“Not another self-assessment tool!” I inwardly groaned while dutifully filling out the 77-question form at our Ivy Tech tutor training session. The de-brief, however, turned out to be a pleasant surprise, with insights I’ll use not only in my tutoring but in blogging for business.
One core “commandment” for us blog content writers is that everything we write must be about “them”, meaning the target readers. That means adjusting our communication style to appeal to different types of recipients.
To communicate with an “A” (action-oriented person), I learned at the tutor training, we should state our best recommendations, rather than offering many alternatives.
People are going to want to do business with people who have something to say about their field and about the way they choose to operate within their world. There’s great power in offering strong recommendations and opinions in a blog. That might be particularly true for professional practitioners to whom clients turn for health or legal advice.
By contrast, if the reader is a “PR” (process-oriented person), it’s important to include options and alternatives along with the pros and cons of each.
But, isn’t it true that if you give people too many options, they often choose none? In fact, I teach blog content writers to keep each blog post focused on one idea. Offer choices, but use “chunking”, advises socialtriggers.com. Discuss general categories rather than offering a long list of products or services.
To communicate effectively with PEs (people-oriented persons), we should show how the idea worked in the past and indicate support from well-respected people.
Searchers have some sort of need, and they are recruiting help! To see if you’'e a good fit for them,. They will ask what others would say about you, and that’s where testimonials and client anecdotes come into play in the corporate or professional blog.
The fourth type is “I” (idea-oriented person). Here it’s important to talk about the key concepts that underlie the recommendation, we tutors were taught.
Author Michael Cunningham observes in O Magazine that he’s always aware he’s “writing for someone at least as smart as he, but who’s busy with a job and a mate and a whole life going on.” Even though we blog writers must keep the content short and relevant, that shouldn’t mean “dumbing it down”. For those of our readers who are idea-oriented, they need to get a clear sense of our insights into the issues they face and the concepts underlying our unique way of doing business.
Changing communication styles in a blog gives us the chance to reach different types of readers.