If you can BREATHE, you can sell.
Are you one of those people who oozes nervous energy when it comes online selling?
If writing content makes you feel like a greasy salesman, then your model of selling is probably akin to a retail version of the furniture salesman—like the new salesman who started last week; his name is Dan.
Dan is standing around with his cohorts, thinking about potential commissions, when a man and woman pull up in the parking lot.
"Look! Here comes someone. They're mine. I've gotta close at least one sale today," he says to his huddle.
The pair enters.
"Hi, folks! How are you today?" Dan bellows.
"Fine, thanks," one of them says, looking around to avoid eye contact.
"Is there anything I can help you find?" Dan says with a big, toothy smile.
"No thanks, we're just browsing," says the other prospect, scanning the edges of the store.
"Okay, well my name is Dan," he says. "If you need anything or if you have any questions, give me a shout, okay?" he says, with emphasis on the question mark.
"Sure, thank you," says the prospect, looking back at Dan but already making tracks in the other direction.
"Oh wait! I nearly forgot!" yelps Dan, rushing towards the escaping pair with papers flapping in his hand.
"Here's our sales flyer. We're running a special right now—35 percent off all recliners, 30 percent off bedding purchases, and 25 percent off of living room groupings. The sale is good through the end of today. Was there anything special you're looking for?" says Dan, finally taking a breath.
"No thanks, just browsing," says the prospect, glancing at the flyer, feet moving once again.
"Okay, great!" Dan calls to the departing pair. "Just let me know if I can help in any way!"
"We will, thanks," calls the prospect, thinking, "I hate salespeople."
Can't you just feel Dan's nervous, hungry energy? He wants a sale. And that makes him a tad... exuberant.
Website owners and digital content producers sometimes fall into the same trap, rushing in too fast with offers, invading the prospect's personal space with chat bots offering assistance, thrusting sales and great bargains upon them with popups, giving prospects nary a chance to breathe.
If you want to avoid that in YOUR content, you'll be glad to know that there's a much better way to enter the hearts and wallets of prospects.
That way is to BREATHE.
B. R. E. A. T. H. E.
Yes, you. Take a breath!
You have a world of brilliance and beauty inside you.
You just need to tease it out.
You CAN tease it out.
R = Research
Go out into the online world, and find at least 20 comments from people who need what you have to offer.
Document their pains, problems, frustrations, dreams, desired transformations.
(Seriously. Don't skip this step. You need it to complete the next part of the process.)
E = Echo
Echo back what you heard from the people who need you.
Say it in your words, their words, whatever.
Just spend some time echoing, preferably on paper (or keyboard).
A = Aspire
Did you know that the word aspire comes from the Latin "to breathe"? In fact that's what gave me the idea for B.R.E.A.T.H.E.
Aspirations are breaths. We need breath to live. We need aspirations to live.
In this step, document YOUR aspirations. What do you dream for your content? For your business for your customers?
What do your prospects aspire to?
Aspirational content will be a powerful tool in your online marketing arsenal, so give it due attention.
T = Talk
This may sound corny, but I want you to TALK out loud as if you were in the coffee shop with a small group of three or four people.
They are your ideal clients.
And they're totally listening.
They're leaning in.
You have their full attention.
Now, what would you say?
To get the most mileage from this activity, record yourself talking, and then either transcribe what you've said, or play it back.
Those words you're using when you're in your element, speaking passionately about what you do, even if you're just speaking to Fifi, your pet?
Those are the words that are you at your most authentic. Those are the words you need to capture and use in your content.
I can't tell you how many of my super-smart, highly articulate clients can record themselves speaking a near-perfect perfect version of a blog post, yet have trouble putting those same words down on the keyboard.
If speaking is your gift, use it!
H = Hear
After you've written your content, read it out loud -- especially if you want to feel more confident in your writing.
When reading out loud, you'll be surprised at how many glitches you'll catch—typos, repetition, clunky phrasing.
For bonus points, read your content to someone else, too.
For double bonus points, ask someone else to read your content aloud to you.
E = Exhale
That's it... you've done it!
You've just created beautiful content that rings with authenticity and passion. There's NO WAY your content will make your prospects feel as if they're being chased by someone like Furniture Store Dan, now.
Still need help? Still feeling shaky on your content legs?
I'll be happy to help you sell with dignity and confidence on your website and in your other marketing materials.