“Most advisors don’t spend their day thinking about how to jolt their clients, but I do,” asserts Certified Retirement Coach Robert Laura, writing for Financial Advisor magazine. A former social worker, Laura claims the way people respond to the various things he says and asks provide valuable clues as to how to work with them. Shock and awe, he says, are his tools to jolt clients in order to start new conversations that will help clients be better prepared for the future.
Can “shock and awe” help start conversations when it comes to blogging for business? Maybe. At Say It For You, I’ve maintained that the tone of any business blog needs to be consistent with the company’s brand. In order to appeal to a better kind of customer – the kind that buys for the right reasons and then remains loyal – my thinking has been that the Calls to Action (both the implied CTA’s in the blog content writing itself and the Call to Action buttons) should appeal to readers’ better nature.
The other side of the argument (and the point Robert Laura is making) is one that is also emphasized in MLT Creative, “Using fear appeals or scare tactics may be more effective than statistics or data because they may cause people to think more about the issue.”
With our blog content writer hats on, let’s take a closer look at three of Laura’s list of seven “shockers”:
1. “The difference between today’s haves and have-nots isn’t money.”
This statement is a thought provoker, counter-intuitive enough to grab attention and to encourage people to keep reading to learn the underlying thinking. Unlike scare tactic selling, bold assertions can serve as “conversation starters” in blogging for business.
2. Twenty of the 43 most stressful life events take place at or near retirement.”
Here Laura is grabbing his readers’ attention with a startling statistic. Statistics can be a tool in blogging for business. If there’s some false impression people seem to have relating to your industry, or to a product or service you provide, you can bring in statistics to show how things really are. Statistics can also serve to demonstrate the extent of a problem, which is what Laura is doing. Once readers realize the problem, the door is open for you to show how you help solve that very type of problem.
3. “Traditional estate planning is backwards and may be more damaging than no planning at all.”
There’s something very appealing and curiosity-stimulating about contrarian content, and, whether it’s business-to-business blog writing or business to consumer writing, being a contrarian has two effects: It makes readers sit up and take notice (This is not going to be same-old, same-old, readers realize) and it clarifies what differentiates your business or professional practice from its peers.
Should business blog posts shock and awe? I don’t believe so. But should they arouse interest and provoke thinking? You bet.