It’s like your teachers always told you – if pay attention in school, you’ll carry what you learn with you through the rest of your life. So with a nod to the great teachers at Marysville Pilchuck High School (Go Tomahawks!), I decided that this was the right time of year to replay some lessons you first heard in school and can now use to master the art of internet content for your website, blog and social media pages. Because, just like back in those hallowed halls, a lot of it is about building friendships, muddling through oodles of data and trying to keep from failing. Oh – – – and being popular.
1. Show Up
It’s way more than half the battle. Show up and keep showing up. Keep your content fresh and timely. If you are absent too often or don’t show your readers that you’re here for the long hall, they will lose interest in you – and in your product – swiftly.
2. Make good relationships
Build those contacts, develop a strong networking base. Why? Because the relationships we have with the customers we serve, with the communities we live in, and even with our frenemies/competitors are the building blocks that help us reach our goals.
3. Don’t fear to fail
It’s going to happen. It just is. You may create some content and post it on your website,or put your company out on a social media site, and get feedback that is far from what you wanted. So deal. You WILL learn from it. Think X-ray, nylon, penicillin, popsicle, velcro and Silly Putty. All “mistakes”.
4. Be honest
Don’t hedge the truth, pile on the you-know-what or try to muddy the facts. Your customers and prospects will respect you for being honest. And anyway – anything and everything can be found out today. No hiding of the truth is really possible. Remember when the CEO of a major oil company that had just had a major spill pretended he never saw the memo telling him that a certain oil tanker needed major repairs?
5. Don’t be afraid to be a nerd
Flaunt it. Revel in it. Pontificate. We all love Bill Nye. You know every single whosit detail about your product better than anyone else does. And buyers want to be dazzled by details. BUT – don’t fall into the trap of focusing only on the nerdy bits of your offering.
6. Celebrate Your Unique Style
Make sure your message shows how really unique your offering – and you – are. Dress up your content to show the real you. You can even (metaphorically) mix plaids and stripes if you want. Look what it’s done for Ivanarevic. (What? I’m up on fashion…sort of)
7. Tell stories & jokes & poke fun at yourself
Show that you are human and that you deal with the same things everyday that everyone else does. If people relate and respond to you as an individual – even if it’s online – they will absolutely relate your product. And they will keep coming back. They’ll come back just to hear about the really weird things that are happening in your life/your company’s ‘life’ and how you are applying those happenings to your product.
8. Don’t skip art class
Adding visuals to your content is very, very important. Whether it’s videos, photos or infographics you absolutely need to pull in your viewers visually. Your words by themselves will not grab and hold the attention of your customers and prospects. Make your visuals reflect who you are. Try to avoid stock photography. Illustrations are great as they are easily tailored to look like you and your business and no one else, which makes them more compelling from the get go. If it makes sense, try to get visuals of your customers using your product or service.
9. Pay attention to what’s going on
Keep your eyes open and ‘watch the store’. If you don’t look around you, literally and digitally, you may miss something really important. Like what the market says about your industry or what your competitor just started selling. And – most importantly – what your customers are flocking to when it comes to product, price and performance.
10. Be respectful
Don’t ever, ever make fun of anyone or anything – except yourself – in your content. Not a competitor, a political issue, a religion – nothing. People will generally not buy from what my grandpa used to call a “wiseacre”. ( Merriam Webster: “a person who says or does things that are funny but also annoying”) There’s a farm stand not too far from my house. The produce looks good, but I seldom buy anything from there because the owner is JUST PLAIN RUDE.
And finally – for extra credit – Don’t forget to get the best “teacher”. Hire the right professional partner to make your content come alive. We strongly recommend Steelsmith Group (us). If you need internet marketing, A+ content management, impressive blogs, great SEO, winning email marketing campaigns, superb local SEO, and amazing website design,we can get it done for you. So whether you are our neighbors here in San Diego, or you live somewhere else, give us a call. Let us get you high marks for your online marketing and gold stars from you customers and prospects.