Brand building is all about sharing information in creative ways that capture attention and spark imagination. At STIR, we work in partnership with our clients to develop compelling content that tells their unique stories.
Every one of us is wildly passionate about something. Many folks are self-proclaimed film buffs, foodies, health and wellness advocates, or bookworms. Our passions are also often career related. Ask any farmer, insurance agent, realtor, tradesperson, or artisan about their vocation. Chances are they’re enthusiastic to talk your ear off about what they do for a living and why.
Talking about what we love is, for the most part, easy. One-on-one conversations, such as those with close friends or colleagues at your local watering hole, come naturally to a lot of people. Writing about our interests and jobs, however, poses challenges for many. There are several proven techniques to help take that verbal fluency to the written form. There are various forms of long-form and short-form content in the marketing world, including blogs, social media posts, byline articles, advertisements, whitepapers, and emails — all of which require a dose of creativity to be effective.
So, how can anyone — including those who aren’t writers by profession or even by hobby — convey their passions on paper (or on screen)? Here are a few tried and true tips to become a more effective writer.
Start with an outline
Before heading out on a trip, you set aside time to research where you want to go and plan your route. The same concept applies to writing. Outlining your thoughts first is a useful technique to organize what you want to compose. No matter your skill level, staring at a blank page or document can be intimidating. But once you get started, you will find that the words and ideas begin to flow. Don’t overthink this step too much. An outline isn’t scripture etched in stone; it’s a guide.
Frontload your main point
If your reader must navigate through multiple paragraphs before you get to what you’re really trying to say, you’ll lose their focus. State your intention as early as possible. Begin with an gripping quip and elaborate from there.
Write in the brand voice
Just like people have their own personalities, your brand voice is totally unique. Whether you’re employed by a company or are an independent business owner, maintaining a consistent tone throughout your marketing channels is key. Write as if you’re having a conversation. Be yourself but channel the brand.
Brevity is key
When in doubt, follow the trusted KISS method: Keep it simple, [redacted]. Don’t worry about using an advanced vocabulary or lengthy sentences to get your point across. One popular rule of thumb when it comes to writing: Would your grandmother understand this?
Create an optimal writing environment
Setting the stage for a healthy writing mindset is crucial. For example, when it comes to ambiance, some people prefer complete silence when they need to concentrate. Others enjoy white noise. Others can tolerate background chatter or music. Meanwhile, investing in an ergonomic desk and chair goes a long way. Working in the natural light, if it’s available, is invaluable.
Solicit honest feedback
Remember that the first draft — and the second, the third, and so on — is highly unlikely to be the final version. Read your work aloud. This is a handy approach to detect any gaps as well as to determine if the piece makes sense in general. Keep in mind that even the most famous authors have worked with editors to polish their pieces. Recruit a trusted coworker, friend, or editor to review your work and provide constructive feedback.
There are several free tools we recommend that offer real-time feedback and explanations of mechanics. To name a few:
They say that imitation is the best form of flattery. Seek inspiration from books, magazines, blogs, and other published works — even those completely unrelated to your field. Browsing the web or scrolling through social networks can spark brilliant ideas. At the end of the day, you don’t need to be an expert writer or best-selling author to produce something worth reading and sharing.
Becoming a strong, comfortable, confident writer takes time. We totally understand it can be a lot to juggle. STIR specializes in content creation, and we would be thrilled to help tell your story.