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Web Content Creation Course - Part 2 of 5

The second installment - focus on STORY
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So I hope you've been thinking about your area(s) of expertise like I mentioned in part one. I don't know if it's a kind of problem you have solved so often that it's become second nature, what others in your field call you for advice on, or simply something that you really enjoy - the point is you've got it and we're going to use it to great effect. But first, a little groundwork.

You may have come up with a few different ideas, and that's great as long as they're kind of a cluster of related talents. We don't want to cast the net too wide, and so if you've come up with a few things that are removed from one another I'm going to ask you to pick one to focus on. You can always go back through and do this exercise with the other areas you came up with and see what rings true for you. And I want to stress that this doesn't mean passing up any work at all. Ever. It does mean becoming known as the absolute best, go-to person for this one thing.

To that end, I want you to think about your story. We've all thought about our professional bio and how it should go; you've probably written variations of this dozens of times, but now I also want to hook that idea up to this area of expertise we've been talking about. What is the story of how you came to have that specific expertise? Keep it short. Write it down. This will also come in handy at dinner parties when someone asks what you do. You could say that you run an aquarium and fish store, or you could tell them that you're the Tricolor Shark Whisperer. I guarantee that laser focus is more interesting. And we want to build this focus into everything and are telling your story with all of the website content. The bulk of it is going to make obvious the thing(s) you're passionate about, your bio is going to add the history of how you came to speak so eloquently on the subject, and then we're going to want some testimonials - social proof - important as another tool to support the story we're crafting.

Let's sharpen that a little - you clear your throat and:

  • Here is a small but generously detailed example of my expertise,
  • the history of how I came to be such an expert, and then
  • here are other people who think so, too!

The testimonials you want are of others confirming your ability. General praise about the work you do is fine for keeping you on track when you have a rough day and start to question yourself, but what we want is a succinct endorsement of the area we're focusing on, for instance:

"Joel the Fish Man came to my house and within minutes my tricolor sharks were behaving themselves and cleaning up the mess they made. Thank you, Joel!"

You get the idea. We're building a picture here. And if Joel gets a call from someone who needs to troubleshoot their filter, he can take the job if he wants to while still building the picture that he is the Tricolor Shark Whisperer.

Now it's time to zoom in again and add another level of detail. Break that area of expertise down into smaller topics (maybe common problems you've dealt with or aspects you think are particularly interesting) and just get it all out of your head and onto something where you can look at it. You probably won't use it all right away, but it only takes a few minutes and you'll probably find yourself coming back to it later. If you're thorough enough, once you need to come up with some lead magnets, it'll be easy as pie.

So for now just expand on this a little bit as you see fit. Next time we're going to take a look at what to offer and how to organize it so that it makes the best impact on your visitors. Take a deep breath. This is a great start. You're well on your way to creating something that builds your reputation even when you're not there, and that's because you'll be enriching those that come. They'll have a reason to trust you, and a reason not only to come back, but to mention your name to everyone they know.

Until next time!


Published on 3 April 2016

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