I sit down in front of my desk, my coffee steaming in front of me and my Word cursor blinking at me daring me to type my first word. Come on… type… I dare you!
My word cursor and I have a complicated relationship. I love writing, but it always challenges me, asking me one main question every time I pick up my laptop:
- What are you going to say?
To answer this question, I find myself taking a step back, and ask myself, well, WHY do you want to talk about this? That is the real question here. And I noticed something, whenever I can’t find a good convincing answer to this question, I just stop. I mean, if I can’t convince myself about the importance of the topic, how can I convince anyone that it’s worth reading, right? Not convinced? Ok allow me to demonstrate:
Ever since we were little kids, the most popular and innocent question we asked was why? But as we grow older, we tend to get over that question and just go with the flow, and a new ugly sentence appears “well, it is what it is”. Until, the question comes from your boss, or worse, your legal department. And this is when we really have to go back to the root. Why did I decide to write that post? What was my intention? How does it fit with my brand mission or persona? And you better well have a good answer for that!
How many times did you scroll through your social media newsfeed and you just think, why do I need to know this?! It is ok when it is a reaction to a friend’s status update, but it is definitely not ok when it comes to a brand post. More and more we see brands that are posting irrelevant content. They are just trying too hard to be cool! You might think. Which brings me to the second most important question. Is my brand really that cool?
Staying true to yourself and your brand is the first step to identify the WHY behind your post. If the WHY doesn’t fit to your online persona, then forget about it! It will just not click with your audience. Writing a post is just like starting a conversation. And just like people can think you are fake in real life, brand persona also can appear fake or trying too hard. Maintaining a clear and consistent tone of voice is important in online post just as it is when starting a new relationship. And that is why it is crucial to take a moment and really know WHO you are, so you can identify WHY you are posting this and WHY the reader should be interested and believe in what you are saying.
This is how when my cursor dares me to type, I answer:
Q:What are you going to say?
A: I am going to say THAT because I INTEND to demonstrate, explain, show or share this type of information because I AM that type of person and MY BRAND personality needs to convey THIS message in THAT way. Take that cursor!