Everyone talks. Some write. Digital marketing is a “writing” business – everything you do with digital marketing has to do with writing – from emails to blog posts to social updates.
Given that it’s getting crowded on the web and harder than ever to grab the attention of the average web-lounging customer, “normal” writing (which passes off as “content marketing”) is gradually losing steam.
Something else has to cover for the overall lack of chutzpah. But what gives? What can work? How do you make your readers sit up and take notice? Maybe entrepreneurial spirit – the same spirit you started your business with – can help.
Jacquelyn Smith wrote about Entrepreneurial Spirit on Forbes.com, and called it a mindset. I concur. I only add that you can bring it to work for your content marketing.
How exactly? Let’s see:
Entrepreneurial spirit is like a sports car in bumper-to-bumper traffic
Ever knew the feeling of driving a sports car in heavy traffic? When you crawl forward, you sense that tremendous power from the V-12 and all of that horsepower begging to be unleashed!Memecenter.com]
You might not have realized it, or maybe you did but used it for other purposes (and you still do), but your entrepreneurial spirit is extremely powerful.
That slightly reckless attitude, that willingness to take risks, that powerful urge to get things done, that itch of impatience, and those oodles of intrepidness.
What happens when you bring all that into the humble act of writing? Your posts come alive. Your writing gets real. You will be able to connect to your audience (or piss them off, which is still good).
You stay true to yourself
If you equivocate like politicians, you’ll get exactly the same sneering remarks as them. Instead, you could be a hero.
Who is a hero? Anyone who is true and stands up to defend what’s right is a hero. You’d have to have the courage to face people, be unafraid to take on anyone, and be able to say what you want to say – all of this because you believe that what you say or do will make a difference.Memecenter.com]
Be the hero your readers are looking for. Stand up for them, fight for them, help them out, and solve their problems. If you have to take on someone else bigger and mightier than you are, go ahead and do it.
The more you are true to yourself, the more endearing your writing is going to be. Endearing people are easy to trust.
A voice is heard
As you write, a voice is one of the best things you’ll develop. It’s also one of the most important elements of writing for the web, as Joy Tanksley asserted on Copyblogger.
If you have been on the web for a while (which I am sure you are), you have seen writing like this:
“In my opinion, travel is…”
“While I agree with what Tim Ferris said….”
Both are examples of sissy writing. Powerful writing doesn’t waver, belch, and sit there taking no position. Don’t opine; just say what you want to. Don’t agree if you can’t bring yourself to. If you have to disagree, don’t be extra-nice about it.
Just write this way:
“Travel is bliss!”
“Tim Ferris is just a Mr. Know-it-all who got lucky. He thinks he can run a manufacturing business while on the move!”
This takes guts, justified opinion, painstaking research, and knack to convince the heck out of anybody.
When you do that, you get your “voice” – a strong, compelling one at that – heard.
As an entrepreneur, you already have the voice muscle in you. All you have to do is to flex it.
You start making real friends
Phony writing attracts phony people. Real writing attracts real people. Even trolls will have to think twice about leaving a nasty comment on your blog post, if you see what I mean.
On the bright side, people love honest, humble but bold, and realistic writing. People also love intelligent writing with a bit of humor thrown in. When you start writing with the entrepreneurial spirit, you make some friends for life. I know this from personal experience – Douglas Idugboe, Editor of the Smedio blog, is always willing to publish my posts and even offered to interview me lately!OtakuUnited on DeviantArt]
Your writing affects them so much that they start mentioning you to their “I am not so much into reading blogs and stuff” friends. That’s how people mention Paul Graham or Seth Godin. That’s also the reason why minimalism is now mainstream, thanks to Leo Babauta of Zen Habits and Joshua and Ryan of The Minimalists.
You make everything seem possible
Thanks to the entrepreneur in you, simplicity comes easily to you. Hard work is no stranger, and you have developed a flair for explaining complex things in a way that’s easy for others to understand. (You do marketing, don’t you?)
Since you are also relentless, passionate, and committed, you could make a shoe sound like it’s the best purchase you made (Zappos), or turn shopping at a huge store that sells millions of products into a pleasurable experience (Amazon), or make a heavy, boxy SUV ooze appeal (Land Rover).
You don’t need a sexy brand to make things simpler, friendlier or likeable. A great example is how Shopify has turned the bland, everyday retail process of credit card payment processing into something “cool,” complete with card readers that can be attached to iPhones.
A quirky and effective solution to a problem will never cease to do wonders. You, as an entrepreneur, are a master of creation. You just know how to make things seem real.
A lot begins to happen when you stop looking at content as “marketing” and begin looking for opportunities to communicate as a way for you to make a difference, to say what matters, and pull up others up north along with yourself.
Are you using the inane entrepreneurial spirit you already have? Are you beginning to create? What kind of impact are you making with the way you communicate? Does your content creation process give you an adrenaline rush like no other?
Tell us about it!
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Tracy Vides is a content strategist and serial blogger who gives small businesses and entrepreneurs online marketing advice. Tracy's posts are featured on popular blogs such as Smedio, Tech Cocktail and Steamfeed. You can catch her <a href="https://twitter.com/tracyvides">@TracyVides</a> on Twitter any time for a quick chat.
Latest posts by Tracy Vides (see all)
- Change is the Real Constant in a Content Marketing Strategy - November 11, 2015
- How to Effectively Grow Your Email List for Free - October 7, 2015
- Content On Steroids: What Happens When You Publish With An Entrepreneurial Spirit - October 15, 2014