Thanks to the flawless comic delivery of Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live, “More cowbell,” has become one of the most recognized modern one-liners.
What does your content need?
Put down your bell and do more of these two things instead:
Let Your Personality Sing
Unless you’re writing a technical manual, an academic piece, or something that otherwise demands a heightened degree of stuffiness and formality, relax a little. Writing in a conversational tone helps readers stay tuned in and makes them better able to grasp your message. Write like you speak so your content sounds natural and genuine. In the process:
- Include references to things readers can relate to (e.g., cowbell).
- Share relevant personal experiences to help your audience connect with the topic and to you as the author.
- Avoid too much jargon, and don’t use fancy-dancy words to demonstrate your intelligence.
Approaching your writing in a more casual, conversational way doesn’t mean you will forfeit professionalism. To the contrary, you’ll improve your professional image by putting out content that readers will want to consume and share.
The “You” Factor
“You” is one of the most powerful words you can use in your marketing content. It instantly makes your readers a part of the conversation rather than keeping them on the outside looking in.
Work more “you” into your writing rather than using third person references.
For example, if I had written the first two sentences under this bullet as shown below, it would lose its direct connection to the reader, “’You” is one of the most powerful words business marketers can use in their marketing content. It instantly makes their readers a part of the conversation rather than keeping them on the outside looking in.”
And “you” becomes especially important when you’re writing about your services and products. Rather than dominating your content with sentences that begin with “We can…” or “We will…” or similar “we” wording, shift the focus on the reader and the benefits they can expect. For example: “If you…” or “You will find…” or “You’ll discover…” bring your readers into what otherwise might sound self-centered and pushy.
Final Notes (“Notes,” Get it?)
While more cowbell won’t make your small business marketing efforts smash hits, paying attention to how you approach the voice of your content can help give you star quality. Infuse more of your unique self into your writing style and speak to (rather than at) your readers.
Your turn! What tips and tricks have helped you connect with your readers?