Consultant Brian Walter suggests business owners use a formula to answer the question “What do you do?” The idea, he says is to play verbal ping pong, making statements that “make people want you to keep talking”.
Interesting. I’m a blog content writing trainer; Brian Walter sounds as if he could be, as well. The advice he gives executives and professional speakers is a good fit for business bloggers and web content writers.
In an elevator speech situation, Walter points out, it’s the other person that starts by “serving you the ball” with The Question “What do you do?”
In the case of online readers, they’ve made the first move as well, by searching for information on your topic, then clicking on your blog.
Your next move, says Walter, is to “powerfully position what you do and what your company does through a progressively-revealed, conversational answer”. That progressive reveal has to start with a WOW that creates surprise and interest the second you open your mouth. (Think defibrillator sales, an example Walter offers: “I’m in the cardiac arrest arrest business.”)
In any SEO marketing blog, it’s the keyword phrases in the title that start the job of getting the blog found. But, once the online visitor has actually landed, it takes a great opener to fan the flicker of interest into a flame. In fact, a big part of blog content writing, I’ve found, involves getting what I call the “pow opening line” right. One tactic is to use an anomaly, a statement (like the defibrillator sales line) that, at first glance, doesn’t appear to fit.
Now it’s the other person’s turn, Walter reminds us. Your listener has to give you permission to continue with the HOW. In the in-person elevator situation, that permission could come in the form of a nonverbal signal indicating puzzlement or interest or in the form of a question.
This second step might well be as far as you get, explains Walter, but make that step count by using a story format (“When xyz happens, we come in and….), presenting a startling statistic, or debunking a commonly-held misperception. “We’re making sure people who suffer sudden-cardiac-arrest get help inside of the ten minutes between life and death.” Remember, the idea is to make people want you to tell them more!
In your blog HOW, a story or statistic points to the difference your product or service or technique makes to real people.
NOW – If, and only if, the other person indicates a desire to know more, the two of you decide whether to get together for coffee, exchange business cards, or take some other next step.
What corporate blogging does best, I’ve often remarked, is deliver the kind of customers to a business website who are already interested in the product or services that website is touting. But then what? In any SEO marketing blog strategy, something needs to happen next. That something is the Call To Action.
Does each blog post you create have a WOW, a HOW, and a NOW?