Last week I was working with one of my client’s marketing team to create their communications strategy for 2019. We discussed the importance of quality professional articles from members of staff, using LinkedIn as the primary platform. The question was posed, ‘What process can I use to help a busy director to create quality content for an article?’
It’s important that the content, voice and perspective belong to the person publishing the article, and this is the big challenge for professional advisers and directors who just don’t have the time to pen articles themselves. The internal marketing team can support them by creating a process to draw the article out of them during a short ‘writing meeting’, after which they can polish the article and send it to the director/adviser for final approval.
In this way, you can retain the advice and even the unique voice of the original author of the content, by using their responses and their words to create the article.
Here’s the process I suggest for those assisting someone to write an article, or for those who are writing their own but need a little inspiration and structure to ensure their article is a worthwhile read.
Pick one of these two core areas that people want an adviser or senior professional person’s perspective on. Pick your related topic that appeals to your target audience, such as ‘tax time for small businesses in farming’ (be specific to be interesting!) and answer the following questions:
Addressing a business problem
- What’s a common business problem or challenge for your clients? Give an example/story.
- Why is this such a common problem? What don’t clients know/what are they getting wrong?
- Why is this problem dangerous if not addressed correctly? Another example/story of when this has happened, or when it’s been avoided?
- Outline a possible solution in every day language. Try to use steps that summarise your advice in a tangible way.
Responding to a recent media piece or other information – ask one of these to build an article
- What’s something you’ve read/heard about in the media lately that may affect your clients? Summarise the news item in your own words and explain how it may affect clients, and what they should do about it. Can we link to the original news item or others involved in this space?
- What was your take on a recent business/professional development event you attended? What key points stood out to you, what’s your experience/opinion of these, and how do they affect your clients? What do your clients need to know? Did you get a photo of the event? Can we link to the organisers/others?
- How do recent legal/compliance changes affect your clients? What do they need to know and do?
One last thing: be sure to use ‘client speak’, not ‘around the office speak’, when writing! LinkedIn is a professional platform but your language should still be accessible. Imagine you were answering a client’s questions, face-to-face. Write it that way. More on this topic soon!