“Tell me how you provide value.”
“I’m not sure. What do you mean by value?”
“Why do you matter to companies? Tell me about one of your customers, and why they work with you.”
“Companies know that we will get the job done, no matter what. In a recent steel fabrication project we were under-equipped, and this was structural, it needed to be done on time for the next project phase. So we called a competitor and got them to help fill a backorder. It might seem backwards, but we made a promise to get things done, and we stick with it.”
See this? This was a conversation I had with an Edmonton fabricating company, where they were willing to employ the competition to keep their promises. This is the start of a great story that people will connect with. Everyone has heard a million times that their service provider will go the extra mile, but how do you demonstrate it? Strong, applicable examples and stories are at the root of convincing people you matter. Think about your pitch, where does it stop?
- Description of a service
- Connection with service and a problem
- Articulate a point of differentiation from the competition
- Demonstrate the point with evidence
Most marketing stops at the first point; a simple, boring overview of what you do. This isn’t enough. Take it one step further and connect it with your customer, go a bit further and use it to stand out, and if you’re really good, you’ll tell it with a story.
Think back to my opening example:
- Described service - steel fabrication
- Connect with a problem - structure has to be done on time before the next phase can start
- Differentiate - we’re willing to go further to make sure we keep promises
- Evidence - we called a competitor to make sure things got done (now, you might not say competitor in your marketing, but you might say that you brought on additional resources)
Before content writing, I was in sales, and before that I went to school for sciences. Something I pulled from those days was a to approach writing with a formula. This is a simple approach to building compelling copy:
- Illustrate a problem
- Make an argument
- Show evidence
- Wrap it up
This approach might seem boring, but it covers all the elements you need to create good copy. When you can tell your service with a story, you can connect it to what matters in an exciting way. If you’re having trouble with content writing, think of a great example of providing a service to a customer, one where it really stood out. Use this to frame your writing using this simple formula, and people will find your work far more interesting.