At coffee with an ideal customer

“I don’t know what to write,” he said.

We took a “Zoom coffee” meeting together.

Then he proceeded to talk about his business for 40 minutes.

Everything he talked about, I imagined as blogs, emails, and social media posts.

He had plenty of “content” but perhaps didn’t realize it.

I ended with this:

It’s like you’re at coffee with your ideal customer. What would you say?

You’d share a recent encounter at your store; you’d explain something about what you do that only you know; you’d articulate the resonant voice in your head; you’d speak into an insight you can’t ignore; you’d exclaim what you’re excited about, and sometimes you’d try to say what you almost know but can’t quite explain.

For the right people, This is something worth telling.

If you’re stuck on content creation, have coffee with your ideal customer, and listen to what you say. That’s the content you want to share.

Stories Matter

I help owners find customer stories. Then, in a workshop setting, we get the communication “right” – together – to amplify these stories. Actual individual customers. Not just how many people they serve. Instead, how they helped one person, one family, one business. This includes finding, owning, and sharing these stories, which enables an owner to demonstrate that they are not just a company that measures up. More importantly, they are a company that matters.

If there’s one thing I love doing, it’s working with another business to find and highlight their best customer stories. That’s what I enjoy about my relationships, too – listening for a story, and the story makes your ideas matter.

Look away from the pack

Alternatively, I could look away from the pack.

There’s more room to move. More room for error, too. That is part of what is scary. There’s more room for growth. More room to spread my wings.

For example, SEO company websites look and feel the same. Freelancers, too. Most florists sell the same flowers, maybe wrapped in different paper. The gyms have similar training schedules. Real estate agents run the same mailers. For most, if the formula looks like it’s working, we’re happy to follow it. Of course, follow the well-trodden path!

But… if we stick with anything long enough, heading AWAY from the pack could be best because most people don’t risk going where everyone else isn’t, and in the long run, this is how I set myself apart. It’s still too early to tell, and I have much more work in front of me.

Writing is life work not desk work

John said something unusual on the first day of the workshop.

Our instructor asked why we chose to enroll ourselves in such an endeavor. What do we hope for?

John told us he was dying from a rare form of cancer.

At that time, he was still feeling good. He said he was here to finish up something before he passed. He’d written love letters to his wife and wanted our help to get them “right.”

This three-part writing workshop was for those transitioning through change, divorce, loss, grief, and growth. I had all of those things occurring at the same time.

We gathered from poetry, stories, free writing, silence, discussion, and participatory exercises to stimulate reflection, self-understanding, and our depth of healing and hope.

Powerful stuff. Important, worthwhile work.

After John shared, it dawned on me that writing isn’t exactly about writing.

Writing is about remarkable communication.

It’s about accomplishing something with language that is important in our lives. Writing is a means towards something more significant no matter how poorly we feel.

That writing workshop was where we gave one another our full attention. Doing so is one way to advance dreams and move forward with life.

Thanks to the influence of John, I put my attention toward being a communicator of life work.

I emphasize the creative process and what it feels like to be my witness. This is something meaningful that I’d like to pass on to my children.

Most people will never attend a writer’s workshop, but we all have the workshop of life to live.

I like to think that, in our way, one way or another, we’re all collectors of the bits of life — adding in our thoughts and responses because that makes us feel significant, and it’s our way of declaring it precious. At least, that’s what my favorite people do.

I see listening and writing as an act of optimism, it’s a way for us to clarify what we need to do. Then use writing to move in that direction.

“Life work” is about finding why a particular encounter stayed with us. It’s narrowing our way deeper until we understand what happened there. Because it’s not random that you forget so many things throughout a day but specifically remember others. There is something that reveals who you are and what you are here to do.

One way to put this into perspective…

You’re home at dinner to gather with family or loved ones and find yourself talking about an encounter from the day, and something worth telling about happened.

What is it? What did it reveal that you know to be true?

You don’t need to be a writer to do this. You only need to be you.

Whatever that experience — you can share your story. As a mentor has written, “You can write as you talk.”

This is emotional labor, and it’s the required life work from a world that needs our stories, poems, little pieces — our work.

Our content is our voice and perspective.

Personal stories help us understand and experience human connections.

My small contribution is pretending I’m sitting down with you for coffee and telling you about an encounter from the day that stuck.

I’m reminded of John at our workshop, who, with cancer, was practicing to get the communication “right” and have something to pass on.

If you were to begin writing in the spirit of yourself, what communication would you want to pass on?

Invest in value

My freelance contractors aren’t just buying the result but investing in the value of my expertise and effort toward being a remarkable communicator. So I must remember to tell that story about “marketing” and find the parallel for their business.

Marketing lesson from Jack and the Beanstalk

Remember Jack and his magic beans?

Ultimately I’m paid to write, but only because it’s a means of “marketing.” That’s why I want to refer to Jack and the Beanstalk. That fairytale offers a terrific marketing lesson.

Let’s analyze how the deal went down in three key elements.

1). Jack was open to hearing the offer (magic beans). The guy seemed shady, but he had Jack’s attention.

2). Jack wanted to believe in the offer of escaping his dreary life and getting rid of his cow. Jack was the right target audience.

3). The offer was true. The guy selling beans kept his promise, and those beans grew and grew.

Marketing that hits these three elements succeeds, which is why I keep them in mind when I’m doing the work of writing for my clients.

Introducing Eric L. Walker, Content Marketing and Copywriter for Hire

Hey Mom, look! My first post on my freelance writing website…

My goal with this website is to convince the right visitors to stay and continue reading.

Here are three things I seek to accomplish with this site:

  • Clearly define an offer – see my services page.
  • Specify who it’s for – see below.
  • Differentiate my value – check out the testimonials.

Let’s start by making clear who I am helping. This will modify and evolve based on every client I work with, but for starters, this is what I can help people do.

I help owners, influencers, and marketers share relevant, engaging content for their target audience, so they get the communication right and earn the trust to make more profitable transactions.

I help good people who have a good cause get the communication right, so they earn the trust necessary for world-changing transactions.

I help affiliate marketers who aren’t going fast enough create relevant, exciting content for their target audience to accelerate results.

Hello, I’m Eric L Walker.

I offer content marketing and copywriting services.

This means I know how to help you get the communication “just right.”

Remarkable communication for your website pages, blog posts, email opt-in pages, and how to organize all marketing collateral so that it translates into leads and sales.

To put it another way…

Suppose you are an owner, influencer, or marketer. In that case, I create relevant, exciting content for your target audience, so the communication is “just right,” which means you will earn the trust to make more profitable transactions.

Reach out to me to talk about your project.