Tired of the content struggle bus? Having an online business means pumping out endless content to attract, convert, and retain customers. But creating all this content can be exhausting. This is especially true when you don’t have a strategy or a framework to follow.
That’s why I teamed up with 3 other kick-ass email and communication specialists to create the ROCKS framework… a simple 5-step method to help you create content that converts.
Running an eCommerce business, or any online business for that matter, requires us to create a lot of content. Like an actual shit ton of content. From social media to email marketing, product descriptions and even the one-liners we’re putting on our website banners—having a business in the digital age means creating content.
It can be exhausting and overwhelming to constantly pump out content that converts.
But it doesn’t have to be hard. I recently teamed up with three other email and communication specialists to create a framework to help entrepreneurs like you build a solid foundation to create consistent content that will convert your audience into paying customers.
It’s called the ROCKS Method, and that’s what I’m going to run through today.
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R—The REASON you do what you do
I’m sure you’ve heard lots of people talk about the importance of your business WHY… and for good reason—because it matters.
Not only does it help your potential customers connect with you and get behind what you’re doing, but it also drives you to keep going when things get tough and you feel like escaping to an island somewhere and living the rest of your days out on the beach as a cocktail waitress. I’m not the only one that has fantasized about that, right?
If you’ve been in business for a while you likely already know what your WHY is, or least what it was when you started. But it’s possible your why has changed or that you just haven’t done a great job at communicating that. If that’s the case, now is a great time to put it back into rotation.
How to find your why
The exercise is simple:
- Write 1-3 reasons why you started your business
- Choose one to focus on
- Emphasize your WHY with emotion.
For instance, the reason why I do what I do is to put more money in the pockets of female entrepreneurs. Because I think you deserve it and I didn’t see enough people serving you in the eCommerce space. I want you to have that money so you can focus on the things that are really important in this life like your family, loved ones and the causes you care about.
Integrate your why into your content
Once you nail down your why, make sure you’re weaving into your marketing on a regular basis. Don’t forget to support it with storytelling.
For instance, I talk a lot about how I’ve worked with a lot of consultants in my corporate days and I always felt like they didn’t have my best interests at heart. Like they didn’t really care about what happened after our time working together. That’s why I do things differently when I work with clients. I always teach them the why and the how behind everything we do so they never feel dependent on me. I’d rather they continue to work with me because they want to, not because they feel like they have to.
Repeat, repeat, repeat
Don’t worry about repeating yourself and telling your stories over and over. I know this is a big hangup for most people. Remember that you have new people coming into your orbit all the time who haven’t heard your story, or those who it didn’t click with right away. Humans are distracted and not paying as close attention to you as you think… they have to hear things multiple times before it actually resonates.
Plus, the people who really love you and what you stand for are never gonna say, UGH there she goes again telling us that same fucking story. We get it! If they do, they’re not your customer anyway.
O—The OUTCOME the customer is looking for
While it’s important to share your story and the why behind your business, your business is not actually about you, it’s about your customers. When we’re selling a product, or a service for that matter, it’s important to communicate what’s in it for them.
What are they going to get out of using your product? People buy with emotion and justify with logic, so when you’re thinking about what they’re going to get out of it, remember to lead with the emotional piece. What are the benefits BEHIND the features?
I worked with a client who sold silicone nipple covers for breast pumps to make the pumping experience more comfortable. Not being in pain is definitely a benefit, but so is the fact that instead of struggling through the pumping experience, they can spend more time bonding with their new baby.
Another client has DIY nail polish kits. Sure you get to create your own color of all-natural nail polish, but the experience of doing it with friends, your little ones, or even just the overall self-care that comes with it is what makes the product truly special.
I even have some clients that sell apparel and accessories that let you speak your mind. It’s not necessarily about the jewelry and clothing itself, but the way it lets you express what matters to you and the way it makes you feel when you wear it.
Once you identify the reasons why people buy your product, you’ll want to make sure you’re speaking to those things in all of your content. From your product descriptions to your email marketing and even your social media content.
And don’t forget that supporting small businesses is one of those benefits.
C—CONNECT and understand your audience
If you’re trying to talk to everyone, you’re talking to no one. The best part about truly understanding your audience is that once you know them really well, not only do all of your business decisions become easier to make, but you’ll never again feel like you don’t know what to say!
How do you connect with your audience?
You start with an ideal customer profile. I did an entire episode about this, it’s episode 42 if you want to take a listen and there’s a worksheet in my FREE resource library to walk you through this. The gist is to use the demographics and psychographics of your customer to create a brand and content that matters to them.
I use the example of a 30 something fashion writer who lives in LA, is married with no kids and has a good amount of disposable income. She loves to travel, is a dog mom, environmentalist, feminist and loves the VIP treatment.
If I were creating a luxury skincare brand for this customer, I would use what I know about her to guide all of my business decision making. For instance, because I know she loves to travel I’m going to make sure I offer TSA approved sizes of my products. I’m also going to use eco-friendly packaging and I’m not going to test my product on animals. I’ll have a rewards program with a VIP tier, and I’ll lean into the fact that we’re a female owned company who contributes to female causes.
Lastly, when it comes to my marketing messages I’m going to talk about how my products will have them feeling refreshed after a long flight or a night of too much bubbly.
Listen to what your customers are already saying
In addition to your ideal customer profile, you can go to your existing audience and customers to figure out what matters to them. Look through the feedback you already get, like your comments on social media and your product reviews. If you do in-person selling, what have your customers told you about why they buy from you? So often they’re already telling you exactly what you need to know, we just have to pay attention and then use that in our marketing.
Ultimately, the goal is that when your potential customer reads your content they say to themselves, OMG yes, this is exactly what I need. They totally get me. How did they know!?
Be clear over clever
In most cases, it doesn’t have to be in fancy language written by a copywriter. Clear over clever wins a lot of the time, so if you feel like ugh, I suck at writing, don’t let that hold you back. Use the words and the language that your audience uses and you’ll be more likely to connect with them anyway.
Even if you look at my website. I don’t consider myself a good writer at all. I have a pretty limited vocabulary and my ex-step father actually told me I was a shitty writer. He didn’t actually use those words, I can’t remember what he said exactly, but it was something along the lines of me writing at a lower grade level or something like that. He was a doll.
But here’s the thing… The average American reads at a 7th or 8th grade reading level anyway. So fancy words that people don’t understand aren’t going to help you sell your product. Strive for relatability instead.
On my eCommerce Services page my heading is: eCommerce is Hard. Because that’s what I have heard many of my clients say, or if I say it first they’re like yes, it is hard! They resonate with that so well.
Recently, I was on a call with a new client and her husband, a marketing agency owner, commented on how when they were reading my website they felt like I was speaking directly to them. That I did such a good job speaking to my customer’s pain points and how they were feeling in this moment. It was literally the best compliment I could have ever received and that’s what you should ultimately be striving for.
And if you haven’t seen my website, I updated it a few months ago—go check it out!
K—KICK your competition to the curb
This is where you dominate your market by identifying your unique selling propositions. What makes you special? Why should they buy from you instead of your competition?
If you’re not sure, start asking yourself, what do I offer that my competition doesn’t? Are you making an impact beyond your immediate business? Do you have a special story to share?
Highlight 3-4 benefits of doing business with you
They don’t have to be big, huge revolutionary things, it just has to be something. Maybe you’re a subscription box that focuses heavily on curation and really listening to what your customers want.
Or you’re a makeup brand with a generous return policy, so if they buy a lipstick color they hate they can still return it.
Or maybe you contribute to causes that you care about, have a great customer service team, or you keep fulfillment in house so that you can ensure a better experience for your customers.
Whatever it is, use it to build trust, reassurance and comfort with your customers, ultimately leading to strong relationships and bonds with the people you serve.
And this is where thinking of your customers in the long-term vs. just getting that first sale really matters and helps you stand out.
S—Share the damn thing
Ultimately, you have to stop holding yourself back! If you don’t talk about your business and what you sell, how will anyone know?!
I see this the most when it comes to email specifically, but it can manifest throughout your entire business.
Many of you feel you don’t know what to say, or that no one cares… but this is simply not true. If that’s the case, it might be because you haven’t dug in enough to who your customer is, and what they want to hear from you. Going through the rocks method and really defining each step will definitely help you with that.
If your struggle is more related to fear of judgement or rejection, remember that no one has found success without judgement or ridicule along the way. I mean, I recently got a 1 star rating on this podcast! They didn’t bother to leave an actual written review so I do not know what I could do better for them. Ultimately, you will not make everyone happy. And you shouldn’t even bother to try.
Instead, focus on the people who do care about what you have to say and remind yourself that if you have something of value to share, it’s selfish not to.
Rock Your Content
So now you might be thinking to yourself, this all sounds great, but I still struggle to create content and I wish I had someone to hold my hand through the process, or could bounce ideas off of you, or just have you review my content and give me some tips and tricks to make it better. If that’s you, I have something you might be interested in.
Remember those three people I mentioned at the beginning of this blog? Well, the four of us created a membership called Rock Your Content which gives you exactly that. We started it a couple of months ago with a beta group and are finally opening the doors to the public. You may have heard me talk about it a bit before, but we’ve revamped the program to give you more hands-on feedback to help you implement everything you’ve learned.
The program consists of two calls per month where members get to submit their work for live feedback! And even if you’re too shy to submit anything, everyone is learning a ton just by hearing us review other’s submissions.
Plus, we record everything for you to access at any time and a private Facebook group for support between our calls.
The membership is only $97 right now, it’s the least expensive way to get my eyes on your business, plus you’ll have three other strategists at your fingertips as well! Just in time for Q4.
If you want to learn more about the program and get in before our next call on August 3rd, head to RockYourContent.co to join. I hope to see you inside!