Content Writing Tips: How to Write More Consistent Content
How Can I Write Better Content For my Small Business? I'm Not a Writer!
Today's story is #4 in my 7-week series on how to put your "best foot forward" in your small business so you can attract more ideal clients and customers.
My story today is a favorite tip and best practice for writing better, more consistent posts and more for your small business.
FYI - I'm doing this series to give you a sneak peek at my first-ever complimentary seminar on branding your small business - now underway in NC this month - Small Business: Best Foot Forward - 7 Steps to a Profitable and Relatable Brand. (If you're in NC and want to check it out - register for free here. Our first one was today and it was so much fun! There are less than 10 seats available across all events!)
So, let's talk the power of words and a favorite way you can write better, even (and especially) if you're not a writer.
Literally Finding the "Right Words"
At Greatest Story Creative, nearly all of our projects involve writing and helping small business owners find the right words to describe and present their business to ideal clients and customers - even those that also include visuals like logo and full brand elements.
The reason we do this is that better understanding the words you use in your business is key to communicating your most important messages to the people you want to reach. Visuals do a lot, but they don't do everything. When you understand what words and tone to use, and who you are trying to reach, you can be more consistent - and that's going to bring you more business.
One of the best practices for this is an exercise that we include in every "Brand Voice Guide" we write for our clients: Defining Story Attributes for your business.
You can do this exercise right now and it will quickly improve your consistency across anything you write for your business: your Instagram posts, your Facebook status, your blog entry, even how you talk about your business in an elevator. It'll also make it easier to write these things. Here we go!
EXERCISE: CHOOSE YOUR BRAND STORY ATTRIBUTES
In this exercise, we're going to help you find 10-12 key words that you can use as a guide to be consistent in all your writing about your business.
1. Get out a sheet of paper or open up a Word Document. You're going to make a few lists - feel free to use bullets or whatever formatting you'd like. We'll edit it down.
2. Brainstorm: What are 3-5 words that describe the experience I want customers or clients to have when working with my business?
3. Brainstorm: What are the 3-5 words that describe what I do or the products I offer?
4. Brainstorm: What are 3-5 words that represent the results of my products or services for my customers?
5. Brainstorm: What are major words that my competitors use to describe what they do?
6. Brainstorm: What are the 3-5 words that summarize how we are different from our competitors?
7. Eliminate: Look over your list from #2 and #3, are there are any that are the exact same as #4 (what your competitors use)? If so, cross them out and borrow from #6. (It's okay to leave one or two, so long as your whole list isn't duplicate - but try to look for synonyms / different words where you can).
8. Prioritize: Take all the words still standing. Whittle them down to the top 10-12.
These 10-12 words are now your Key Story Attributes.
They are your words that you can and should use often when you write new content for your business. Save them or print them out on a list nearby so you can consult them.
The more you use them consistently, the more you sound united across every tweet, Instagram post, and more. And they can help you brainstorm new content, too - making writing even easier.
Here are a few examples:
Greatest Story Creative (my branding agency in Durham, NC) -
- Real people
- Assets / Tools
Starrlight Mead (honey winery in Pittsboro, NC)
- Honey Wine / Honey
- Star / Starr
- Discover / Discovery
School of Home (Lifestyle Project and Blog in Durham, NC)
- Culturally Aware
And you could even take a stab at looking at big companies and seeing if you could make a story attributes list for them!
The point here is - we get that not everyone is a writer. One of my favorite secrets for writing is to know what you are trying to say in the first place. This is a great exercise and great list to have for your business to jumpstart anything you have to write - even if it's just a status on the fly!
Looking to Next Week
In next week's story in our "Best Foot Forward" series, I'll be looking at why it's a best practice to have more than a logo to visually present your business. If you have specific questions about visual branding for your business, reply to this and let me know!