There are few people in the world that love the Victorians as much as me. I am fascinated by the literature, culture, philosophy, and art produced in that time. But there is one area where the Victorians always seemed to fall short: expressing their emotions.For them, emotions were something to be concealed and hidden away, reserved only for yourself, alone in your attic room. Social decorum dictated restraint and remained an outward sign of respectability, a trait sought-after (yet easily flappable).
But for us in the 21st century, we thrive on emotion because it is how we connect to other people. Restraint is seen as distant, cold, and unreachable which isn’t an asset to many, especially marketers. Now, there is less emphasis on concealing and more on revealing which has bled into many aspects of our culture including our writing.
One thing I struggled with when I first started writing blog posts was trying too hard to emulate the great writers I spent years reading and studying. I’d turn a simple topic into a deluge of similes and obscure metaphors, concealing the real message of the piece. This was a major roadblock for me until I learned to let go a little and give my words a chance in the spotlight.
When you are writing and taking a stab at your content strategy, don’t try to imitate anyone else, whether that be a famous novelist, a researcher, or your favorite Podcast, instead, let go of the constraints of others and be yourself. Give yourself the room to express your ideas in a genuine and authentic way. If there is one thing you take away from this post, let it be this: write like a human.
Writing is Talking On Paper
But what does writing like a human really mean?
For me, I like to think that writing is talking on paper. Your writing should be a genuine expression of your thoughts, one that can only be done by putting yourself into it. Your thoughts and ideas matter and are important to share with your audience.
Writing is highly-personal, and you don’t have to shy away from that personal connection in your content. Your readers will have a better opportunity to engage with you when you show them who you are on all external (and internal) platforms. Your blog, social media, marketing campaigns, advertisements, comments, and emails work together to build your brand.
Instead of simply covering a new topic in each post, liven it up with your personal connection to the piece. I did the same thing in this post. I included a personal flair by telling you about a passion of mine and how it translates to our topic today. You can use your content as a place to invite your readers into your world. Maybe you compare a small financial set back to dealing with a tough team loss or you mention in your newsletter your excitement over an upcoming family vacation or wedding.
The best way to describe writing like a human is by writing how you talk. As an example, picture yourself talking to a good friend at a coffee shop. How would you describe certain things? What tone would you use? Your business blog does not have to be hyper-formal, it can just be the best version of you.
Your Audience Is Real
Sometimes we easily forget that when we are writing, a real person is on the other side of the computer reading it, not just your spellcheck app.
When you stop trying to write as some distant far-off person, you will tap into your authentic voice and that feeling will come across to your audience. In business, more and more emphasis is being placed on genuineness and authenticity and I encourage you to lean into that and be as transparent as possible especially in your writing and communication efforts.
Your audience will appreciate doing business with someone they trust, respect, and relate to. Your writing is an excellent way to show your audience who you are and learn about them in return. Let your readers in and use your writing to develop a connection and relationship with them.
People connect to people, so when you are writing to them write as if you know them. Remember your friend from the coffee shop, and write to them. This strategy builds relationships and strengthens connections because not only are you proving that you know your audience, but you are also allowing your audience to know you in return. The writing I respond best to is the kind that feels like it was written just for me, like in some ways I am having a dialogue with the author. They use phrases, words, and emotions that I can relate to which in turn helps me feel like I know them too. Writing can create that reciprocity.
In the end, you want to create content that connects and inspires and the best way to do that is to be genuine and real in everything you create. When you incorporate authenticity into your content, you will find that you will forge stronger connections one story at a time.
Here at Perfectly Planned Content, we are word people. Using unique words to help communicate a story is one of our favorite things to do. Reach out to us to see how content marketing can change your business.