Two Words You Must Always Be Asking

When you have something important you want to communicate with an audience, I’ve learned there are two very important words you need to constantly be asking yourself. By asking these two short words, you will help ensure that your website content is more riveting, your book cover copy creates more interest, your direct mail doesn’t get tossed into “file 13”, your press releases get read, your promotions actual capture attention, even your social media sparks imagination.

These words are so easily taken for granted and assumed, even my seasoned marketing professionals.

Are you ready? Here they are. “So what?”

It doesn’t matter whether you are selling an $8,000 Rolex or an $8 Kindle download, a tax planning service or a funeral service; if you are wanting to describe something of value and present it in a way that will generate interest from a potential buying audience, you need to ask these questions. I find that by asking these two simple words, it forces me to look beyond the details of what you are offering and help your reader to envision, to picture in their mind the resulting benefit you hope your offering will bring.

For example, say you are a life coach looking to sign up someone to your introductory plan. You say something like “Spending time with me will help you clarify your goals in life. You’ll make better choices and be more decisive.” OK, so what? The assumption is that clarifying your goals will bring value to the recipient in some way—but don’t leave it to your reader to figure that out. Paint a vivid, emotional picture for them.

For example: “Spending time with me will help you clarify your goals. You’ll finally experience the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are no longer log-jammed. You are moving forward, making more money, gaining the admiration from others who see your accomplishments.”

Asking the “so what?” question helps you more quickly get to describing precisely how your product or service will make someone’s life better. You will be describing the relief they will experience, the benefit they will enjoy.

When answering the “So what?” question, always try to do so in a way that paints a picture in the mind of the person you most want to reach. If what you are writing isn’t painting a picture in your own mind, chances are it won’t in the mind of your reader either. Great novelists, great story tellers know how to hold their audience’s attention by being vivid in the way they create mental pictures, images, circumstances, conversations in the minds of their audience.The copy you are writing should do no less.

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