And sometimes other people who have really average writing art, and less than optimal writing science suddenly find themselves at the forefront of a massive juggernaut, with traffic and customers beating down the doors. Often the customers start to appear even before the finishing touches are made to the website. Why is that?
The reasons can be many and varied, but what I have found over the years is the campaigns that succeed are the ones where there is 100% clarity behind the intent of the campaign, what it is trying to achieve and more importantly 100% clarity on behalf of the CEO or leader in terms of their business direction, values and priorities. The energy of the organisation is consistently applied in to the campaign and not scattered into blind gullies and deep ravines.
Marketing success and business success have the same foundations. For over 20 years I have facilitated strategic and business planning retreats for government and private organisations and found a strong correlation between overall business successes and the quality and clarity of the planning that goes into the organisation.
If a company sees planning as getting someone in the organisation to fill in the boxes, then there is no engagement of the employees in the business direction, the owners and leaders have no real buy in and at the first hint of trouble the leaders bail or blame the hapless person who filled in the boxes. It is a plan in name only and is destined to gather dust on a shelf.
In marketing this is the equivalent of giving a brief to a copywriter to write about the product or service without knowing any real details of the product or service. Some writers will take on these transactional briefs, and these are the campaigns that fail.
However, if planning in an organisation is seen as somewhere where people discuss and debate the direction, where different views are welcomed and actively encouraged and where work is done to explain the reason behind the plan to the team, then engagement of employees, leaders and consequently the customers increases.
Each part of these vibrant plans are debated and sweated over until people are clear on its meaning. These are the plans that create massive change, even before the ink is dry on the words, you can feel the shift starting to happen in the organisation. Opportunities start to appear, and people are drawn to the organisation as if by magic.
In marketing this is the equivalent of spending time with the client discussing business strategy and direction, and where this campaign fits into their overall business direction. It is about marshalling all of the energy and clarity toward one unified aim.
If you look at it from a pure physics perspective if you have teams pulling a rope in opposite directions, the strongest team will win the competition. If you have all of the teams pulling the rope in the same direction then mountains can be moved. You want to harness the combined energy of the people in your team.
The energy of web writing is all about helping a client to become clear on their business direction and strategy first; to help them to articulate what they want to achieve and why, and to put this into words for the client. It is about helping clients set clear intentions and goals and helping them put this intention into form.
If you write from a place of "just filling in the blanks" you are missing the core of the campaign. You need to tap into the heart of that business, to determine what makes that business heart unique and special. This is the place where you find you just have to share what makes that business great with other people because you truly believe in its greatness.
If you write about your product or service from a space of manipulation, greed or less than positive values, then customers may initially be fooled by the chimera you present, but in the longer term they will pick up on your intent and your business will fail.
When you write from the heart customers "get" what you are trying to say even if the words may be a bit clumsy or the SEO is not quite right. They get resonance inside them that makes them want to read more, learn more and explore more about you and your service or product.
Yes writing art and science is important, but unless you get the energy or writing right, it is like trying to run with your legs tied together. It can be done, but why would you do it?
Fuzzy goals = fuzzy outcomes.
Clear goals = amazingly brilliant outcomes!