Whether you outsource your content to a copywriting agency, or hand it over to a new web designer, you care deeply about who touches your business. You want to create content that entertains. You want to feel confident that you made the right decision. And that your business is not only in the right hands, but with the right minds. Here are three tips for content and copy inspiration – even when you lack control:
1. Create content that fascinates
You’re a passionate business owner bursting with ideas. But if you post every idea that pops into your head, you’re going to confuse your customers. You’re not speaking directly to them. You’re communicating based on your passions, and your ideas. When you create content that fascinates by being interesting and engaging to your customers, you stop focusing on controlling your message. And you start creating copy that connects. Your copy should evoke emotion, offer an interesting fact, and tell a story.
There’s no harm in being as dramatic as Life of Pi if you remember to leave moments open to interpretation. Focus on where your story, and the stories of your customers collide.
Stories become souvenirs when you find ways to mark moments with meaning.
2. Code word “apricot!”
In a New Girl episode, Jessica Day (played by Zooey Deschanel) suspects that one of her students in a community college is a killer. She creates the code word of “apricot” if she needs her roommate Nick’s help. When the suspected killer appears during her office hours, she screams “Apricot!’ to Nick on the phone, and he comes to her assistance. Jessica then tells the killer that she’s on the phone with her grocer who’s hard of hearing. (ha! love this show).
You may think that code words are just for fun. And that you can only say it with family or friends. But what about if you start any new project with a code word? It’s a word that you can say to your copyeditor, web designer, or graphic designer before your project begins. The code word prevents the need to go into details about any potential annoyance factor in the future. The conversation can be dropped, and the project can move on without any awkward “yeah, you’re asking too many questions and slowing down the project” conversations.
Apricots are tasty and (just a bit) classier than using the other a-word, anyway.
3. Realize that you can’t have total control.
It’s nice to paint a rosy picture, with you frolicking in sunflowers and fall foliage in the background. Your product placed picturesquely in the perfect sunlight.
Professional photos can help control your messaging. But wanting complete control over every single touch point can cost you. Here’s why:
Pretend you’re walking down the streets of NYC with a friend. A million different choices for restaurants exist. And you’re deciding where to go. Then, the owner of a restaurant steps out of an Italian restaurant and screams “eat here! This is the best restaurant in New York!”
Ok, the “eat here!” part may resonate with you. Your hungry. And you want to eat. His comment to “eat here!” puts the idea in your head. But the “it’s the best restaurant in New York” line? You don’t need to be a original New Yorker (or a Jersey girl) to possess some healthy skepticism. You may wonder:
1. Who is this guy?
2. Why is he declaring that his restaurant is the best if there’s not a soul in a seat?
This business owner is screaming for control of his message. He’s forcing what he wants you to think. He’s screaming at his customers, and forcing his beliefs on innocent passerby’s. His desire to have complete control backfired. You and your friend go elsewhere, because you don’t trust the business owner who talks about “how he’s the best.”
You roll your eyes, and readily relinquish your hunger to a juicy steak instead of his sad spaghetti.
Relinquishing control of your message allows your customers to tell others what they think. This can make a much greater impact. Of course, this can only happen when you are the best restaurant, do phenomenal work, or make a melody that moves people.
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