Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Having Trouble Creating Social Media Content?

April 10, 2013

Write simply and clearly. Be genuine by using your own unique voice. And talk directly to your audience.

Social media have democratized publishing. Now that everyone with internet access can broadcast their thoughts to the world, it’s not just professional writers who are getting their messages heard.

Todd Martin 040413 image 1This offers both opportunity and challenge to those of us in the sales profession. You can speak directly to your prospects and customers. But you may dread composing blog posts – even tweets and other social updates – because you don’t think your writing is, “good enough.”

You’re not competing with New Yorker contributors. Your rivals are people like you, businessmen and women who want to connect with their social networks to help solve problems, build relationships and guide the right people to your products. You don’t have to be E.B. White to do that.

Who?

E.B. White may not have the name recognition of Hemingway, but you know him if you’ve ever read Charlotte’s Web. White also penned the definitive work on writing, The Elements of Style, more than 50 years ago. It’s still studied today. One of his most famous quotes is one you should take to heart:

“Don’t be tempted by a 20-dollar word when there is a 10-center handy, ready and able.”

You don’t need to dazzle your readers with a fancy-schmancy vocabulary. You need for them to understand what you’re saying, and quickly.

So there’s the first thing: Use common, simple language.

Second, that language should be your own. Present yourself honestly to your social networks. Your message will resonate with some people and not with others, but it should always be conveyed in your own unique way.

Here are some other things to keep in mind as you write for your online audience:

  • Make sure you understand your own message. When I’m struggling with a blog post, I often find that I haven’t clearly defined what I’m trying to say. If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough, Albert Einstein said.Todd Martin 040413 image 2
  • Don’t allow interruptions. Writing is a solitary process. Make yourself unavailable to co-workers or family, and work in silence.
  • Write what you can, when you can. Can’t write that title or first paragraph? Start at a point where you’re more confident and return to the opening later.
  • Avoid hype like the plague. As a sales professional, you’re a matchmaker. You’re trying to apply your solution(s) to the right problems. If you oversell, you may have higher revenues in the short run. Long-term, you’re going to get slammed on social media.
  • Address your audience directly. Get used to using the word, “you,” frequently.
  • Compose short sentences and paragraphs wherever you can. Don’t make people work too hard to understand your message.

Todd Martin 040413 image 3Whether you’re writing a brief Facebook update, a blog post or an entire web page, clarity, accessibility and sincerity are critical. Those qualities will help the “right” people find you.

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