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Connect to Readers with Your Writing

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Last month I wrote about how clarity was a guiding principle for your writing and your business.  This month I’d like to discuss connection.

Let’s face it, if you can’t make connections, then you aren’t going to succeed.

Again, this is as true in writing as it is in business.

Your writing must make an impact. If you’re writing fiction, you want your characters, your setting and your plot to stay with the reader long after s/he’s closed the book.  You want the people in your world to be as real to the audience as their next door neighbors, and you want the story to resonate with them in a way that seems realistic and authentic, but touches their emotions as distinctly as if actual people they cared about, in their real lives, were affected.

If you’re writing a magazine article or even a blog post, your job is to ensure that the story is clear, concise, and gets the main idea across.  But it’s the emotional impact of your writing that will determine whether or not the piece is truly successful. You may want them to act: “Write your congressman today to weigh in on this important piece of legislation” or even, “Please wear sunscreen – it saves lives.”

You may want them to reflect: “War is expensive, but the alternative is even more costly” or “I’d give every thing I own to have not bought that bottle of gin for my boyfriend.  Don’t drink and drive.”

You may simply want them to laugh: {Insert clever joke here.}  Or even “like” the post or status update.

But no matter what the end-game is of your story, book, blog post, tweet or facebook comment, it must connect to the intended audience.

This concept is becoming even more important with the ever-increasing role of Social Network Marketing.  More and more it’s about the connections.  Yes, the quality of the product is important – no amount of good writing is going to overcome poor quality or negative association to the product.  But once you’ve established a positive association, what do you do with it?  If you connect with your audience in a way that makes them emotionally engaged and aligned to your brand and what you’re doing, then their devotion grows.  This is what creates fans.  And a devoted fan can become a cheerleader, gladly acting as a mouthpiece for your product.

So, in a nutshell, writing with emotional impact is the best way to connect to the audience, whether it be a reading audience, or a business audience. (To be clear, in social network marketing terms, a business audience should already have some connection to the ‘product’ – a writer’s product will be his writing.)  And the same kind of things that make a difference in good writing (authenticity, cohesion, tone) are going to make a difference in establishing business connections, too.

Some guidance

-  Figure out who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing (what do you love; what passion do you bring to your work and/or to your product?)

-  Why do these things matter to you?  Is that a message or perspective you can mine in order to create a connection with your intended audience?

-  Do you understand who your intended audience is? (If you’re writing a romance, chances are you’ll want to skip the military history convention to expand your audience)

-  Who do you know who might be a good ambassador for your product/message? Are there cheerleaders who already exist for you?  Assuming they’re willing, are you leveraging them?

Bobbi Dumas loves good writing. Of all kinds. She also loves romance, a mesmerizing story and the company of friends. When she’s not in the virtual world or one of her own making, she can usually be found in Madison, WI with her husband, two boys, and a clan of great writers she feels grateful and honored to know (some of whom you get to meet here, too). Lucky you!

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