What should I write about?
Many of my clients are entrepreneurs. Ideas people, who don’t struggle to think of subject matter for their written content. Yet they still often ask me, “What should I write?” Whether it’s a blog post or a non-fiction book, their issue is that they often have too many ideas to work with. I created a short video about the problem recently here.
It’s worth remembering that having too many potential ideas is far better than not having enough, however what we need to do is to work out which subjects we should tackle first. The way to do that is through customer research.
Before you get worried that I’m suggesting that you commission a large-scale research study, happily that’s not needed here. You just need to get a handle on what your audience’s pain points are. What are the issues that your product or service helps to remedy?
Five ways to understand your audience’s needs better:
- Think about the questions you’re asked most often by clients and prospects
- Email your list to ask them what keeps them awake at night (relevant to your offering!)
- Ask your Facebook group what burning questions they have
- If you run events, ask the question of your attendees
- Create a free (short) survey on Surveymonkey and send it out via social media or email, or both
When you have that information, you can focus on creating content that addresses your audience’s actual needs, rather than what you think they need.
A common mistake is to showcase a product or service’s benefits when we’re creating written content. Instead, we should be looking to showcase the ultimate outcome for clients.
1) A financial adviser writes about remortgages and stresses the quick turnaround of a new product.
They should be focussing on the outcome for the client, so here perhaps it’s that clients could take the kids to Disneyworld this year with the money they’ll save by remortgaging.
2) A company emphasises the compatibility of their software product.
They neglect to mention that their product is likely to save around 50,000 lives a year in the UK alone. That’s a far more compelling proposition.
Fundamentally, whenever we write, we need to put ourselves firmly in the client’s shoes because it’s human nature to think, “What’s in it for me?” If we can get crystal clear on our audience’s problems and address them directly, then we are more likely to make a connection with those people. They are more likely to know, like and trust us and consequently to want to do business with us in future.
If you’re sat staring at a blank page wondering what to write, remember:
It’s not about you, it’s about them!
If you’d like more advice and information for people wanting to write their own business or non-fiction book, you can download my free e-book here.