4 Types of Content Writing
Potential Clients Need from You
© 2012 Deah Curry PhD | All Rights Reserved
Writing for the purpose of marketing the couples counseling, psychotherapy, life coaching, psychological services or clinical social work practice is quite different from the academic writing we all needed to master in graduate school.
Content writing and its cousin, copywriting, have different rules and structures. And most healers and helpers struggle with this type of writing.
In brief, the 4 types of content writing most useful to solorpreneurs are:
The motivational marketing message
The event or special offer promotion
The informational article
The nuts and bolts
The Motivational Marketing Message
A marketing pitch, or message, has two purposes – to make an emotional connection with the reader, and to motivate an action.
Following a specific structure, a marketing message leads potential clients through a thought process designed to come to the conclusion that they want to work with you. The sequential structure of an effective marketing message is very important. In essence, the structure is:
Name the pain
Empathize with the experience
Validate / convey you understand
Describe the cost of continuing the pain
Voice obstacles to making change
Reassure / convey you understand
Future pace life after solution
Call to action
Motivating confirmation of right decision
Writing to encourage enrollment in an event or to get takers for a special offer is similar to a marketing message in purpose. How extensively a promotion might follow the structure of a pitch will depend on where you place the promotion – a multiple emails campaign will obviously require more than a Facebook post.
Examples of other promotional writing would be:
social media posts
referral request letters
event fliers and postcards
The main difference is in have a good title and your dates and/or costs up front in a promotion. Titles can be quite difficult to do well – I often spend the most time on those. Or, in the case of referral request letters, the difference from a marketing message is to establish how referring to you will help the allied professional serve your mutual clients.
The Informational Article
This type of writing more closely resembles journalism. It describes a problem – one for which you are presumably a specialist at resolving – explores causes or examples,provides self help suggestions or resources, and because you are still marketing, ends with a call to action.
Informational articles should be written in a casual, friendly tone rather than a stiffer, impersonal academic style. Think Wikipedia, not Journal of Applied Psychoanalysis. An ebook or special report would fall into this category of informational writing.
This type of writing forms the bulk of most web content. You can use it as separate web pages to help establish your professional authority, and in short versions, as blog posts.
Nuts and Bolts Writing
What I mean by nuts and bolts is pure explanation and direction. A website’s FAQ page is nuts and bolts writing – info that makes it easy for people to work with you. It doesn’t empathize, make a compelling emotional connection, reassure, validate or motivate. It just explains which bus to take and how to pay.
Nuts and bolts are what clients look for and need AFTER they have made the decision to work with you. This information doesn’t cause readers to convert into clients, but the absence of it can make some readers change their decision.
Lack of nuts and bolts information can create the impression of a lack of clear thinking about what people need to know, or even convey a lack of professionalism or give an appearance of self-absorption.
If you are struggling with writing web content, if it’s not fun for you, if you just don’t have the time to sit through trainings on how to do it, you might be interested in hiring a ghostwriter. If I cannot fit your project into my schedule, I will recommend another talented, award-winning writer with a degree in psychology to help you.