Joachim and Danica have just established a skincare company that focuses on organic ingredients. Danica has an MBA in finance while Joachim double-majored in business administration and chemistry. They are both successful business professionals who have spent hundreds of hours in research and development, carefully considered their company’s values, meticulously planned their budget–they are golden, mostly. Their only issue? Frankly, neither of them can write very well. They can each handle a work report and routinely churn out business correspondence, but they have never had to engage an audience. What’s a non-writer to do?

Here are a few tips for non-writers who find themselves staring at a blank page, but need to create engaging content for marketing purposes.

1. You can educate, you can inform, but you must not pitch.
It’s a bit of a mind-bender, but customers hate to be thought of as customers. They will ignore a blog post about “4 ways our organic avocado scrub makes you glow,” and consider themselves savvy for seeing through the obvious advertising ploy. Those same consumers will eagerly click on a blog post about “4 benefits of avocado in skincare,” because they crave information. In this instance, customers know that they’re interested in the ingredient, but they are wary of a post centered solely on a product. Your content can mention your products, but must not focus on your products. Instead focus on the ingredients, benefits, or other facets of what you’re marketing.

2. Become a resource for your consumers.
An assisted living facility posts blogs with tips for at-home caregivers. An outdoors retailer tweets about government policies that affect national parks. A bakery uploads an fondant tutorial to its YouTube channel. All of these businesses are offering consumers content, but none of that content is directly showcasing their products or services. How does that work? Each of these businesses are setting themselves up as a resource for their target market. Their potential customer base will see them as a source of information; when those customers need a product or service, they will immediately think of their resources. A caregiver uses the assisted living facility’s respite care service; a hiker gears up at the outdoor retailer when she’s planning her trip to Yosemite; a parent orders a fondant masterpiece for his son’s third birthday party: all because those businesses established themselves in their customers’ minds as a resource.

3. Use your own experience and never stop researching.
As discussed above, you should not limit your content to your sales pitch. Think about why you started your business: what excited you about the product? For Danica and Joachim, it was their lifelong passions for skincare. Write about your own passion for your products or services, or what inspired you to start your own company. Discuss current trends in your industry. Share news stories that might affect your customer base. The outdoors retailer posted articles regarding environmental issues because their customers were interested in the outdoors–give your readers what they want.

4. Proofread (and no, using spell check does not count as “proofreading”).
Your business will look ridiculous if your blogs are riddled with errors. Would you trust a medical practice if their webpage misspelled “dermatology”? No, it would be a red flag. And you can’t rely solely on computer programs to catch mistakes: spellcheck software almost always ignores homophones (two, too, and to; perennial and perineal; e.g.). Send your work to a professional editor, or at least a well-read colleague.

5. Just hire a professional writer.
Joachim and Danica eventually decided to hire a freelancer to write content. They realized that it was more cost effective to hire a professional than to spend time researching and writing themselves. There is no shame in asking for help from an expert, after all. As with everything, however, you get what you pay for. Don’t hire the lowest bidder unless you are prepared to do some major redrafting. Quality work comes at a premium price.

When asked for advice on writing, Kurt Vonnegut said, “Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.” This is important to keep in mind for any content creator–from writers to marketers to social media gurus. Inform your customers, become a resource for your clients, and share your own passions. You will build not only a customer base, but a community.

Ready to get started? We are experts at content marketing and we want to work with you. At StartUp TakeOff, we understand the value of a strong team. We also know that finding the right people can be nerve-wracking and time-consuming, so we made it easy for our Clients. Choosing the wrong partners can be a costly misstep for any entrepreneur, which is why StartUp TakeOff’s founder, Stefani Thionnet, has assembled a diverse group of marketing experts from across the industry who will provide you with solutions that save you time and money. Our team of marketing industry veterans will get to know you and your brand so that we can provide solutions perfectly tailored to your needs. The best people often strike out on their own, but we’ve brought them together to get results you will love.

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