Quality Writing Workmanship Has Died
Last weekend I pledged to write more. This is personal blog #3 in a week. At one time in my life, believe it or not, I used to blog every single day. I'm not talking about a short two or three hundred words blog on some piece of useless junk that no one would ever care about (HINT HINT...MSP and Writers), I'm talking about 1000 to 3000-word blogs on stuff you can use to market your managed IT services business in the dog eat dog world out there.
I also try hard not to rant...I heard it rubs some people the wrong way, but then again, some people appreciate my honesty and directness....oh my I'm torn in the middle, what do I do...or should I ask "What would Harvey Spector do? (inside joke). OK, I guess direct works, so I'll stay on that path and once in a while show my sensitive side.
Before I get started on this article, I have to thank Ronni Alvarez from the Alvarez Technology Group for her timely basecamp message.
My Pet Peeve...Horrible MSP Writers
Today's blog post is centered on writing. Why writing...even though I'm horrible at grammar, you may even find typos and grammar issues in this blog post, it is something very near and dear to my heart and also a topic that I've been pounding my head against the wall for the past ten or so years of my life. Even though I'm not that strong of a grammar person, I do know how to get my thoughts out on paper or the screen that resonates with people like you reading this blog post.
You see, most writers, OK, almost all of them, suck!
The modern-day, writer has lost their edge, their competitive spirit, their fight deep in their stomach. The problem with writers today is this, a high percentage haven't the foggiest idea about the topic they are writing on. Even more, have no understanding of business period. They are there, in this haze, never wanting to attract someone who may want to buy something. They are robots of grammatical correctness. They are machines of Copyscape, spending more time on how to skirt their policies versus creating a masterpiece of marketing literature.
Writing for marketing is an art. It's not like writing an essay so you can squeak out a D- on your 12th-grade term paper, marketing writing when done correctly is as close to perfection as the fresh snow in Northern Manitoba in the middle of January. Did you not just picture Manitoba in January? Of course, you did, I mentioned a January day in Manitoba three times in the past sentence. That just proves my point, and many writers, even the "so-called" best ones, don't understand it.
Writing Copy For Managed IT Service Providers
Marketing for Managed IT services is even worse. Yes, I have to thank Neil at BoomTech in Boca Raton for waking my sorry ass up on this. Because, like many others, I allowed myself to become the old loser of a writer that dots the land space from South Florida to Manitoba (In January) Note: 4th time now. Get Manitoba in January out of your mind...oops a 5th time.
Side note about Neil: I didn't know he was a direct response marketer until I read his profile on the new BoomTech website we launched. Make a heck of a lot of sense now.
Here's the standard MSP website lingo:
My MSP company provides business continuity and disaster recovery. We've partnered with "insert your vendor" because they offer bare-metal restore and cloud virtualized servers, allowing us to activate a server in the cloud.
BLAH BLAH BLAH ... Boring...
This is the way I would have written the above. Again, this is not for the faint at heart.
Picture this. You arrive at the office on Monday to find out that you can't log in to your desktop. After a few minutes of checking cables and rebooting the system, you decide to call us, your IT department to express your concern. After a few moments, our techs determine that on Sunday at 11:55 PM, the power surged in the building, knocking out your server. Luckily, you have our business continuity solution, and our engineers were able to get you back up and running swiftly, allowing you to get that proposal out the door and landing that 7-figure contract.
Both say approximately the same thing. The first one, boring...the second tells a story.
Stuart's Tip To Become An Awesome Managed Services Writer
Here are some essential tips to start you on your journey to becoming an excellent MSP writer:
- Throw the grammar book out the window: I'm not saying produce content that is littered with spelling mistakes, but marketing writing is a different beast to journalism or essays. I would say marketing is maybe more like journalism. But toss the grammar book. Use ... when you need to, capital words when required, and use different styles to get the message out.
- Feel the Pain: Make sure people can relate to some sort of pain, give them the cure, and tell more of the story. Get the pain and cure out of the way quickly. Don't wait until the end. Get the pain addressed rapidly.
- Tell Stories: The best marketing writers are storytellers, your blogs, website content, and all content you produce should be storytelling. Listen to guys like GaryVee...document versus create. Ha Ha..the light bulb should have gone off. Interview your customers, have them tell their story, capture this in audio, video, and written.
- Sell Something: Every great piece of marketing writing has invitations and calls to action to take some sort of next step. Don't miss this opportunity.
There are more..I'll share over the upcoming days or weeks.
Stuart's Bonus Tip
Learn how to write titles that attract people. I believe the subject or title of your article is the catalyst. The title attracts people on social media to click and read your article. The subject gets that person sifting through their email to stop and open your message. Titles are super relevant, and something lots of people struggle with. This article had a different title until Ronni Alvarez's note to me.
Spend more time on your title versus your article, and I guarantee you with...open rates will go up, and engagement will skyrocket.
The Achilles heel of all writers. How the heck do you write this an optimize it for search optimization. Well, that is the cliffhanger...check back later.