It wasn’t a blog post, but the article might well have been just that, I thought, reading the advertorial in Senior Living, in which David Ring, owner of Indiana Funeral Care, answers the question “Why In the World Would I Plan My Own Funeral?”
Last November, in my Say It For You blog, I quoted the advice of speaker Todd Hunt. Hunt suggests “the next time someone asks you a seemingly stupid question, stop and look at it from their side.” As business blog writers, we need to impress readers before they’ve had the chance to ask us their questions, “stupid” or otherwise, I explained. In fact, readers find our blogs precisely because they’re searching for answers to questions they have and solutions for dilemmas they’re facing.
In the Senior Living article, Ring does just that – he anticipates, and in fact lists, the many questions our survivors are going to face our survivors if we don’t face them ourselves:
- Full tradition service or private graveside?
- Open casket with cremation to follow or cremation with memorial service?
- Wood or steel casket? (What’s the difference?)
- What’s a burial vault?
- What should be done with cremated remains – bury, scatter, in an urn?
- Newspaper obituary, online obit, or both?
- List several charities for memorial contributions or just one?
- What if I move to another city or state?
The final paragraph of the Senior Living article reminded me of a second important business blogging principle: Since our content is often being ready by people who are not yet our clients or customers, how can we address their expectations? Readers need to envision how they will be helped by using our products or services.
As a retired financial planning professional, I know that most planners begin a meeting with new clients by asking the simple question “What is it that brings you here today?” One innovative planner, though, goes further, as a Journal of Financial Planning article reports, asking, “At the end of our meeting today, how will you know that it has been successful?” Through the design and language of each of the corporate or professional practice blog posts we compose, we need to bring readers to the point of figuring out “why in the world” their time with us has been – and will be – well spent.
“The other comment we often hear,” Ring relates, (referring to surviving family members of someone who has passed), “I am so relieved they planned this ahead!”