Written by: Heather Doering
Feeling like you are on information overload? You’re not alone. Digital space is crowded, especially since we have all been sitting in front of our computers for hours on end this past year. We’ve been flooded with messages, posts, podcasts, videos, and blogs. The bright side is that we’ve had time to put out good content, but so has everyone else. Here are 7 simple tips to make your good content great, so it can stand out and reach your audience before they reach overload.
- Be Other-Focused
Lose the Me’s, I’s, and My’s in your messaging and content. People like to be heard and feel understood, so give the people what they want! Ask thought-provoking questions to uncover issues and challenges; we don’t like to feel like we are being preached to (unless we are in church!!). By asking questions, we are able to shift the focus onto the reader and gain valuable insights and information through their answers.
The Shift: From “I can fix problem X with my amazing product or service” to “Imagine what it would feel like to wake up tomorrow unburdened by problem X. How would you spend the unexpected gift of (time, money, less stress – fill in the blank)?
When we shift to the other person’s perspective, they own the conversation and feel more compelled to try your product or service.
- Build Rapport
Think about the messages you answer and the ones you leave unopened. You’ll probably realize that the ones that stick out to you are from people who have taken time to connect in meaningful, memorable ways.
Here are some thought starters:
- Common experiences
- Shared alma mater
Establishing rapport is the first step toward building trust. The prospect doesn’t have to become your best friend, but they do need to believe that you are legitimate and can deliver on what you promise.
The Shift: Do some research! Show your prospect that you have taken the time to read their LinkedIn profile to see where they went to school, what they enjoy about work, and how they spend their free time. You can also visit the company’s LinkedIn page or website to uncover interesting ideas or facts. Use your new knowledge to start the conversation.
This one’s easy! In addition to what you’ve learned in your rapport research, personalize communication, even if you’ve automated things. Use names, reference commonalities, and reference experiences in your messages.
The Shift: Be a bit vulnerable. Share insights about things you’ve learned or discovered in a positive light. Humanize yourself – it makes you relatable.
- Be Conversational
Talk ‘with’ rather than ‘at’ your audience. The UK’s Daily Mail recently reported that our brains experience “’inattentional blindness’ – when stimuli that’s available in plain sight doesn’t register, even if it’s valuable to us.” When we are part of a conversation, we process and interpret things differently. We are more inclined to pay attention, feel valued, and remember more – which is exactly what you are looking for!
The Shift: Be sure to adjust your phrasing when posting content. For example, when sharing an article, rather than “Here’s a great article about topic X,” consider something like, “The author’s perspective on topic X differs from what my clients typically struggle with. I’ve found that (talk a bit about your perspective/experience). I’m curious what you think or what you’ve discovered…”
- Make Eye Contact
Yes, even in posts! Occasionally using your picture or starring in a video does a few things:
- Reinforces the perception that you’re engaged, trustworthy, and relatable
- Stops the scroll – people recognize your image and pause to see what you have to say
- Increases engagement
The Shift: Incorporate your image into content at least twice per month. We use client images once or twice per week. It might seem strange at first, but cool graphics that include your headshot or short videos that convey your energy and personality will more than likely impact how many people engage with your post, which drives the algorithms so more people see it.
Not the ‘tag, you’re it’ tag! Rather, occasionally @mention others in your posts and comments. (Unfamiliar? Here’s a short video that shows you how)
Why use tags? For one, they increase the number of people who see the post. Not only do your followers see the post, it also shows up on the feed of the person you tag. If you aren’t convinced yet, another reason to tag is because tagging spreads goodwill. People like to be mentioned positively, and those who see the post subconsciously ponder the fact that you are a thoughtful person. So, what are you waiting for? Tag away!
The Shift: Find opportunities to @mention. Here are some ideas:
- Client shoutouts
- Great customer service experience
- People who recently attended an event with you
- For example: I host Friday Forum the 3rd Friday of the month. When announcing the upcoming speakers, I not only tag them and their company pages, I also tag a handful of our devoted attendees. It greatly increases the number of people who see the post, reminds those tagged to join in, and spreads goodwill that we appreciate our crew!
So, what are you waiting for? Tag away!
- Think Creatively and Unexpectedly
Surprising and refreshing win the day. It’s easy to copy what influencers are doing, but the rest of the world is copying them as well. Take an unexpected approach to your content strategy.
The Shift: Find something you can build upon, and run with it. Here are some ideas:
- A series that aligns your passion with your purpose(i.e. Your love of classic rock and the business lessons learned from it)
- 10 tips in 10 days – be sure to cross-link everything together and repurpose the content into a blog or website resource
- A long running theme – I turned 50 and am sharing 50 things that have impacted my life and the world in my first 50 years. We’re adding to a weekly chronology so my LinkedIn community can scroll through each post as we build the series.
In a world that is filled with noise, make your content unique and attention-worthy.
About the author:
Heather founded ACE in 2013, when small businesses were struggling to integrate digital marketing and social media into traditional marketing models. Today, ACE Amplifies growth and authentic relationships, Connects clients to people and resources that enhance business, and Empowers clients and Kick ACE Club members to achieve wild success through a variety of strategies and best practices.
She is people passionate, was put on this earth to build community, and volunteers with local Chambers of Commerce and boards. She also owns IN3 Network, which provides education and support to women entrepreneurs.
Most importantly, Heather is a mom of 2 amazing young men, is engaged to the love of her life, and snuggles often with her awesome but sometimes pesky dog. She enjoys reading, working out, Saturday mornings at Detroit’s Historic Eastern Market, and spending time with family and friends.