In To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink lets us in on a success secret of one of the 30 wealthiest people on the planet – Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com. At every important meeting, Bezos leaves an empty chair at the table. Pink writes:
“It’s there to remind those assembled who’s really the most important person in the room: the customer.”
I often suggest to business bloggers that you write as if you’re talking to ONE ideal customer, imagining that person is sitting across the desk from you.
Here are five ways to make that empty seat as welcoming as possible:
- Begin again and again – If you’ve ever read a bedtime story to a child, you’ve heard the command, “Again!” No matter how many times you or others have covered a topic, your most important reader is the one who’s hearing it for the first time, or who just needed to hear it again.
- Answer real questions – As you picture the imaginary customer sitting in the chair, give that person a voice. Think back to conversations with current and prospective clients. What’s the first thing people said or asked when you told them what you do? Answer those questions. Again.
- Watch your language – Some people suggest you write as though you’re explaining your concepts to a young child. Others say your grandmother should be able to understand. The point is to eliminate – or spell out – any jargon or acronyms that will be unclear to someone new to the topic. Use the same words your clients are using when they ask their questions.
- Make it comfortable – Ensure your text is easy to read (dark text against a light background), and that it’s large enough for people with older eyes. Choose a clean, uncluttered layout, break up long paragraphs into lists or sub-points to create more white space on the page, and choose attractive images to go along with your posts.
- Provide a menu of choices – Make it easy to find other topics and information on your blog (provide a search box, list of categories, recent posts, related posts, etc.). As well, cater to different learning styles by offering your content in different formats, such as audio, video, slideshows and graphics.
There are many benefits to keeping up with your business blogging, but the most important one is the relationship you build with each individual reader. Keep that person in mind as you write your next blog post.
P.S. For more tips on reader-focused blogging, check out “How to Make a L.O.V.E. Connection With Every Article You Write.”