My back was against the wall.
I’d paid $5000 to work with a world-class consultant, but I was totally unprepared for our phone call.
That’s when necessity (more like desperation) became the mother of innovation.
Little did I realize it, but I was about to stumble on a secret for creating consistent, compelling content that deeply resonates, engages in a way most content fails to do, and earns trust faster than I can devour a bag of Sour Patch Kids. All of that:
- Without staring at the dreaded blinking cursor on the blank page
- Without wrestling with the demon of perfectionism
- Without desperately coming up with a half-baked, mostly boring idea because it’d been weeks since you published something
- Without being boring and sounding like everyone else in the echo chamber
- Without spending twice the time and energy you’d planned just to end up with something you still don’t feel great about
“What have you got for me?,” my sales coach asked as we connected over Zoom.
You see, I was supposed to have written several emails to review with her, but with everything going on (and let’s be honest, due to a healthy dose of perfectionism mixed with a bit of impostorism), I’d put it off until it was too late.
I started half making something up, half stalling for time when a light bulb went off and I decided to go for a Hail Mary pass.
“I’ve got it right here. One sec and I’ll paste it into the Google Doc,” I responded hoping she couldn’t sense the undertone of “oh $@!%” in my voice.
I quickly brought up an instant messaging conversation I’d had with a colleague the day before, highlighted it, copied it, switched back to the Google Doc, and pasted it.
“Here’s the first thing I want to work on with you.”
I braced myself for the response as I went back to copy and paste two more recent conversations.
“Wow! This stuff is really good!”, I heard her say through my headphones.
“I love this! It’s so raw and real! You can see how much what you’re saying is really connecting with her.”
So what was happening here?
Even though I hadn’t sat down to hammer out the assigned emails, what I had done was that I’d had several conversations with colleagues and prospective clients about the brand new workshop I was preparing to sell.
To be honest, at the time I was probably using those conversations as an escape hatch to avoid writing sales copy.
(Ugh….writing sales copy. Is there anything less fun to do in business. Okay, maybe bookkeeping, but not much else.)
Yet when you think about it, what is the purpose of really good marketing and sales content?
Your job is to “always enter the conversation already going on in the mind of your customer” as legendary copywriter, Robert Collier, said.
In other words, your content should be so relevant and resonant that it’s like you are reading their mind and even describing their pain, desires, and challenges better than they can.
What better way to do that than to literally have conversations with your ideal customers and use the exact words and phrases that come from them?
And what makes this even more amazing is that by having these natural conversations via Messenger, my inner critic took a backseat. After all, it’s just a casual chat.
The immediate replies and excited responses of my “audience” energized me. I didn’t overthink it as I described the premise of my new workshop.
I was able to clarify and expand at the moment based on their questions.
In a matter of 10-30 minutes (depending on the conversation), I’d written content that was as compelling and resonant as it gets, all without the usual pain I put myself through by “trying” to create “good” content.
With minimal editing, I could turn each of those conversations into any kind of content I needed.
So what is the secret source of compelling content that engages and sells in a raw, natural way pulling your ideal customer at ease and wrapping them in understanding and connecting with them through language that validates everything they are going through and everything they want to achieve with such empathy that they want to work with you right now even if it means paying a premium price? [takes a deep breath]
Well, that’s what it is for me. But really what’s important here is this…
Consistent conversations with your ideal customer
Pay particular attention to the words they use. Capture the things you say that resonate most.
Then “copy and paste” pieces of those conversations right into your content. A little bit of polishing and voila!
Whether it’s by phone, Zoom, in person at a conference, in a FB group, Skype, whatever…
If you are not regularly starting and capturing one-to-one conversations with your ideal customers, then you’re missing out on one of your greatest sources of content.