How To Write For Your Customers or Why I Can’t Write For You

Everybody wants a “done for you” solution. It’s very much like weight management. People want to be in shape but the work of changing eating habits and exercising is the point of separation between want and desire. The easy fix is surgery, the done for you method. It’s great. It’s quick, a bit expensive, but not without problems. The root problem is not really fixed, just the symptom.


Farming out the work of writing seems like a great done for you solution, and for some it is. However, it’s not without its problems. The material may be well researched on your industry, after all that’s what you paid for. But that is where the luster begins to tarnish.


The “Easy” Way Out

The information may not be easily recognizable as not yours by an outsider, but it will still have the flavor of researched rather than lived. Unless you and your people have taken the time to study it with fervor, you run the risk of planting the time bomb that derails a customer when what you or your people have said does not mesh or even directly conflicts with a researched article on your site. Everyone makes mistakes, sure but don’t let your business suffer from something that could have clearly been prevented with a little effort.


I sincerely wish I could do everything for you. But everyone has their special abilities and limitations. I build the system. That is, I build the structure you need and make sure it works properly. It is up to you, the expert in your business, to fill the content if you want the maximum leverage for maximum results. I can teach you or the person you'll be using to run your online marketing how to develop content, but I can't write the content for you. Why? Because it needs to be in your voice.


I can teach you how to write, I can't teach you what to write. 

In reality, who would know your business better you or me? If I was to write about your business it would sound as if an outsider wrote it. My lack of real knowledge of your business and industry would eventually come to the surface if not immediately. Is that how you want people to see your business?

No, I’m sure. That’s why it needs to be your voice people hear. Bear in mind that writing for your customers is a category in itself and cannot be adequately covered in one post.

 Now that you know why you need to write, I told you I’d show you how to write for your customers so here goes.


Think of the customer first.

AB… E’s?

There was a scene in the movie Glen Gary Glen Ross that talked about ABC, Always Be Closing. That is not how you approach educational marketing… Unless you want to lose the lion’s share of your customers. People don’t want to be under a constant barrage of sales messages. They get that everywhere else. You want to keep them around long enough to clearly understand your business is the only sensible option. How do you do that? You’ve got to Always Be Entertaining while you’re Educating. Otherwise people will get bored and move on. If you’re not answering their questions, they’re moving on to where they can get the answers.


Don't use esoteric terms

The word esoteric is in itself an example of what I mean. An esoteric term is something that is used by or understood by a specific group of people. In other words, industry terms or jargon. You definitely don't introduce terms that your customer doesn't know in a one-on-one conversation. It does more to confuse them than impress. Writing is no different. It interrupts the flow to define the term, takes more time, and it often makes the reader feel stupid. All of which are not what you want.


Don't assume a level of knowledge and don't condescend. This is a balance you constantly need to be aware of.

But in a blog you have the luxury of both time and format. This is specifically to educate the reader, your prospect. That does not mean you interrupt the flow per se.

You have an opportunity here to deep link to another article (And you were wondering how you would generate content!) that goes in depth in defining that term. This accomplishes two goals- increase Time On Site when the reader goes to the article linked, and keeps you as the authority.

 You'll want to link to the article with anchor text like for the example of deep linking “(deep linking explained)” or just the term itself like I did above. That will help you pull in traffic just looking up that term and introduce them to your site.

 How do you write a definition page? 

 That's a great topic for another article. Wouldn't you agree? – That's a subtle hook to keep you coming back for more!

About The Author

Rob Calhoun

+ Rob Calhoun Helps small to medium businesses succeed by building systems for them that help them get new customers, retain customers, and re-energize past customers. Rob helps clients and marketers maximize the return they get from their online marketing efforts.

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