Unleash Your Words, Unlock Your Potential
617.600.4385

Blog Writing

What is a Pain Point and Why Does it Matter?

What is a Pain Point and Why Does it Matter?

By on Jun 20, 2017 in Blog Writing, Communication Strategy, Social Media Writing | 0 comments

It’s important in business to understand what your customer wants, but it’s even more important to understand why. What are the underlying needs, issues, concerns or problems that are driving people to seek out a particular product or service? Knowing the answers will help you create better content for your blog and social media. In the marketing world, these are often referred to as “pain points.” The idea is that the customer is seeking a product or service to solve some sort of pain that they may or may not be aware of. I don’t like the negative connotation of pain, so I prefer to refer to them as “deepest desires.” Here’s why they matter to you: As a provider, the more you understand why people need or desire what you offer, the better you can tailor your product or service to meet that need or desire. This applies to developing content as well. Knowing what drives people will help you to find the messages and words that will connect with them. Suppose you clean houses. Why do people hire someone to clean their house? The obvious answer is that they don’t want to do it themselves. But why? Is it because they don’t like to clean? Then you want to talk with them about how you can take that job off their hands. Or, is it because they’re so busy? Then talk about how much time you can save them. But there’s more. Why is having a clean house important to them? Do they a greater sense of peace when their home is clean? Or do they want to avoid being harassed by an in-law? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. Should you be talking about how you can relieve stress or how you can help your customer impress the visitors? Now, dig deeper. What’s important to them about how the product or service is delivered? Scheduling? Cost? Style? When you know the answer, you can talk in terms of how you will address their issues. They will see how you will solve their problem. How to uncover the deepest desires: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think through the buying process from their perspective. Ask...

Read More
How to Find the Best Day and Time for Blogging

How to Find the Best Day and Time for Blogging

By on May 23, 2017 in Blog Writing | 1 comment

Most people think successful blogging is about writing, but that’s only part of it. It’s really about decision making. What are you going to write about? How are you going to write it? And finally, when will you post it? Should it go up first thing Monday morning so people can start their week right? Or is Friday afternoon better because they’re winding down? Maybe Wednesday morning as a mid-week boost? Not surprisingly, this issue has been studied a lot. The results offer a good starting point. For instance, the highest percentage of visitors read blogs in the morning, according to Hubspot’s Dan Zarella (@danzarella) and searchengineland.com (@senginland) as detailed in a comprehensive Kissmetrics infographic. Armed with this info, you’re  ready to go? Right? Not exactly. If you post at the high-volume reading times, the stats say you will have access to more readers. But, everyone else reading the numbers will be posting then too so you will have more competition. In fact, you’re more likely to get engagement and shares during the off-peak times, according to a study by TrackMaven. There’s another problem with the stats. They’re based on a wide range of blogs and readers, not yours. They can give you a general picture, but they aren’t telling you what your ideal readers are doing. To get a more specific answer, you’ll need to do some background work. Who is your ideal reader? What are that person’s lifestyles and habits? When does he or she have free time? When is he or she most likely to be at a computer? When is he or she most likely to read your blog? Here are some ways to get better info: Ask Talk to your ideal readers and find out what they want. Put up a survey on your blog or social media. Experiment Once you’ve got a general sense of when might be good, try posting blogs at various times and watch the readership level. Do this a few times to eliminate variable such as one post topic being of particular interest. Promote your blog This is a way to eliminate some of the guess work. You can push out your blog through your newsletter and your social...

Read More
Make Time to Update Online Social Media Profiles

Make Time to Update Online Social Media Profiles

By on Mar 20, 2017 in Blog Writing, Communication Strategy, Social Media Writing | 0 comments

Would you call you? One of the best bits of wisdom I picked up in the early stages of my business is that people want to do business with people they know, like and trust. I have found this to be true and a little frustrating. Afterall, you can only meet so many people in a day. If you can’t meet them, how are they ever going to like and trust you? Fortunately, there is the internet, which gives us the capacity to meet people from all over the world with whom we could potentially do business. The challenge, of course, is that you still need a way for these people to get get to know you so they can find out how likable you are and determine that they can, indeed, trust you. This is why your content matters so much. You’ve got just a few lines to hook people and make them want more. What does your content say about you? Have you looked at it lately from the view of someone who hasn’t met you and doesn’t yet know how wonderful you are? Now could be a good time to do some Spring Cleaning on your social media profiles. Here is a quick checklist to make it easier: Are your profiles accurate? Are they up to date? Do they reflect what you are doing now and how you want your business to grow? Do they focus on what you offer to clients? Is there a call to action? Do they include contact information? It’s a good idea to review these profiles every few months to make sure they reflect what you are doing now and where your business is headed. If the thought of it is overwhelming, break it down into smaller chunks. Just do one channel at a time. Or, schedule small blocks of time, 15 to 20 minutes. Keep coming back to it until it’s done. As you review your profiles, think of trying to reach just one reader at a time. You are not talking to a big group. You are talking to one person who is making a decision about whether to follow you, look at your website, or maybe even give you...

Read More
Taking on Controversial Topics in Social Media

Taking on Controversial Topics in Social Media

By on Mar 14, 2017 in Blog Writing, Social Media Writing | 1 comment

My 14-year-old daughter came home appalled the other day because a friend had declared she was not a feminist and not interested in the concept of fighting for women’s rights. My daughter couldn’t understand her friend’s indifference. Her ire wasn’t surprising – like her mother, this one is inclined toward strong opinions and voicing them. This is a teenager who looks forward to voting in the next presidential election, expects to drive in two years, can sign up for any number of sports and is applauded for her accomplishments in math and science. Though these are opportunities she might take for granted, she understands that they were fought for and won by previous generations of women and men who demanded equality. And, she has a sense that there are still inequalities and biases. So, when the world celebrates and calls for attention to women’s rights through International Women’s Day, it seems an obvious opportunity to spread a good message. And yet, I, like many business owners, found myself hesitating. It’s an important topic, but it’s more politically charged this year and came with a call for women to strike, which raised another set of issues. As bloggers and social media community builders, we’re always in need of material, and holidays along with national events can provide that. Some of them are easier like Thanksgiving and Veteran’s Day. Others, like Christmas and International Women’s Day, raise questions such as, “Will you offend clients and customers who don’t celebrate or support the day or cause?” Should that stop you from advancing something you support or believe in? Though I am opinionated and willing to make it known in tight circles, I tend to be more neutral to the broader public. This is due in part to my roots as a journalist charged with presenting the news without bias and in part out of respect for those who hold different views. Therefore, when a business owner hesitates to jump onto to a popular bandwagon, I understand. But there is another side to be considered. Not everyone is your ideal customer. As much as you may turn away some, you may attract others. There will be those who support you because of what you...

Read More
Thoughts on Being Thankful Specifically

Thoughts on Being Thankful Specifically

By on Nov 22, 2016 in Blog Writing, Writing | 2 comments

Why did the Pilgrims celebrate Thanksgiving? Basically, it seems, they were thrilled that they had food. It had been a rough journey across the ocean and a shaky start in their new home. The holiday was celebrated generally over the years but it didn’t really become a big national thing until around the time of the Civil War. According to the History Channel, Sarah Josepha Hale, a writer and editor, advocated for a day of thanks. And, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to officially be a national holiday for giving thanks as a way to bring together a divided country. This concept of having a collective time of thanks highlights that the act of being thankful heals wounds and provides strength. It’s important for our community and for us as individuals. Of course being thankful shouldn’t be limited to just one day, but having that day serves as a reminder and provides focus. So what are you thankful for? Ask that of people around you and you will generally get a  broad answer – friends, family, work, food. All good things. But if you really want to draw on the power of giving thanks, take a lesson from writing and get specific. I mean really specific. And add in the “why.” I’m not just thankful for my dog. I’m thankful for my sweet, soft, furry faced bundle of joy with her big brown eyes that look at me so intently every morning imploring me to get my shoes on and take her for a run. And, I’m thankful for her because she pulls me out of my head and forces me to think about something other than my issues and reminds me to just enjoy this moment.  I have found that being so specific helps me to appreciate whatever I am thankful for even more. The same goes for adding in the “why.” It establishes the context of this thing and connects it to the rest of my life. To draw on the writing analogy, it’s a way of showing rather than just telling. I think it works because it sets out the story of this thing and stories are appealing. Want to take it...

Read More
Ask Why to Understand Your Customers

Ask Why to Understand Your Customers

By on Oct 31, 2016 in Blog Writing, Social Media Writing | 1 comment

It’s generally easy to get kids talking when it’s near Halloween – just ask about their costumes. They’ll go into great detail about their plans, their make-up, the things they need to buy or have bought and the things they’re going to make or have already made. After all, many have spent a long time planning, some have devoted months to it. I tried this recently with my Sunday School class. The class went from frenzied chaos to focused controlled energy when I asked about their Halloween costumes. That question alone got their attention, but the what really got them engaged was when I asked “Why.” One boy is going to be a pillowcase. He was counting on getting lots of candy and wanted to make it easier to carry. He figured that he uses a pillowcase to collect his candy, so why not make it the costume. His mother was going to pin two cases together, one for the front and one for the back, and then put shoulder straps on it. That way, he could fill up the front and then turn it around to fill up the back. One of the girls was going as a superhero. She admired the character’s strength and wanted to be just like her.  Another was going as Tweedle Dum because her friend was going as Tweedle Dee. Have you thought lately about the “why” that motivates your customers? It matters because it reveals motivations, perspectives and what is important to people. Some key questions you want to know the answers to include Why does this person need your service? What is most important to them about it? How are they going to make their decision about whether to use you or someone else? This information can help in developing services and products that will interest the people you want to work with. And, it will help you develop marketing plans and create the content that will resonate with them. Getting people to talk about their why is usually about as easy as getting kids to talk about their Halloween costumes. They love their businesses, they’ve spent a lot of time thinking about them, and they want someone to understand them. You can...

Read More