Does shifting gears from seamlessly running a company to writing marketing pieces leave your brain balled up in a wad? When your left brain is focused on cash flow and day-to-day work, it’s oft-times difficult to free-up the right brain, the portion that spews out brilliant ideas and concepts. Not everyone is strong in conceptual and creative thinking, giving voice to printed material, and plotting persuasive communications. Certainly, if the very thought of spitting out words for exciting promotional copy leaves your tongue tied in a knot it’s time to untangle the right side of the brain.
I suggest compiling a “Woo Pad©”, a notebook filled with thoughts and observations that trigger ideas to better promote your company. Your notebook doesn’t have to be as sophisticated as devising orderly files on a laptop. A good old-fashioned spiral notebook or journal that’s kept in your purse, car glove compartment or by the nightstand is, in fact, better. A victorious idea may hit in the middle of the night.
Your Woo-Pad© is your place to jot down inspirations, breakthroughs, and zillions of thoughts. Buy books on creative content and strategy, surf the Internet to see what competitors are saying and doing, and focus on a message that’s different and better. Don’t worry if your ideas are undeveloped. You’ll stimulate your brain waves when you put ideas on paper. The ideas can be transformed into meaningful initiatives later.
Then, there are times when you must turn the conceptual prowess over to others. Relentlessly calculated copy can sometimes sound decidedly unnatural and contrived. Oftentimes, all it takes is a consultation with a content strategist to infuse your right brain with the stimuli that it needs in order to unlock and refine your creative voice. Or, contracting a professional to ghostwrite everything from your Tweets and Facebook posts to your direct mail may be your best option.
"We live in a world where the ability to tell a good story can mean the difference between success and failure. Lawyers use narrative to convince juries of innocence or guilt. Advertisers use stories to promote their products. I encourage everyone — from the clergy to scientists -- to free their creative mind and think outside the box. Get into the practice of making notes, whether sitting in a business conference or on a plane, bus, or train."
The World Wide Web affords individuals and companies the dynamic opportunity to do business beyond geographical borders. Inevitably this entails communicating and collaborating with people whose cultural, social, religious and political realities may be different from your own.
In my case, with a culturally diverse clientele that’s located worlds away from my own backyard, national outreach is only the tip of the iceberg. Since English is a second language for many people, it’s not uncommon for me to receive an email from a Caribbean destination seeking publicity, or a product manufacturer in the U.K. desiring exposure throughout the United States.
Appealing to a global market means communicating effectively with clients of dissimilar mindset. I have to familiarize myself with the holidays, traditions and customs of various cultures when working on travel promotions, as these impact not only what I may say in an email, but also what visual attachments I send. I like to say that I have “cross-over appeal”, which is a consciousness of personal and cultural differences in others, and the creative ability to connect with a melting pot of clients, without speaking their native tongue.
To gain a “competitive edge” in the twenty-first century, you too must embrace the skills and sensitivities necessary to become a globally competent communicator. In the process of increasing your “global marketability” it’s imperative to develop culturally-correct written dialogue skills; to learn terminology that’s relevant to widespread audiences; to feature multiple ethnic groups in advertising messages; and to refrain from building a “Google history” that reeks of political or racial prejudices. The bottom line is that wooing customers from Tennessee to Timbuktu means getting to know the customer and tailoring your words for their unique demographic.
"The words that you use, and the organization of your concepts, need to conform to the cultural expectations of the associate you hope to do business with. What you do and say to motivate Tanaka-san to respond positively to your request in Japan will need to be very different from what you do and say for the same request to Jorge in Latin America. For example, directly referring to a problem is probably the best way to solve it with Broudwijn in The Netherlands, but anything more than the gentlest suggestion of a minor difficulty could spoil a deal with Nguyen in Vietnam."
We’ve all been tortured while listening to (or snoring through) some humdrum executive speech or presentation. In today’s world, you have to be a content strategist to “hold attention” during a book signing tour, motivational speaking engagement, panel discussion, lecture, press conference, seminar, or national sales meeting.
Verbal commentary that is clear, on-target and that quickly engages your audience is the key to keeping audiences on the edge of their seats at events from trade shows to national sales meetings and other motivational and marketing presentations.
Just as important, the print pieces or other written promotional content for the event must be refreshing and promising to lure your target audience to the water to drink!
Creativity is essential when creating mailers, promotional fliers, sales letters, event invitations, speeches, speaking points, video scripts and multimedia presentations for various audiences.
First and foremost, before any messenger prepares his “talking points” and molds his presentation, he should define exactly what he is trying to woo his audience to do. This may call for a complete message overhaul.
A lackluster message may need to be rewritten in favor of something fresh and imaginative, or the core brand message may need to be re-channeled or revamped. Excellent literary judgment, and the ability to translate a spokesperson’s brand into consistently compelling messages that influence, entertain or inspire others, is necessary to pen captivating words that take center stage.
Let’s face it, maintaining an alluring personality and vitality for an hour or two on stage or in a seminar is taxing. Even the most high-energy, high-impact voice becomes stagnant over time. Powerful and effective written communication, presented verbally, is what woos people to purchase a product, participate in an activity, or respond favorably.
"After coaching the best talent in the business, I can testify to the fact that the right orator with the right message has the power to captivate listeners. Yet, having the "magic words" is one ingredient in effective speech delivery. Your painstakingly crafted script combined with well modulated voice quality, open body language, and commanding physical presence make for the total package."