How you communicate can serve to eliminate, decrease, or exacerbate panic experienced within yourself, your family, your team, and your clients,” asserts financial psychologist William Marty Martin, writing in the Journal of Financial Planning. “Words have the power of providing comfort, or generating panic, or even helplessness,” Martin adds.
Just as financial planners use words to offer information, encouragement, and thought leadership to their clients, we blog content writers use words to reach out to readers. And, just as financial planners must help themselves before they can offer help to others writers must prioritize the safety and welfare of ourselves, careful to prioritize our own thinking while serving our business owner and practitioner clients helping them bring the right kinds of messages to their customers and clients.
Martin’s advice to financial planners includes three communication guidelines for use during this time of pandemic-induced uncertainty and fear. Each of these suggestions, I believe, is relevant to the messages we craft for business blogs:
- Communicate armed with facts from reliable, trusted sources. As a freelance blog writer, I’ve always known that linking to outside sources is a good tactic for adding breadth and depth to my blog content. Linking to a news source or journal article, for instance, adds credibility to the ideas I’m expressing. I encourage content writers and business owners alike to curate, meaning to gather OPW (Other People’s Wisdom) and share that with readers, commenting on that material and relating it to their own topic.
- Communicate seeking to inform, comfort, and connect with compassion. Soft skills such as relationship-building and interpersonal communication are going t be as important in coming years as technical skills. Your content helps visitors judge whether you have their best interests at heart. Even if you’ve come across as the most competent of product or service providers, you still need to pass the “warmth” test.
- Communicate with clarity and leverage multiple ways of connecting. Mp dpibt about it, the words you use to tell the story are the most important part of blogging for business. Visuals, whether they’re in the form of ‘clip art”, photos, grpahs, charts, or even videos, add “leverage”, connecting in a different, but supporive way. Yet another way t offer multiple ways of connecting is having guest bloggers explain their point of view on an issues.
Ultimately, as Dr. Martin points out, service providers cannot deliver on their brand promist or fully meet their professional duties until they’ve “taken care of themselves”, clarifying their own opinions and constantly re-examining their own ideas in light of changing realities.
Be the helper in helping-the-helper blogging for business, using this time of crisis to gain new insights for the future!