Be Relatable: It Should Be Easy
Creating content for your website and your blog is easy: just write some stuff and get it online. Creating effective content, however, requires a bit more effort as your content must work from several different angles to achieve effectiveness.
You are the first angle as your content must be a reflection of who you are and what your business stands for. Google is another as none of this will work as it should if search engines aren’t delivering your pages to their searchers. The last, and most important, are your readers and being relatable is critical.
What is Relatable?
Let’s start by talking about what it is not. Being relatable is not the same as pretending or trying to fit in with the group. We play lots of different roles in our lives and have different types of relationships with different people. Being relatable doesn’t mean finding a way to camouflage yourself so you look like one of the pack. Instead, it means finding common ground so both you and your readers can stand on your own while also finding a place of mutual understanding.
7 Ways to Be More Relatable in Your Content
Relatable content is engaging because it sounds like it came from a real person. It’s not dry and full of corporate-speak, nor is it falsely hip or cool. Readers can form a mental picture of an actual human being as they are reading, and they want to find out more of what that person has to say. If you’re not sure how to accomplish that while also being honest and authentic, try these ideas.
Be Original. What! Google is reporting that the internet now consists of nearly 66 billion pages. How in the world can you be original when every combination of words must surely exist already? By being yourself. Add your voice, personal experiences, thoughts, memories, jokes, stories, and everything else you have as a person to your content.
Use the Right Language. I talk about this frequently because it’s essential for relatability. Use the words that your readers use and at the knowledge level that they have. If acronyms and jargon are common, use them! If you’re an expert and you cater to beginners, don’t use a bunch of indecipherable abbreviations and confusing terms.
Tell Stories. You were there; you know what happened. Tell your readers about it! How did you get out of a jam? How did you solve a crazy problem? How did you get started? What’s a common difficulty for you? Stories ground you in reality; they make you seem human instead of a collection of words in the ocean of the internet.
Explain Why. Don’t just give the rules, the answers, the solutions. Talk about why your readers should care. The “why” is also the perfect place to tell a story! Humans have been passing down information by way of stories for all of our history. Keep it going!
Use Visuals. There are those of us who dive deep into lengthy prose to find understanding in the world. There are others who look at a block of words and feel intimidated. Visuals help bridge the gap for the second group and are the perfect way to give complex information, especially anything that has a bunch of numbers in it.
Be Thought-Provoking (NOT Disruptive!). There are cases where copywriting should be disruptive, but that’s not generally in the business world. Interrupting norms and tedious, boring things is excellent. Being abrasive and disruptive just for attention is tedious and boring on the internet. If people want to be provoked, the comments section of any political Facebook post should suffice.
Find Commonalities. There’s a reason that talking about the weather is a common reference for small talk: we all experience it so we can all relate. Talking about the weather also makes content feel very current as reading about a hot, stifling day is anything but relatable when the Polar Vortex has its grip on us. But, talking about the weather is a bit cliche, so find some things that you know most people will agree with and enjoy to include in your content whenever possible.
Being Authentic Should be Easy
If you’re struggling to be authentic and relatable, you are absolutely trying too hard. The process isn’t going to be effortless as we’re all trying to put our best foot forward and being a little too authentic isn’t good either. For example, I consider myself to be a connoisseur of profanities in real life, but my relatability scores aren’t going to go up if I pepper my work with f-bombs. I clean myself up for work because I am a professional and because I have respect for my work and for my clients. But, I’m still going to be relaxed and informal most of the time because that’s who I am.
If you’re struggling to be relatable and authentic, it’s because you’re trying to create something that isn’t there. Instead, try just dumping all your thoughts on the page as they exist in your mind and then go back and tidy them up.
If you still can’t seem to get words out that sound like you, that’s what I’m here for! I’ll get to know you and your business to find your voice so we can work together to give you content that is as effective as it is your own.