Who Are You Talking To?

“For better or worse, a writer is working all the time.” Robert Bruce

I would argue that this premise isn’t 100% true – at least among the writers I hang out with. But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend it is.

If writers are writing all the time, it would be safe to assume that they steer clear of the common pitfalls ordinary folks experience when they put pen to paper {so to speak.}

Again – I beg to differ.

Consider the issue of snooze-worthy marketing content. Even writers who’ve been writing forever can’t always deliver sparkling copy on command. We have good days, so-so days, and crap days. And most of us carry a big bag of tricks to rummage through when it all goes sideways.

Is there an antidote for writing less-than-stellar content? I don’t know of any magic pill. But here’s a go-to remedy I keep stashed in my bag:

Personalize, don’t generalize.

When we connect with a client or customer – in person, on the phone, or via chat – we engage in a one-to-one conversation with a specific individual. But when we write about our products or services, we tend to see our audience as a sort of faceless mob.

Doing this puts distance between you and those you’re addressing. It also separates you from the energy and enthusiasm that light up your face-to-face interactions. And it’s a big reason why our marketing content falls flat.

This is what {sometimes} works for me: Before writing a single word, I ask myself, “Who am I talking to?”

I visualize an actual person, with real needs that the business or organization I’m writing about serves – and speak to them. Maybe it’s a parent struggling to balance WFH and remote schooling. A couple looking for the perfect home in which to raise their newborn. A bike shop owner facing an inventory challenge. Or a newly-divorced woman with fears about her financial future.

Once you narrow your focus – voilà! – your writing will come alive. The boring blahblahblah will sound more like a conversation and less like selling. And guess what? It will end up resonating not only with that one person – but with your entire tribe.