Do You Want to be Boring?
It’s the easiest thing in the world to do what we’ve always done.
Getting new customers involves convincing people to do something they haven’t before.
First, you have to catch someone’s attention. That’s hard these days. Then you have to convince them not just that you have something they need, but that they’re better off getting it from you than from the guy down the street.
That’s hard, too, and it starts with attention. Increasingly, that’s attention you pay for. Advertisers paid $5 million for a 30-second ad in the Super Bowl for a little attention. Talk in social media marketing circles is that every platform is—or is becoming—pay to play.
So you do what businesses have to do—you pay for attention. Because you’re a smart businessperson, you don’t direct that attention to your home page, but to a landing page specifically designed to capture that attention. And because you’re trying to keep costs to a minimum, that landing page was designed and written by your cousin or some guy you found on Fiverr.
It’s not working is it?
Your ads aren’t getting as many clicks as you want and the people who do click through aren’t buying your widget or signing up for your mailing list.
Your ads aren’t attracting the attention they could, and your landing page is simply not getting the job done.
When your content is boring, none of your content marketing efforts are going to perform at all.
Grammar and Punctuation are Boring
We notice when words are misspelled. We notice when the grammar is incorrect. We notice when something is written by someone for whom English is obviously a second language.
We notice these things, and we assume the people behind the words are clowns. We do this even when we’re not looking to buy words. We’re looking to buy widgets, sign up to a webinar, or whatever. If the site doesn’t look professionally done, we don’t trust it.
You know what we don’t notice? We don’t notice content that uses standard grammar and spelling. It doesn’t stand out as particularly terrible, so it’s good enough, right?
Of course not.
Words are tools we use to do jobs. But knowing how to use a tool doesn’t mean a damn thing if you don’t know how to do the job. Wrenches are tools. Some wrenches are used to change tires. If you know how to change a tire, it doesn’t mean you know how to do an oil change, replace a transmission, or rebuild a ’57 Chevy.
Your marketing content—your home page, about page, landing pages, and blog posts—is not a tire change. It might not be the Chevy rebuild, but it requires job-specific knowledge that most people who are “good with words” just don’t have.
The Words on Your Site Have Three Jobs
Boring content is like that guy at work who’s better at looking busy than doing the job. It looks good enough but doesn’t get the job done. It may hang around longer than you’d expect, but it’s a dead man walking.
If the words on your site don’t work, your business doesn’t work and making a profit is damn near impossible.
The words on your site have three jobs. They need to attract the attention of your ideal customers. They have to engender a sense of affinity in that audience, and they have to convince that audience to trust you.
That’s the Buyer’s Journey. That’s taking strangers and turning them into repeat customers. That’s not only getting attention but converting that attention into the signups and sales that drive profitability.
While every word does a little bit of all three jobs, some lean heavily towards one job or another. Do you know which pages are about getting attention and which are about developing that sense of affinity? Do you know how to put together a page that converts attention to action?
If you cannot answer those questions with an enthusiastic and unqualified yes, then you owe it to yourself and your business to hire a real professional.
You Don’t Get Artisanal Quality from a Factory Floor
Your business is the only one like it in the world. Sure, there are others that do the same thing, but they don’t do it with the same commitment. They don’t do it with the same values. They don’t have the same ideal customers. They’re not the same business because you don’t run them.
Reaching an audience is hard. Getting attention is hard. Converting that attention into cold hard cash is hard. Do you really want to trust your audience—your business—to someone who is just trying to pick up some extra cash in their spare time?
Your audience deserves better. Your business deserves better. It’s going to cost more, but it’s one of those basic investments that pays for itself many times over.
Pay a Pro
I’m a Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer. That means I’ve studied with the best content marketing educators on the internet. It means they’ve judged my work and they’re willing to vouch for its quality.
You know those questions I asked about six paragraphs back? I’ve studied those questions, and I know the answers. I know where and how to attract attention. I know how to develop an affinity. I know how to engender trust. I know how to convert attention into action. I’ve studied it. I’ve done it.
I’m exactly the kind of guy you want writing your content.
If your content marketing efforts aren’t working as well as you’d like, I can help. Drop your best business e-mail in the form below and let’s get to work.