In a world where a tweet can destroy a reputation in just a few hours, you’d think marketers would invest more time developing proper writing skills.
Your writing chops are one of your single most valuable skills as a marketer, and yet they are often neglected in the name of shiny new tactics and tech toys. Don’t be ignorant. No tool will ever take the place of finding the right words to truly speak to your audience, and you’ll never find the right words until you master the art of storytelling.
Master marketers are master storytellers. Not so sure? These brands have interlaced story throughout every product and every piece of advertising they put out.
Nike’s emblematic “Just do it” is a story unto itself.
TOMS is a story about giving back while you shop.
Coke tells a story about having more fun and living in the moment.
The implications for any business owner are clear. Master the secrets of telling a good story, and your work is half done.
Let’s be real. You’re probably an alright writer with a full plate of other activities and deadlines. That’s why I asked some of the best writers in the business for their top writing tips for marketers. You’ll find these will help you most in those sticky moments where you’re just not sure if something is going to resonate or not.
These elite copywriters, best-selling authors, and brand strategists to the stars sent their best advice completely free to help you craft the perfect message for your audience. Take notes people.
“Don’t just write to sell: write to inform, clarify, compel, serve, and entice. If you want life-long buyers, selling is the result of connection, not coercion.” – Laura Viviana
“Use your customer’s words. Repeating back what they say shows you’re really listening and sets you up to respond in a much more compelling way.” – Tara Gentile
“Believe in what you are offering. Knowing (and truly) believing that what you create is what your target market truly needs makes all the difference in the world. People can’t help to be attracted to true clarity, even if the copy isn’t that great.” – Shenee Howard
“Talk to customers! Find out what challenges and opportunities they’re facing directly from the source. Learn what triggers them to seek out help. So much of writing is about knowing your audience.” – Alison Gresik
“Stay true to your voice or the voice of the person you’re representing, not trends or ‘marketing speak’.” – Kate Swoboda
“Write everything you want to say, your way, as a conversation with your ideal audience. Then, read it out loud to yourself and cut out roughly 20% of the words while still keeping it conversational. Repeat until you’ve got the most clear, concise message possible.” – Hillary Weiss
“Build a writing practice you will stick to. You have to make writing time part of your routine. Otherwise, writing your content will be pushed down your to-do list and you’ll never find time for it. Mark out time on your calendar, then sit down and write.” – Glad Doggett
“Bring a specific person to mind before you write, and solve one problem. Don’t try and write for ‘the crowd’.” – Brigitte Lyons
“If you try to please everyone, you’ll please no one. Don’t water down your voice, opinions, or content to speak to the widest possible audience. Be bold, flaunt your quirks, and take a stand for your beliefs. Fewer people might like you — but more people will love you.” – Angela Raines
“Stop saying you’re not a writer. Get your butt in the chair consistently and write. The more you do it, the easier it gets.” – Liz Dennery Sanders
“Know your why, know your customer and write as if you’re talking with them over coffee.” – Lisa Wood
“Avoid jargon. Avoid buzzwords. Have a point of view. Write what hasn’t already been written. Answer your reader’s questions – especially the ones that are uncomfortable to answer. Tell stories. Always, always engage a proofreader.” – Carrie Klassen
“Make ‘why’ the star of your story.” – Amanda Farough
What are your top writing tips? Let us know in the comments.