Why do you create content? Or actually who do you write it for? I guess you do it so people read it. And then online, people come for either information, entertainment or purchase purposes.
So that means you should also write for one of these purpose. I don’t have anything for sell here, and the only action I may require from you is to either check a resource link or add a comment. At least you get some info and entertainment from my posts 😉
We think our content has to be never seen before stuff. Completely new. And this is a barrier.
Because it’s already been done thus you shouldn’t give it a shot?
So no one should have raced the Olympics against Usain Bolt because they were sure to fail? Or no new [insert any type of music genre] album should be released because great music have already been done.
Of course there should be new music released 😉
One idea I already mentioned in some of my previous posts is that content may already exist and have been written by thousands of different writers, it will resonate differently with different people. It may get action from some and nothing from others.
The angle, language, words or story and examples used to illustrate an idea may totally make sense for you and not that much for someone else. Even though the concepts that the various authors are trying to convey are the same.
We understand a concept but we may not take action on it because we can’t instantly verify its impact.
So, maybe again it boils down to knowing and defining your audience as precisely or intimately as possible.
Or stating one verifiable positive – a.k.a. result driven benefit – impact to your people.
I will try to illustrate this with an example.
[Start of morning stuff example]
You may have seen that a morning power routine can make a huge difference in your day. It can increase your mental clarity and thus improve focus and productivity.
You would get up earlier, and spend some time to: read, then meditate, then exercise, then practice power sentence in the mirror while you brush your teeth (not easy). Not necessarily in that order.
And get ready to tackle the day, superman style.
Now this power routine is generally systemized and timed.
It’s a step by step plan that will take a certain amount of time. It varies from person to person. You have to make sure it fits your schedule and of course, adjust along the way what you feel is working for you or not.
For some people it is truly easy to implement, for others it looks impossible.
And for those who completely embrace the idea, they instantly know it will make a positive impact in their day. Maybe because they’re already in such activity like meditation, but they just need to move it first place in the morning.
For others, they still understand the concept, the cause-effect relation of routine-focus. They grasped the idea, but it’s too far from their current habits.
Meditating? Who has time for that?
And it’s also easier to believe that someone is trying to make that appear like they invented a new miracle solution.
“I won’t fall for that crap!” you say.
I took this example because of an article I read (I’ll tell you later about it), was about successful people and their habit of waking up early. Like 4:30 or 5AM. I know, how crazy! It’s not completely about a morning power routine but what you can achieve by waking up earlier.
Okay let’s make that 6am, supposing you usually wake up at 7am. You just gained 1 hour of [WHATEVER ACTIVITY YOU COULD DO]. “And lost 1 hour of sleep!” I hear you say. PLEASE!
Now what if I said something like [WHATEVER ACTIVITY YOU ENJOY, LOVE or VALUE BUT DON’T HAVE TIME TO DO IN YOUR DAY] or [MORE OF SOMETHING YOU LOVE]
What it could translate to…
… for your business:
– listening to a one hour podcast you almost never have time have time to otherwise, and now take notes and have content ideas ready
– read those business books everyone have been raving about (including yourself except you just read the cover!)
You will certainly learn something, and get new ideas, so now you want to share that knowledge to others and inspire them too.
… for your working space or home:
Declutter it. If you were lazy this week or the night before and have some crap to throw away, you could do that now. In general, do some cleaning, whatever it means to you.
… for your loved ones:
Prepare the best damn breakfast ever. You know your partner will love it. And that’s enough for a great day for both of you. He/She will smile, express gratitude. You will both smile. And you enjoy cooking, plus it’s your favorite meal!
… for yourself:
Take a long walk with your dog you know it would love. This is an exact example that resonate with me, personally.
It came from this article: Why the Most Productive People Start Their Day at 4 a.m. (Yes, We’re Serious). It’s #7 Imagine what you could do with an extra hour?
… and you can practice some self talk, no one is listening in the streets, most are still sleeping. So both of us will enjoy it.
Or gently dance on some cool and upbeat positive vibe music in your living room. It will get you pumped up and it can be your morning wokout. You know you LOVE that. You may need some headphones though.
[End of morning stuff example]
Those verifiable positive impact (I may just say VPI) are what make people take action. Why wouldn’t you try to implement something that you already love, or enjoy?
Something you already instantly know provides a desired result.
Well this is exactly what you want to do with your audience. You educate your audience, but they immediately know they can implement it and get the promised result.
IT VALIDATES YOUR POINT
And it will make them feel great. In the article I shared above, the author wasn’t specifically targeting me. (Though it’s very well possible nowadays, with a native ads network, or targeting possibilities such as facebook offer). It was part of the list with “cook breakfast for the kids” and “water your garden?”. It’s a more general that talks to everyone.
Now what for your specific business related content?
How to make sure your audience take action when you don’t know in the first place what is one activity they love, enjoy or value?
It doesn’t seem as easy on a business related point of view compared to casual and personal stuff as described earlier. Ah, let me show you!
(All other strategies that are working for you are valid though.Things like breaking down a goal into baby steps… But this is execution that matters. And as well as you need to execute on your business, you want your readers, customers to execute on what you have for them.)
MAKE THEM FILL IN THE BLANKS
Your content should ask them what it is they want to achieve (the result) so they can really picture it, or write it down. Then the activities they enjoy doing, and stuff they have to do but have been pushing away for too long.
Most of the time, the activities they should be doing but don’t are the not comfortable ones. They either don’t like doing or have never done those. Indeed, these imply stepping out of their comfort zone.
BALANCE RESULTS AND OBJECTIONS
So when you want people to take action, your goal is to overcome objections of your reader. Not only on a solution you have, but also objections they have with themselves. It’s always about the audience.
This is the discomfort, or fear of change, that brings the objections (excuses, reasons, even irrational or illogical).
And I figured that if you can link activities they enjoy to not comfortable ones and results, you get to overcome those objections and get people to take action.
Put in front of them the effect of inaction: lack of results.
While when they do something they enjoy, a result appear.
When they do the things they don’t like, often greater results also appear. Turn the discomfort into something positive.
Here’s what you could have told me to get me to share my posts:
So you really want to help people with your cool tips, and you’ve written a blog post about it. Awesome. You published it so now everyone connected to the interweb can read it. That’s awesomer (I know it doesn’t exist).
But now you have to distribute it, share it on your social networks. Unknown individuals may express their opinions, positive or negative. So how do you overcome this “not going to share this”, into “definitely going to share this”.
You stay simple.
You act like there’s no pressure, you remove your emotions (if you can go as far).
“So people will read it and comment. Okay I will answer. I will thank them. I won’t start a fight and will integrate their point of view. I will precise my view if needed. Interaction is great. It gives me an angle I can use to write around, it gives me new ideas so I can help people more.”
Also ask yourself the question, why would people hate you for helping them,or trying to? You may not please everyone, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get hated. And even though you get a hate comment, that’s one less person to deal with in the future.
So these are my ideas on how to get people to take action from your content.
The main goal is to show the verifiable positive impact. Your audience instantly knows their action will have the desired result (or at least get them closer to it).
It may look something like that (recap):
- What is the result they want
- What are the activities they enjoy doing / and the ones they don’t like but should do
- Agitate the lack of result, waste of time of not doing those and…
- Overcome their objections that come from discomfort or fear (point those illogical reasons) by turning the discomfort or fear into something even more positive.
Another point is their activities can all be broken down into timed tasks, and each translated to a result. And the faster people take action, the faster they can see results. Some tasks can really be just a minute, or less. But they’re important, and must be done so we can follow on with the next one.
And if your main goal with your content is to help people, and serve their best interest, getting them to take an action that brings result is another step to get their trust.
Nobody take action on people they don’t trust. Who do you vote for, or NOT? What blogs do you visit regularly? Whose emails do you keep opening?
You have to convey consistency.
A micro-action creates micro change. But many add up. You can make a huge impact in the lives of others if you get them to take action on helpful and meaningful content.
Thanks for reading!
And this is where I ask you to shoot your comments and ideas.