On the list of 15 things you don’t know about me is the item, “I’m a volunteer for historical tour in Philadelphia, sponsored by a group dedicated to preserving the city’s amazing landmarks. I got involved 15 years ago and joined again when I moved back last year.”
When you’re guiding a group of people around the city, surrounded by noise and traffic (we always say museum guide have it easy), you have to find a way to hold their interest.
Commanding attention – whether with a tour group, a workshop, or a class, is all about creating energy.
Reading from notes? Energy destroyed.
“Lively stories and anecdotes? Energy goes way up.
The same idea applies to creating your online persona, which is defined as the way others perceive your online personality. When your website, blog, and sales letters radiate energy, your readers want to hang around – just as we all enjoy spending time around vibrant, high-energy people.
In fact, it’s a lot like guiding a tour group: you’ve got LOTS of competition for your attention.
To get started, here are 5 ways to create high-energy content that keeps readers riveted:
(1) Use strong verbs that carry emotional charges and communicate energy. Some marketers use verbs like Smash, Hammer, Develop, Master, Triumph, Crush.
Those words may not suit your target market or your own personality. You can also use words like Share, Collaborate, Communicate, Energize, Connect and Gain Insights Into.
Strong verbs are like spices you use in cooking: a little goes a long way but you’ll notice when they’re missing altogether.
(2) Create a showroom, not a tea party.
Phrases like, “Welcome to my site,” and “Please look around my website” will signal, “I’m not really comfortable with marketing.”
Let’s face it. Your visitors know they’re welcome. They know you’re not doing this for fun. When you tiptoe around, they start looking for the elephant in the room.
(3) Paint word pictures.
We’ve all heard “Create your perfect life,” “Take it to the next level,” and even “Boost your business.” Those phrases can be effective, but why not challenge yourself to get the reader involved:
“Imagine yourself in a bookstore, standing next to your published book.”
You can be even more vivid:
“Imagine yourself signing your first published novel in the Miracle Mile Bookstore.”
(4) Make your artwork elevate your copy.
If you’re a sailing instructor, definitely include photos of sailboats, preferably with yourself in your instructor’s role.
But if you’re a business consultant, use photos of yourself working with clients. If you use stock photos of people, dig for photos you won’t find on every site. There’s one photo of a young woman with a laptop that seems to show up everywhere.
(5) Quote yourself – not Chopra, Gandhi, Kennedy, and other iconic figures.
They’re great people who are worth quoting, if you’re building a website in their honor. But on your website, we want to hear you.
Replace your quote with a kickass, memorable story that illustrates your point. Or find a memorable quote from one of your articles, set it up as a graphic, and place it in a prominent position on your website.
When you feel the energy, your visitors will too.
Start with even one of these tips, which are very easy to implement. You’ll feel the energy and so will your website visitors.
Most business owners make marketing a lot harder than it has to be. That’s because they haven’t claimed their marketing advantage – not just telling a story but telling the right story for your unique services and offers. Your marketing will become 10X more productive when your story responds to your client’s backstory.
Dr. Cathy Goodwin helps service-based businesses use their story to create an online presence that attracts clients and helps them stand out in a professional way. A former marketing professor, Cathy has lived all over North America (including Alaska and Canada), now happily settled in Philadelphia with two adopted cats who refuse to share their stories.
Learn how to use stories to build your brand with this free step-by-step guide. Click here for an immediate download.