Adam Smith, the father of modern economics and author of The Wealth of Nations (1776), identified writing as one of the three most important inventions of mankind – the other two being money and economic tables.
Photo courtesy of Small Biz Trends
More than two centuries later, the Internet has powered the written word to levels unimagined only a generation ago, let alone during Smith’s era. It is the driving force behind a handy new-media maxim, “Content is King.”
In an era when content is king, if you want to connect with customers competitively and stay connected, you have to produce more written words than ever before. But not just any words – authentic words.
After all, today we’re consumers of many kinds of online content. From streaming audio and video to multi-media formats on iTunes and YouTube. In the midst of all it, the most popular content — hence the Kingly content — still remains most popular in its graphic form, like what Smith would have used.
Since 1999 – long before blogs and social media – two things I’ve encouraged small business owners to do is:
- develop better writing skills
- publish more of their own words online that communicate to and connect with customers.
Since 2010, prospects and customers want to read about the stuff you sell before they meet you. But they want more than marketing messaging; they want authentic, straight-from-the-horse’s-mouth information that delivers three things that are increasingly a big deal to customers:
1. the voice,
2. the vision, and
3. the values of the human beings behind the stuff, as unartful and unscripted as they may be.
So don’t worry if you’re not a professional wordsmith. When you need fancy words for strategic marketing messaging, online or otherwise, hire a pro.
But you must become comfortable with conveying your vision and values online, in your own words – the voice – about a variety of issues from explaining how to use a product you sell to a local cause you care about to your philosophy on serving customers. And it’s just fine if some of these authentic words also come from your employees who customers will get to know.
In the Age of the Customer®, now armed with as much information as the businesses they patronize, customers expect to be treated more like insiders. And the good news is that no one makes this connection as effectively and authentically as a small business. Congratulations.
Let customers read about your authentic side with your voice, vision, and values.