaches her clients to think like marketers.