Finding the Right Words During Unsettling Times
The bread shelves were empty, but at least there were Cosmic Brownies. This has certainly been a time of adapting. Now more than ever, the future of our businesses depends on our ability to pivot and persevere. A big part of that is outreach to customers and clients. But where do you begin when you don’t know what next month holds, let alone this afternoon? Even in this uncharted territory, a good place – as always – is with your customers and providing the best service possible.
There are many companies, especially smaller businesses, that have gone silent because they don’t know what to say or aren’t sure how to respond. With things are moving so quickly, there is a good chance that whatever they send out will be outdated before it’s even read. However, it is more important now than ever to stay in touch with customers. This is true regardless of what’s going on. If you’re still open, if you’ve had to reduce hours, if you’ve had to close – they need to know!
It can be difficult to find the right words, especially with a topic that is so serious. But the right words can make a world of difference to your current and future customers, so it’s worth forging ahead. To help anyone who might need a boost, I’ve pulled together some of the best tips to help get the words flowing. You can use these whether you need to write an email, blog, or social media post.
Get started. Don’t wait for inspiration or until you know exactly what you want to say. The words will come when you start to type. They may not immediately be the right words, but if you keep writing, you will get there.
Write without editing. Just write out your thoughts as they come to you. Eventually, you will see the structure emerging.
Be authentic. You are one person trying to connect with another person. Just be yourself. Don’t try to be fancy or overly formal – unless that is who you really are.
Be transparent. You don’t need to have all the answers. It’s okay to say you don’t know when something is going to happen. Be honest about the challenges you face. It’s not about making excuses or being defensive, rather it’s about helping people to fully understand the situation.
Consider your audience. Be very focused on your ideal and what they need to know. (This is a good time to refer to your buyer personas.) Think about what this person needs to know and what questions they might have.
Evaluate what you’re reading. Pay attention to messages that attract you and those that you don’t like. Make note of what is good and what could be improved.
Ask yourself questions as you write. Sometimes you have to start with the most basic: What do I want to say? An easy way to get started is to list the questions you think your audience might have. You don’t need to leave in the questions, but they can be a great starting point.
If you really feel stuck, phone a friend. Bounce off your ideas. Have your friend ask you questions about the topic.
Keep in mind that while there is a lot of information out there, you still have a valuable perspective and important things to say. Please, share.