If Tony wants to get conversational, should he start with social media?

(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)

Here’s Tony’s question…

“The company I work for is fairly small, but has adopted a rather formal and stiff tone of voice when communicating with our customers and prospects. If I want to change this – I work in marketing, and started there recently – and want to follow your conversational approach, would it make sense to start with our social media channels?”

Tony, I think there are a couple of places to start that make sense.

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How to introduce your clients to Conversational Copywriting.

This question is from Stacey H., who has taken my course, Conversational Copywriting.

Instead of simply replying to the Stacey’s message one-on-one, I decided to share both her question and my answer with this short video.

(What follows is the outline I wrote for myself in advance of recording the video. This is just an outline. Not a regular post or article.)

First, Stacey’s full question:

“Nick, I just completed your Conversational Copywriting course and I love it. It feels so right to me! And I have one client who I think could be open to this. But how do I introduce the idea to them? How can I get my clients to be conversational?”

Thanks for the question Stacey.

OK… maybe more than one question to unwrap there.

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Online, you’re often writing headlines even when you’re not.

Online headlines on mobile device

I know, today’s headline is a bit of a brain-twister.

Here’s what I mean…

There are places online where we write headlines, and are fully aware that we’re writing headlines.

Examples include the headline you might write for a website’s homepage. Or at the top of a blog post. Or on a review page. Or on a sales page or landing page.

These are the places we expect to find headlines.

But how about an email subject line? Is that a headline?

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As a freelancer using social media, only two audiences matter.

Social media crowdSocial media can be a wonderful tool for freelancers. But it can also be a time sink.

It’s all too easy to spend hours a week feeding the social media beast, without getting any measurable value in return.

All too often we focus on numbers. We want more friends and followers. We want more clicks and more positive feedback.

Once things start rolling and our numbers start rising at a healthy clip, it’s easy to develop a minor obsession. All of a sudden we are spending more and more time finding ways to increase the size of our social media audience.

If this is happening to you, you should press the pause button, sit back and ask yourself this simple question: “Who are these people?”

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Optimize each page of digital content according to its purpose.

Web content optimization.Content marketing is a hot topic, and for good reason.

Content is the lifeblood of most websites, blogs, video channels and photo apps.

A constant flow of new and compelling content gets visitors hooked and keeps them engaged.

What is content? Often it’s an article or a post. But it could be a review or a buying guide. It could be a video, a photo essay or a slideshow. Or an ongoing series of photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Or a podcast or a vlog. It could be a multimedia mashup.

Add together all those new pages, posts, videos, photos and podcasts – plus all the tweets and Facebook updates that are created – and you have hundreds of millions of new pieces of content uploaded each day.

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Don’t create a mobile app until you’ve mastered social media.

being antisocial on social media and mobileI work with companies from a variety of different industries, and I also keep an eye on what other companies are up to. In other words, as well as being a writer for the web, I’m also a student of the web.

And here is what I see…

Most companies finally “get it” when it comes to what they should be doing on the web. They pretty much understand what their websites can do for them, and why the web is different from offline media. That isn’t to say they couldn’t improve their websites. 100% of businesses online could improve their websites.

But when you take a look at their social media channels, it’s a whole different story.

Most companies don’t get social media at all.

(Stick with me, we’ll get to the topic of creating mobile apps in a while…)

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