The greatest part of writing content for businesses is getting a phone call from the business owner that the content I sold them is bringing in new clients for them. I will admit that this happens more often than not these days, and I don’t mean to sound pompous when stating that fact; it just does.
During my growth years, however, my content rarely converted. In fact, my content was outright garbage in the beginning.
It was a conversation with a business professor at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College that helped navigate my writing in the direction I knew it was capable of heading. It took a few months to catch on, and I’m sure I frustrated the teacher more than once along the way.
Using this simple formula, the customer facing content I was tasked with writing slowly started to make sense to customers who sought a particular product or service from clients I was hired to represent contextually:
Every great story has a main character, right? Take that concept and apply it to your landing pages, service pages and blogs.
Let’s assume you are writing content for an HVAC site. Your main character may be a:
- Distressed homeowner that has a major leak in their ventilation system; or,
- A business owner who cannot figure out why their rooftop central air unit is failing to work.
You can substitute ‘HVAC’ for whatever business you are writing for, while the main character would be an individual or entity and their coinciding problem.
Be direct. Avoid beating around the bush. Expose the main character in the beginning so the potential buyer can understand that they’re not alone; things like this happen to the best of us.
Once you expose the main character of your customer facing content, you must reveal the issue that character is facing. Issues that our friends from above are experiencing include:
- Rising heating bills; or,
- Customers are being scared away because the store or shop is too hot.
You will elaborate on the problem, but not turn this section of content into a horror story beyond what is necessary to let the reader know the consequences upfront. This is very important. Why? You could scare the reader into not caring or making a decision out of haste to spend their money elsewhere.
Discuss the issue in its entirety and add the necessary emphasis so readers understand the seriousness of their problem, but never venerate it.
Now that your reader knows that skyrocketing heat bills and an overworked HVAC system are the end results of their leak, you must rally behind them. Give them a reason to feel hopeful during a time when all hope is lost. Point them toward redemption.
What plans could you discuss here?
- ABCD Heating Inc. is licensed and bonded, and can arrive quickly to mitigate the issue;
- “We” have dealt with an array of HVAC issues for homeowners and businesses like you in and around “Anytown” for 35 years, and will tailor our quote so you only pay for what is necessary to restore your unit or pipes to working order;
- “We” can perform the necessary work in an efficient and cost-effective manner;
- ABCD Heating Inc. has the tools and expertise to repair your HVAC system correctly the first time;
You get the idea. The goal here is building the reader up for their potential victory dance provided they take action now.
The individual or business started this service page or blog in an uproar for whatever reason. They were mad, sad, scared and obviously clueless — the reason they sought your client.
They were told up front that this is serious. Do something now, or you will forever regret your lack of action.
A plan was presented. One that would solve the issue.
Now they can celebrate, because they called ABCD Heating Inc. — a company they previously knew nothing about — and the plan was executed with perfection. It is time to celebrate.
You can present this ‘virtual’ celebration like this:
- Homeowners saved thousands in unnecessary utility bills thanks to our work; or,
- Businesses saw an increase in foot traffic thanks to an efficient central air unit thanks to ABCD Heating Inc.
Get creative. Show some excitement! People want to feel like a potential expenditure comes with a happy ending (as much of a happy ending as possible, of course) — so give it to them!
Customer facing content is an exact science. Exact in the sense that you must choose words, feelings, ideas and solutions specific to a problem, or the content is pointless. You must project yourself as the person injured in the car accident, or the business owner who is losing customers due to their shoddily designed website.
What would you do if your HVAC unit bit the dust in the dead of winter, and you knew nothing about repairing it because you were a single mom living in the middle of nowhere? Write to that woman’s emotional state and what she would be experiencing.
Then build her back up and celebrate once the issue — solved by your client — gets solved.
It’s just that easy.