In the late spring of 2018, I had the challenging and rewarding opportunity to participate in Silicon Couloir‘s StartUp Intensive program. This unique program, a collaboration between the entrepreneurship nonprofit and Central Wyoming College, is a ten-week super tour of business basics and the tools and skills necessary to build a thriving business from scratch.
Led by the brilliant and passionate Sandy Hessler and Liza Millet, I was immersed in a group of deeply intelligent and dedicated students. Together, we grew not only as professionals and leaders, but also as individuals and engaged members of a larger, vibrant community.
It also made me a better content writer; there’s no question that the course equipped me with essential keys to help brands and organizations tell their distinctive stories in a powerful way and become more competitive. Here are a few of the takeaways that help me deliver excellent content for all of my clients:
Target Audience is Everything
The most important and fundamental question as I approach a new project is this: Who is your target audience? It can be a tougher question that it seems! But it is deeply critical that any brand (business, individual or nonprofit) knows exactly who they’re trying to reach. And no – “everyone” isn’t sufficient.
Let’s really dig deep into whose attention you want, and explore how to earn it.
Authenticity Is Critical
People can smell a fake a mile off. So, let’s be real.
Brands that are authentic and honest are the products and services that customers and followers want to support. It’s not about perfection or puppeting what you think someone wants to hear. It’s about a little vulnerability, a lot of truth and showing up in a way that represents the values underpinning the brand.
Is your identity one of laughter and whimsy? Is there a dash of magic? Or are you striving for precision, performance and razor-like excellence in your field? Perhaps you’re seeking to cultivate an air of nostalgia? Or chic Western charm? No matter your unique tone and vibe, it’s important that all of your content reflects it. Consistency is key!
We’re bombarded by a blizzard of images, numbers and statements all day long. Thousands of them. It’s nonstop.
Our human brains are wired to connect not to an avalanche of data points, but to stories. On a deep, primordial level, we are drawn to narratives. We long to understand why and how things came to be, and where they’re headed. And when those stories are particularly compelling, we yearn to be a part of them.
The StartUp Intensive, in combination with my Creative Writing studies at the University of Chicago, gives me a distinct and robust skill set when it comes to developing and communicating brand identities. And perhaps more importantly – I sincerely enjoy it!
So, drop me a note and let me know how I can help you tell your story.