Boy, have I done a lot of learning lately about marketing, branding and how to present myself in the confusing and overwhelming digital marketplace. When I first set out to start a business, I had NO IDEA what would be involved in actually making it work and how hard it would be to market MYSELF in a real (but professional) way. As the popular marketing saying goes, ‘people buy from people’, and in the health and wellness arena, it is more true than ever.
What I have come to realise about content creation and marketing in my field is that, above all, authenticity is key. Prospective customers have had enough experience in sifting through the hacks to understand who is genuinely there to help and loves what they do, versus those who are out to make a quick buck. Plus, authenticity breeds loyalty, so when a client finds you and loves you, they will most likely stick by your side!
As a writer, this is exactly what I promote to my copywriting clients too. In my content as well as that written for other health and wellness businesses, authenticity stands out as the number one decider on quality and fit to a brand.
What do I mean by ‘authentic copy’?
Not the loud, sleazy, salesy, exclamation-filled hype that hammers our senses until we nearly explode. Not the over-promised schemes that entice us to empty our wallets for the thrill of reaching some unattainable goal or milestone. Not the cookie-cutter copy that barely differs between massage therapy and a new brand of toilet paper. Authentic is soft but persuasive, engaging and entertaining, filled with heart and genuine in the promises made.
With any content – as in life! – I believe it is essential it is to showcase your business and personality uniquely, to cut through the chatter and allow your target audience to get to know you. In the digital age where we, as online business owners, tend to hide behind our keyboards or phones all day long, we must make a concerted effort to connect to our audience and allow them into our space to begin building that trust that ultimately leads to signed contracts.
How do you write authentic copy?
- Start writing as though you were talking to someone.
The easiest way to construct authentic copy is to write the way you would speak, at least for the first draft. This helps set the tone as well as get your initial ideas out on paper (digitally, of course). The resulting content will be in your words, using your information and interpretation, written in a way that customers would expect from YOU. Plus, using your own words avoids plagiarism issues, as well as reassures customers when they speak to you that you do know what you are talking about!
If you have a copywriter help out, this step is just as important but done in a slightly different way. You may want to give your writer a ‘brain dump’ of information or send through examples of content you have written in the past. Your copywriter can also look at your social media posts for the tone of language and wording you typically use to tie it all in.
From here, you will still need to edit and polish your writing, but a decent draft will make this task so much easier.
- Add in some personal anecdotes, stories or suggestions to illustrate your points.
You don’t always have to have a full-on account (these can get a bit tiresome), but could offer some ideas or advise throughout the content.
For example, if you are writing about the benefits of massage therapy, you can mention in the beginning what your favourite type is or when you last had a massage yourself. If you are writing about food, offer a link to a recipe you made recently, or a dish the whole family loved. As health and wellness practitioners, we generally practice what we preach – I hope – so use yourself and your life to add colour and style to your writing.
- Get your head out of the uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability.
THIS is the biggest hurdle I have had to overcome. I began my online work solely as a writer, and so felt I could justifiably hide behind my desk, and no one would care. While this seemed to work for a little while, I soon had to get out of my comfort zone and post pictures of myself, talk about what I was getting up to in my downtime and go out and network (AKA speak to people!). Now, as a health coach as well, I am really trying to be seen more and build the rapport with my valuable and much-adored audience.
You, my dear reader, need to do the same!
- Remember your business values and your WHY.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the latest Insta trend or what we should or shouldn’t be posting, but as with any business decision, your content should always reflect your business values and your overarching WHY. For example, if your mission is to educate, make sure this comes through in your content. If you aim to inspire, make that the centre of your copywriting and social media creation.
It pays to check in on your business values regularly and evaluate why you do what you do. This not only helps drive all of your marketing efforts, but keeps you motivated and on track to providing the best service you possibly can.
If you would like to little help with your content creation, I would love to chat. I offer packages to suit a variety of needs, from short blog posts to feature-length articles, professional documents and emails. My services include copywriting as well as editing and proofreading.
Contact me on 0412 603 163 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time.