Some consultants and coaches insert elements from their personal lives in their business writing, because it helps prospective clients get to know them as real people.
Some hard-core business-to-business writers know that interviews and case studies can help humanize the “corporation”.
But only some.
Most of the time, when I read content online, in the form or articles or posts, that human touch is missing.
Why? My guess is there are a couple of reasons.
First, it may be the writer is just not aware that providing a human link between the content and its readers is a smart thing to do.
Second, some companies may specifically instruct their writers not to add the human element, believing that doing so might make their brand appear less professional.
Either way, it’s a mistake to exclude the human element from your web content and copy. The web is social. It’s interactive. Billions of times a day people interact with each other through social media. The web is a social ecosystem. When you fail to be human online, you fail to connect.
Also, when you do add people and stories to your content, make sure you get it right.
What do I mean by getting it right? Well, let me explain with an example.
A few days ago I was reading an article about airport security. In it they interviewed a former TSA employee, and asked him various questions about the job.
It was a smart idea to interview the employee. It gave the article some life, and a slightly different perspective.
But ultimately the article failed to deliver the human touch I am talking about. Why? Because the writer simply asked the TSA employee questions about his job. You got no sense of the person. There was no story, no human touch, just answers to questions.
Had I been the author, I think I would have dug deeper with that employee, and asked questions that revealed more about him and the people he interacted with.
For example, I might have asked him something like, “Tell me some of the craziest or most unexpected things passengers have said to you while going through security.”
But asking that question I’m taking him outside of his job, I’m asking him to share experiences at a more human level. I’m also finding the kind of content people love to talk about and share through social media. The interesting stuff. The intriguing stuff. The unexpected stuff. The humorous stuff. The intensely human stuff.
You’ll find the same problem with content that includes quotes from employees or even customers. Usually the quotes are stiff, formal or utterly predictable.
That’s a lost opportunity. I won’t feel a connection with something that is formal and predictable.
So as you sit down to write your next page or post, ask yourself how you can add a truly human element.
Include someone. Tell a story. And when you do, strive to get beyond the surface, or the job, and find something that is rich with the human experience.
About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach. Read more…