What Fine Dining Can Teach Us About Writing

What Fine Dining Can Teach Us About Writing

I’m a nut for cooking shows. I’m not talking about drama-ridden, spoon-throwing reality shows, but the ones with absolute masters of culinary experience. Maybe it’s because I can draw so many parallels between great cooking and great writing.

I recently binged on Chef’s Table on Netflix (highly recommended) and revelled in the story behind each master. As I did, specific things stood out as metaphors for exceptional writing.

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Don't try to sound different, try to sound authentic.

Don't try to sound different, try to sound authentic.

“We don’t want to sound like just another boring service provider." A small electrical company told me when discussing their website content. "We want to come across unique and appealing to homeowners, not just more corporate talk.”

My first thought was, ‘Are you just another boring service provider?’ I can understand a desire to stand out, but what would I want from an electrician? I want professionalism, collaboration and the ability to get the job done. If you pass that test, perhaps I’ll call for a quote. What’s really important to me is that what you say in your marketing matches what you deliver.

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Behold! The Buzzword Armageddon Cometh!

Behold! The Buzzword Armageddon Cometh!

"It needs to be social at times and viral."

That sentence was one of biggest turning points in my career. Young, doe-eyed entrepreneur and slick marketing dude faced with the same jargon I slung for years. It was a proposal filled with buzzwords. The customer was asking for something they couldn’t define to fill expectations they couldn’t articulate. Nightmare. 

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Garage Sale and Corporate Storytelling

Garage Sale and Corporate Storytelling

I was reading some article on our love for garage sales. The quaint backyards and double bays opened with all the personals a lifetime has gathered, ready for bargains.

What is really appealing to people is that you’re buying more than just second hand treasure (or junk), you’re buying stories. A family cared for this furniture, children grew up and made memories with those toys and these tools lasted a generation and will continue to serve. 

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Don't Overthink Your Personas

Don't Overthink Your Personas

I go back and forward on the value of personas. Sometimes they are super-critical to your marketing approach, sometimes it becomes a factor of analysis paralysis. Considerable time has been wasted trying to create the perfect persona, so I try to simplify my characters more into habits than details. If you’re doing product development, sure, go nuts with your finer elements, but for marketing, we’re trying to intercept people.

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An Example in Content Marketing

An Example in Content Marketing

When I used to tell people I did content marketing, nobody really understood what that meant. Even when talking with agencies and successful companies, most people think of content as writing, and people think of marketing as advertising.

“So you must write ads then?”

(Face palms) 

Content marketing is still so new to people that it shouldn’t surprise me how undefined it is. I’ve seen a few good definitions that relate to story telling and creation, but it you have to break it down into describing each part.

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Why Photos Matter...

Why Photos Matter...

I may be a copywriter, but I understand the power of a great photo. Grabbing our attention and instantly connecting with our emotions; you can create an entire story in one great shot. This builds the tone and sets the stage for a reader and gets them engaging with content.

I’m bringing this up to hopefully inspire people to take a long hard look at their marketing...

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Dealing with Delays - The Project Horizon

Dealing with Delays - The Project Horizon

Marketing, and in particular content writing, always seems like an unpredictable path. Customer’s change their minds, people go on holidays, unexpected additions creep in; and before you know it you’re a month past due and people are screaming.

It’s not like you’re slacking off, so why are people so upset? 

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Sponsored Content - Telling You What I Want To!

Sponsored Content - Telling You What I Want To!

I don’t think it’s a revelation to most people that sponsored content exists. We’ve seen it in media, games and promotions for generations. So what’s different now? Now we’re seeing sponsored content inserting itself into mainstream journalism with any skepticism being met with shrugging shoulders.

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