Whew! We’ve covered a lot of territory over the past few months, and we’re down to the last three commandments. This month’s is a bit lighter (in more than one sense of the word): It’s all about letting your personality show through your ezine!
Commandment #8: Thou shalt let thy personality shine through
It’s one of the great cliches of marketing: People do business with people they know, like and trust. While the first and last of these are about visibility and credibility (which you’ve been building through your ezine content), don’t forget about likeability!
People on the Internet have an almost legendary disdain for stuffiness and phoniness. They hate corporate-speak and love plain-speak. They won’t put up with dishonesty. And hucksterism? Forget it.
So here’s another area where you have to “watch your language,” so to speak. Fortunately, the rules are pretty simple:
Write like you talk. If you read it out loud and wince, re-write it so it sounds more conversational. It should sound natural to the ear. You want people to get a sense of what you’re like in person.
Talk to, not at. Address your readers directly by using the word “you.” But don’t sprinkle it through your text indiscriminately – construct a life- like conversation.
Write shorter sentences, particularly if you’re writing to an international audience. They’re more readable for everybody. Longer sentences can often be broken up with dashes or ellipses (…) as well.
Use more action words. For example, instead of offering to help your prospects “deal with the barriers to success,” offer to help them “break through the barriers to success.” More active language helps readers get a vivid mental picture of what you’re talking about.
And don’t be afraid to break a grammatical “rule” (like not starting a sentence with a conjunction ;-> ) IF it adds to your ezine’s readability. This isn’t Composition 101! There’s nobody standing over your shoulder with a red pencil ready to assign a grade. (But do use the spell- checker … please!)
Following these rules can help you build your “likeability quotient” with your audience while you’re building your visibility and credibility. So watch your language — and have a little fun!