Hello –

You’re reading this post alone, aren’t you?

There are no friends huddling around your shoulders, sharing the experience like that webcam scene from American Pie, is there?

Sound.

Now I know we can talk properly, I’m gonna share my favourite writing tip of all time.

First, a lesson in how not to write the intro to this blog post …

How Not to Write the Intro to this Blog Post

“Business owners and marketing managers need to communicate better with their customers. It is best they read this post alone as to absorb the messages within it. Those who pay attention to Latitude will learn how to find their most important customers along with a useful tip about writing.”

Not one mention of the word “you” or “your”.

A soulless voice, megaphoning the same message, hoping many readers stop to listen.

But as you and I just established, you’re reading this post alone.

How Not to Sell a Vacuum Cleaner

Imagine you’re looking for a new vacuum cleaner. You visit the local electrical store and the salesperson says this:

“Homeowners, and those who are renting, can benefit from this vacuum cleaner’s lightweight frame and tri-suction cyclone technology.”

Ignoring the ironic comedy factor, how much are you engaging with his communication style? How likely are you to buy a vacuum cleaner from this fella, who hasn’t given one thought to your personal customer journey?

salesman

How Not to Alienate Your Reader

To guarantee you never commit the same crime, try Bob Levenson’s Dear Charlie technique (my favourite writing tip of all time):

“Before I start, I write Dear Charlie at the top of the page. Then I write the copy. Then I cross out Dear Charlie.” ~ Bob Levenson, via @davetrott

You’re not important.

You’re not selling your product to Charlie, as much as you’re selling the better version of himself … thanks to your product.

How Not to be Another One of Those Marketers

To go one step further, it helps if you know Charlie. What loyalty cards are in his wallet? Does he use a checkbook? Does he know what the words “Microsoft Encarta” mean? Does he care about what car his neighbour owns? Is he likely to spend his life savings on a white wedding any time soon? Does he hate Microsoft love Apple? What social network does he prefer, if any? Is he up to date on Game of Thrones? And what’s the one big tune that takes him back to being 16 again, drinking in the streetlight during those six weeks between school and college?

Sounds like a lot. And most marketers take a shortcut by guessing the right questions and answers. That’s okay.

But isn’t it better if you build a customer profile based on facts and empathy?

Next chapter in Simple Content Marketing gives you the building blocks for that fact-based profile. Sign up to our mailing list (below) to get it to your inbox the moment it’s ready.

If you have any questions on customer profiling for now, share them in the comments and we’ll see if I actually know my stuff when I try to answer.

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