What kind of conversations is your content starting?Jul 03, 2023
By Rhea Wessel
I find this a very interesting and important question. People writing for their businesses aren’t doing so for their own amusement. They’re writing articles and posts to engage with their audiences, gain trust – and win sales.
In a recent newsletter, I published an article about ideas coaching and why you should retain an ideas coach. Several people reached out to me and said, “Hey, that’s a great concept. I’ve never heard of that.” For me, that was the ideal reaction and one that I could turn into a conversation.
Below I have brainstormed three types of conversations that can come out of content you publish that serves your audience and is born out of your thought-leadership niche.
Notice here that I’m not talking about all types of content.
ad or off-message content can undermine what you are working on. If you’re receiving polarized rants in response to your postings, you might want to revisit that content.
Here are some conversations that you might be able to start with well-crafted articles that are framed up in a journalistic style:
“Tell-me-more about your offering” conversations
“You understand me” conversations
In “What’s-that-all-about?”conversations, people are reaching out to understand the idea or possibility that you’re putting forth in your article. They’re intrigued. They haven’t heard it put quite that way. They want to know more about the concept. If you get a lot of these types of answers to a particular article or post, consider revisiting the initial article to dig deeper or provide more examples.
In “Tell-me-more about your offering” conversations, people immediately “get” your idea and are ready to find out more about how you can help them. I’d say this is the ideal type of conversation that a piece of content (or a body of work) can generate.
When you get this reaction, you’ve made the reader curious AND you’ve provided enough context and credentials to make you and your offering credible. People reach out and are more or less ready to sign up. My sense is that it is difficult to achieve this with a single article, but it’s possible to achieve it with a body of work that positions you as the go-to expert in your niche.
Finally, in “You understand me” conversations, someone reaches out because they finally feel listened to. You as a writer, or your company, have mirrored the reader often with the right messages.
As a result, the reader is convinced that you already understand their problem set. For the writer, this is a great place to begin conversations because the reader has been sufficiently warmed-up, possibly over the long-term, to believe you understand – and can help.
-Rhea Wessel is the Founder and Head of the Institute for Thought Leadership. She can be reached at [email protected]