Humanise your writing online

Director of Hunter Galloway, Nathan Vecchio, started broking in 2015 and using the techniques from Joshua's Top Broker Handbook, is writing big numbers, leading to Vow Financial naming him Broker Partner of the Year Rising Star in 2016.

Listen, I know more than most that writing blogs can be hard work. When I wrote my first blog on LinkedIn, my tone was extremely rigid, I put on a voice as if I was lecturing a first year accounting degree… and spoke to my audience the same.

Now after a couple of tries and many mistakes later, I’ve started to find my voice. Which brings me to humanising your writing online.

It’s one thing to be able to write for the web, and another to be able to adapt to different media accordingly. Think of it this way – you aren’t going to use the same tone when writing Facebook posts compared to blogs, emailing individual customers or posting on LinkedIn because they are all for different audiences. So today I thought I’d cover online voice, and how brokers can help get themselves heard.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when writing for the web but the main one is to remember the audience you are speaking to and how they differ by media. My LinkedIn networking group members have a different tone and different interests to those who I connect with on Facebook. So if your connections differ, isn’t it logical that your tone does too?

Tip 1: The Rule of Space 
Consider which platform/space you are writing on, the target audience and the tone of it. For example on Facebook in general, people are on there to socialise and aren’t actively looking to refinance their loan, so aim for a more conversational tone. The aim is to spark discussion on Facebook while keeping it light-hearted.

Whereas for me, LinkedIn is great for keeping in touch with referrers. So you want to be a little more informative. The purpose is also to create discussion – but aim to write in a more educated tone (let’s leave the use of ‘LOL’ for Facebook).

A great example of this in action is Value Finance. It adapts its voice and humanises the brand extremely well. You can see how its tone for Facebook differs to the tone for the blog. Using terms like ‘throw back’ and emoji’s gives the brand life and a sense of awareness to what’s going on in the industry.

Tip 2: Ask questions
As part of creating great online content, always ensure that you know who you’re speaking to and what the content you are creating, will be used for.

This means, asking questions.

Imagine if you were having a conversation with someone in a coffee shop and you just spoke AT him or her. Two-way conversation works because you’re asking questions and warranting a response. The same goes for writing online. There’s no point in creating an awesome piece, then not giving your reader a reason to interact.

Whether that’s questions during, or at the end of your content, this is an important element to humanising your content. Rhetorical questions are also a great strategy too, because it puts the reader back into their own mind, making them ask themselves questions. Use who, what, and how to create the question and answer.

Top Broker in action:
Original Facebook post: We can help you with home loans and make sure you’re getting the best interest rates out!

Instead try: Are you looking for the lowest interest rates available? Our team of home loan experts are dedicated to finding the most competitive rates. Ask us now!

A great example of this is Empower Wealth, who instead of doing the typical mortgage broking approach and cutting and pasting ‘The RBA has decided to keep the cash rate unchanged’ they turn it into a commentary, that leaves you wanting to look further into what they have to say.

Tip 3: Recycle and reuse!
When writing, you can reuse the same wording without feeling bad about it.

You know why?

Because naturally, when we speak, we gravitate to favourite words and figures of speech. This can be reflected in your writing too. Don’t start using random, new figures of speech just because you think your writing is stale.

If anything, reusing your phrases and headlines will help create your brand because people recognise it. Another thing to remember is that it is very rare to find someone who has actually read every single one of your blogs (if you do, you should definitely congratulate them!). So this means that if you’ve used headlines or phrases more than once, more often that not – it’ll go unnoticed.

Tip 4: Let go of stock!
So most of us can spot a stock photo from a mile away, and honestly sometimes it really is just too hard to get your own photos. But if you can, try and use your own imagery. It might not be perfect, but this creates a real sense of personality within your brand. Images like ‘today in the office’ showing your network what you’re up to is an awesome way to engage with your community and build your voice.

Basically, the key way to keep your content and brand more relatable and humanised on the web is through being yourself, and not hiding behind the free resources available to us. Creating your own content and putting in the hustle is really the only way to build a trustworthy and reliable source of content.

PS: I’m going to be taking over here at Top Broker for a little bit while Joshua focuses on a few big and exciting projects we are looking forward to bring you in the next few weeks. A quick background, I started broking in 2015 and using the techniques Joshua has given in the Top Broker Handbook I have grown my business in a very short time to writing some big numbers, and was fortunate enough to be awarded Broker Partner of the Year Rising Star in 2016. 

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