How to Create Engaging Content For Your Website Homepage

Once upon a time, website homepages were pages you didn’t pay attention to. There’d be a few words of welcome on them and you’d bypass them as you chased down the information you were looking for. But now website homepages are all-singing, all-dancing affairs, designed to draw you in and keep you browsing.

Website homepages are now designed for scrolling, as more and more people browse using phones and tablets. Instead of just one block of text in the centre of the page, homepages now have several short snippets that give people information about the different parts of your website.

This pic shows the homepage of my own website, beautifully designed by Digi Nomad. You can see a typewriter at the top, and then some text. This is my welcome message, with the call to action underneath.  

That’s a lot of white space to play with, and you may be wondering how to fill it. The most important thing to remember is that even though the layout of your website homepage has changed, the purpose of it hasn’t. With your homepage you’re encouraging people to find out more about your business and to stay on your website.

Here are some ideas for types of content you can create that will help fill that white space and keep your visitors browsing.

Welcome Message

Your welcome message is still really important. It’s your first chance to introduce yourself to your website visitors and to tell them what you’re about. In your welcome message, hit them with your core message right away. Tell them what you do and what you hope to achieve for your customers. This shows potential customers what you’re about, and if that resonates with them, they’ll want to read more.

About Us

In this section, your goal is to bring people to your About Us page. You can do this by giving us a snippet of text from that page: your mission statement or your why, the reason you started the business in the first place. This will draw people in, and they’ll hit the Read More button to go to the About page and find out more about you. You can also tell people what information they’ll find on the page, so they’ll know what to expect.

Have a look at my Solutions for Entrepreneurs page to find out about my content training course, which will show you how to write your own web content.

Products and Services

This part of your homepage is the shop window for your products services, giving people the chance to choose the one we need. Give people a rundown of the types of products and services you offer and who’s likely to benefit from them. Some web designers create little boxes for each service, where you can include snippets of introductory text that will invite people to browse further.

Why Us

This can be a web page in its own right, but rather than create an extra page, you can add a section to your homepage telling people what helps you stand out from the crowd. Tell them how you go the extra mile with great customer service and how you offer them value for money.

Adding a Why Us is useful if your business is similar to many other businesses in your field. You can show people that the way you deliver your service is different – and better – than your competitors.

Calls to Action

For every section of your homepage, give people a clear call to action. Your web designer will ensure your contact details are displayed prominently, but you still need to make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you.

In each section, lay out what you would like people to do next. Do you want them to visit another page on your website? Do you want them to call you? Or do you want them to sign up to your newsletter? Try out different calls to action and see how they work.

I’d be delighted to show you how to write inviting content for your homepage. Here’s my call to action. Drop me an email on derbhile@writewordseditorial.ie for more info.

How To Choose the Right Words For Your Business

I love delivering content training sessions because I get to talk about words. And I had great fun at a content training session last week, talking about one of my favourite things – how to choose the right words to describe what you’re doing. In last week’s blog post, I talked about setting a tone for your business with your language. This week, I practised what I preached with a pair of researchers who wanted to describe their project in user-friendly language.

The type of content training they wanted was quite different from the norm. Most people want to know what to say: these people wanted to know how to say it. So, the session focused on editing skills and on how to choose the right words. I began with a presentation where I talked about how to edit your text to fit your requirements.

How to Edit Your Writing

The main thing to remember when you’re editing is to figure out what central point you want to make with your content. Once you know that, you can decide what to leave in and what to take out. A lot of people feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they feel they have to put in, so deciding on a central point gives them clarity.

After you’ve decided what point you want to make, your next task is to trim down your sentences. Reading your text out loud weeds out a lot of errors, like overlong sentences, clunky phrasing and typos that spellcheck doesn’t pick up. I encouraged the two researchers to read their text out loud for clarity.


In this pic, you see a red pen hovering over a page with words on it, and there are corrections made in red pen on the margins.

I then showed the participants how to refine their text even more by weeding out words that weaken their language. This includes repeated words, crutch words we rely on too much and passive voice, saying that a project was run by Derbhile rather than the more proactive choice of saying ‘Derbhile ran the project.’

Fleshing Out Your Writing

Many people when they’re editing need to cut down their text. These two researchers had the opposite challenge. They’re naturally concise writers and they needed to bulk up. This can be more of a challenge because you have to add fresh text to what you’ve already written. I suggested they add muscle rather than fat. In other words, they would bulk out each paragraph with information they might have been holding back for fear their text would be too long. I advised against creating new paragraphs, as they would only be adding text for the sake of it.

The participants put their editing skills to the test by writing a description of their project in 250 words. I told them just to write the description first and only count the words after they stopped. I then suggested ways of bulking up their content to bring it up to 250 words. You can do this exercise in reverse as well. First write a description of your business in 250 words, then cut to 100 words and then cut again to 50. You’ll be left with the most important info, expressed in clear language.

Choosing the Right Words

The second half of the session was devoted to helping the participants use language that would set the right tone for their project. First they needed to come up with pronouns to describe themselves and their end users. Would they choose the friendly-sounding ‘we’ and ‘you pronouns?

Or would they create a professional distance by choosing ‘the project’ and ‘the users.’ Whichever they choose, I recommended that they make sure not to over-rely on these pronouns, as it can be easy to over-use them without realising it.

Finally, I asked them to come up with fifteen words to describe their project. If you remember last week’s blog post, I talked about the values words, the doing words and the senses words. They came up with a list and I encouraged them to refine it further, and not to be afraid to add playful words, ones that created a sense of excitement.

We closed off the session by editing a piece of content they had already created. Their content was good quality, which creates its own challenge, but I was able to spot repeated words, and words that were a bit vague. Above all, I encouraged them to remember that most people engaging with their project would know absolutely nothing about the subject matter. Simple, clear language wins every time.

If you’d like to learn how to add sparkle to your own words, I’d be delighted to work with you. you can email me on derbhile@writewordseditorial.ie.

Fifteen Words That Tell Your Business Story

It’s not what you say but the way that you say it, that’s what gets results. Or at least, it’s not just what you say; it’s the words you use to say it. In this blog, I’ve been concentrating on the content of your business story, but the words you choose to tell that story are just as important. Because they’re the words that people will associate with your brand.

When I’m delivering content training, I’ve discovered that people aren’t just interested in telling their story. They want to find out how to pick the right words to describe their business, as well as how to tell their story. So, this week, I’ve decided to share my thoughts about how to choose words that will resonate with your customers.


This is a word cloud, with brightly coloured words on a yellow background. The words are scattered throughout the picture to form patterns. They include words like: coffee, aroma, home, value and estate agent.  

The language you choose to describe your business and to tell your business story has a subtle but powerful effect. It sets the tone for your content and creates a particular mood: one of calm professionalism or one of fun and laughter, depending on what effect you want to create. Like the colours of a logo, the words you choose tell people how you see your business brand, and they will pick up on that and absorb the message you’re trying to convey.

We’re now going to talk about how to choose words to tell your business story and about what effect those words will have on your customers.

Words That Describe Your Business And Customers

It may seem obvious, but you first need to decide how you will refer to your business and to your customers when you’re writing your content. Some people like to use ‘we’ and ‘our’ to talk about the services they deliver, and they refer to their customers as ‘you’ or ‘our customers.’. This sets a friendly tone and gives customers the sense that you’re talking to them one to one.

Other businesses prefer to be more formal. They talk about ‘the business’ or ‘the company’ and ‘its customers.’ This is a good approach for businesses that want to present themselves in a professional way, so they can be seen as authorities in their fields. There’s also the decision about whether to refer to people who buy from you as ‘customers’ or ‘clients.’ The word ‘customers’ tends to be associated more with retail and product-based businesses, while clients tend to be seen as people who use a service.

The Fifteen Words

Marketing gurus recommend that you come up with a list of fifteen words that describe your business, and I do this exercise with people on my content training course. These fifteen words then become people’s go-to words when they’re describing their business. They’ll draw on these words when they’re writing their content, and these will then become the words their customers think of when they think of that business.

Here’s a flavour of the types of words you can include on your list of fifteen words:

Doing words: These are practical words that describe what your business does. Say you’re an estate agent. You’d use the words ‘estate agent,’ ‘valuer,’ ‘seller,’ and ‘auctioneer’ to describe what you do. You may think it’s obvious what you do but it won’t always be obvious to your customers, so don’t overlook these words.

Value words: These words describe your business values, the principles that drive your business and that shape the service you offer customers. Weaving words like integrity, customer care, creativity or time into your content tells customers what values are important to you as a business. If they share those values, they’ll see you as a business they can trust.

Senses Words: With these words, you’re stimulating people’s senses. You describe what your products or services look, smell, taste, sound and feel like, so people feel almost as if they’re holding your products or are there at your place of business. You can use these words even if you don’t sell a product, by choosing a symbol that describes your services and using words that link with the symbol.

When you’ve drawn up your list of fifteen words, you sprinkle them through your content. These words convey the message and mission of your business and show customers what your business can do for them. Customers will associate these words with your business, and if you use words they like, it’ll influence their decision to buy. 

If you’d like some help finding your best words, I’ll be happy to chat to you. You can drop me an email on derbhile@writewordseditorial.ie or call/message me on 0876959799.

How To Tell An Exciting Quest Story About Your Business

These days, it’s common for business owners to talk about how they’re on a journey. For me, journeys are the trips you take in a car or on a train. When entrepreneurs talk about their journey, I reckon what they’re really talking about is a quest.

A quest may involve a journey, but it’s really an adventure with a goal in mind. In stories, a quest involves a hero searching for treasure. Along the way, they discover the value within themselves. Authors writing stories about quests call these stories ‘quest narratives.’

Developing Your Quest Story

You can tell a quest story about your business, where you describe how you set out on the great adventure of starting your own business and the value that you discovered along the way, from the business and inside yourself.

You’d be exploring the reasons why you set up your business, how you set your business up and what happened to you along the way. A few blogs ago, we talked about creating a character sketch for yourself, and if you’ve done one of these, you can draw on it for inspiration to tell your story.

Cream-coloured Scrabble bricks on a white background spell out the word quest. On the top row, the word quest is spelt normally, but on the bottom row it is spelt backwards.  

You can also learn how to tell your quest narrative story on my Bestselling Content Creation Skills for Business course – click here to find out more it.

Starting Your Quest Story

The best stories are simple; they have a beginning, middle and end. You begin writing your quest story by talking about where you were in your life when you decided to start your business.

Were you married or single? Were you finding your job boring and flat? Was the juggle between work and children driving you mad? This will give context for why you started your business, and readers will relate to the situations you found yourself in.

Then talk about the trigger moment or event that led to you starting your business. This could be a lightbulb moment, an idea that came as a flash of inspiration. But maybe there wasn’t a specific moment. Maybe there was a series of small moments, or a slow realisation crept up on you that your life couldn’t stay the way it was, and you decided to take the plunge.

Heart Of the Quest

Now we come to the middle of the quest. This is the heart of the action, when all the drama happens, with all the conflict and tension that keeps us guessing what happens next. As an entrepreneur, you’ll want to be associated with the happy ending rather than the conflict.

So, when you reach the middle of the story, you could take people through the steps you took to make your business happen. It is a good idea though to mention any challenges you face, so you can tell people how you overcome them, and they’ll admire you for your resilience.

A Happy Ending

You’re in business now, so we know your quest had a successful outcome. But you can share what you did to bring you to that happy ending. What ingredient made all the difference to your business success? What improvements did you bring to your life on a practical level, and into the lives of your customers? And above all, how did starting a business benefit you as a person? How did it improve the quality of your and how did it change your view of yourself?

Sharing these kinds of insights can feel a little uncomfortable, so only share what feels right for you. But customers love to feel they’re getting to know the person behind the business, so if you give them a glimpse of who you are and how you arrived at this point in your business quest, they’ll relate to you. They’ll also admire you, and rightly so, because you’re the hero of your own story.

If you’d like to find out more about how to create your own business quest story, you can get in touch on derbhile@writewordseditorial.ie

How My Content Creation Course Works

In all my blogs, I’ve been talking about how to use storytelling techniques to create brilliant content. But I thought I’d take a break from that this week and take stock of how my content creation course has evolved since the start of the year. I’ve been having a lovely time delivering my course, which is called Bestselling Content Creation, to committed, dynamic entrepreneurs, and I wanted to share that. But I also wanted to give you an idea of how the course works, so you can decide if it would be useful to you in the future.

Content Creation Modules

There are six modules available on the course: storytelling, web content, blog posts, social media posts, video scripts and traditional marketing content. All the participants have done the storytelling module because this is the foundation for all the modules on the course. After that, people pick the modules that are relevant to them.

Photo Description: The words ‘Bestselling Content Creation for Business – Storytelling’ are printed in blue capital letters on a white background, with a blue border.

Web content has been the most popular one, but there’s also been an interest in video scripts and press releases, which would come under traditional marketing content. Most people have chosen two modules, a couple have chosen three, and one person chose to combine two modules to make one. There’s a bundled rate available for taking all six modules, so I hope I’ll soon be able to rise to the challenge of delivering all six modules.

The people who’ve taken up the course are mostly solo entrepreneurs, though in one case I’ve delivered it to two people. So far, the course has been a bit more popular with people who offer services, possibly because service businesses don’t have the luxury of pictures to do some of their selling for them. But there has been interest from businesses selling consumer products as well.

Hands-On Approach to Content Writing

I take a hands-on approach to delivering the course because I believe people learn best by doing. Also, entrepreneurs are pretty time poor, so I help them make the most of their time by getting them to actually write their content. After a PowerPoint Presentation, the participants do writing activities. They then do more writing after the session finishes to put their business story together and I give them feedback to help them bring their story forward.

A lesson I quickly learned is that many people already have content written, so they’ve already begun writing their story. My job as a tutor/facilitator is to help them build on that story. By giving them a chance to work on the content they’ve already created in the session, they can see that the skills I’m showing them are relevant and can be directly applied to their business.

People will have time and space to work on their content in the session, which saves them having to find that space later. And they’ll come away having developed their content further, which is a good result.

People say they’re satisfied with the course modules they’ve done, which I’m pleased about. Long-term, I’m hoping people will find it a lot easier and less time consuming to produce content, and I’m hoping to see beautiful blog posts and snappy social media posts from my clients popping up on my feeds in the near future.

I hope I’ve made you curious about Bestselling Content for Business. If you are and you’d like to get in touch, you’ll find all my details on my nifty digital business card, email, phone, website etc. Click on the link to view my card.

How to Create Memorable Product Descriptions In Your Content

In the glory days before the pandemic, people could walk into your shop or restaurant and sample your goods. They could pick them up, smell them, taste them. If you have a service, people were able to meet you at networking events and go to your presentations. Now we have to do it all online, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to describe your products in a way that speaks to your customers. That’s how you create memorable content.

What you want to do is create a sort of 3D effect with the words you use. You describe your products in a way that makes customers feel almost as if they were picking them up, smelling and tasting them. And you describe your products as if you were sitting across the table from your customers, having a good chat over a cup of coffee.

When authors are describing things, they use vivid language that draws on all of the senses, e not just sight. They use language to describe the worlds they create, so you can lose yourself in it as a reader and feel as if you were in that world yourself. When I deliver my content creation course, I share a technique I call Setting and the Senses, which aims to help people improve their descriptive skills.

Setting and The Senses

The setting in a book is the world where a story happens. For your business, it’s your place of business. Some people are lucky enough to have businesses that are set in beautiful locations. You can certainly put up lovely images of your restaurant, hotel or tourist attraction, but vividly descriptive words will enhance those images and help people feel they’re taking a tour of your world.

This is a forest carpeted with grass, and sun shines through the tall trees. If this is your place of business, you can describe it vividly using all five of your senses. Photo Credit: Anna Healy.

You can describe what people will see when they come to your place of business, but also share the sounds they will hear, the tastes and smell they will experience. With your descriptions, you can help people feel as if they were actually in the forest where you offer forest bathing, or eating a meal in your scenic sea-view restaurant.

Sensual Product Descriptions

If you sell beautiful products like jewellery or food, you can have fun describing these products using all five of your senses. You can describe what your product looks and feels like, but also the sounds, smells and tastes people might associate with your products. For example, your financial products might give people the same feeling of warmth and security they get when they sit by the fire on a winter evening, feeling the heat, smelling the wood and watching the flames leap.

You might say, ‘But I’m producing jewellery. How could I compare it to a food?’ You may not be able to make a direct comparison, but you could write about food your jewellery might make people think of, or imagine what sort of meal people might be eating while they wear your jewellery.

You can also take this approach with a service business that doesn’t have a tangible product. You can create a symbol for your business, an image that customers can see in your mind when they think of your business. When you’re writing your content,

You can then use words that tie in with that reinforcing the image in your customer’s mind. For a coach, that symbol might be a candle, its light guiding people through the darkness of confusion, towards clarity of thought and a life filled with light. And you might use phrases like ‘seeing clearly’ ‘guiding light’ and ‘beating the darkness.’

Describing your products in this playful way can be a lot of fun, and it will bring your products to life for your customers. If you’d like to learn how to tell riveting stories about your products, please get in touch. You’ll find all my details on my nifty digital business card, email, phone, website etc. Click on the link to view  my card.

How To Create Content That Grips Your Customers

Have you ever stayed up all night to finish a book you couldn’t put down, to find out how a film ended, or to binge watch a Netflix series right to the end? Imagine if you could create content that had that effect on customers. The good news is, it is possible to create content that rivets your customers. You can be inspired by the storytelling techniques that help bestselling authors create their gripping plots.

There is a plot structure that has been around since the beginning of time. It’s called the Three-Act Structure and it’s quite simple – it has a beginning, middle and end. It’s been used to great effect by the likes of JK Rowling, Stephen King, and the creators of all the fairytales you read as a child. And you can adapt it for your business.

Stories That Solve Problems

As a business owner, you can use a particular version of the Three-Act Structure called the Problem-Solving Plot. It’s based on the idea that all stories involve a problem, a tension or a challenge that needs to be resolved. The character, in this case your customer, is presented with a dilemma or a difficulty. As the story unfolds, the character tries to solve the dilemma and meets challenges along the way. In the end, they resolve the dilemma, for better or worse.

We explore the problem-solving plot and other bestselling storytelling techniques in the WriteWords content creation course. Here’s the link to the course if you’d like to find out more about it.




 This is a graph with a purple line in the shape of a triangle that points to a sharp peak. On the left, there’s the word ‘beginning,’ to show the start of a story. Above the peak of the triangle you see the word ‘middle,’ and then on the right hand side, you see the word ‘resolution.’

In your version of the Problem-Solving Plot, you’ll first lay out the problem or challenge your customer might face. You can do it by asking a question, as I did at the start of this post. If you ask the right question, you’ll be showing your customer that you understand what their problem is, and they’ll read on to find out how you can solve that problem. You can also set the scene with a little case study, describing a common problem that a typical customer of yours might face.

Building Up the Story

The middle of the story is mostly taken up with how you solve the problem. In a film or book, this is the point where the tension would be at its height, and you’re dying to know what happens next. But for your business story, you don’t want too much tension. You want to associate your business with an easing of tension, with answers to problems.

So, what you do is take people step by step through the process of how to solve the problem, reassuring people that if they follow these steps, their issue will be resolved. You may mention some challenges you face, and share how you overcome those challenges, to demonstrate your skill.

Finally, you tell your readers how the story ended. And for your business, that’ll be a happy ending. You show them what action you take to solve this problem, what ingredient helped you arrive at the solution you find. And you share the benefits for the customer of the solution you found. This would mean the practical benefits and the way you make people feel. In my case, the practical benefit is the great content people can now create as a result of doing my content creation course, and the satisfaction and enjoyment they feel when they tell their own story.

Alternative Three-Act Plots

If your products are created purely to delight people, such as people who create jewellery, food or works of art, you can use the three-act structure to tell the story of how you create that  gorgeous product: where the ideas come from, what method you use to create the product and how you achieve the final result. You can also make your story about you: what inspired you to start your business, the steps you took to achieve your dream, the challenges you overcame, and where you are now – a successful entrepreneur.

If you’d like to learn how to tell riveting stories about your products, give me a call on 087 6959799 or email derbhile@writewordseditorial.ie.

Three Questions That Lead to Brilliant Content

I think we’re all agreed that why is the most important question you can ask yourself as an entrepreneur. It’s the question that inspires you as a business, and as I explained in my last blog post, it’s the cornerstone of brilliant marketing content. But there are three other important questions to ask yourself that will help you understand yourself and to create content that speaks to your customers. These questions are what, who and how.

What do you offer?

It’s important to be able to tell people what you do. We get asked that question a lot, even in social settings. But it’s not just about what you do in general, but what you do for customers. Identify the goal you want to achieve for customers and tell people what that goal is. Don’t just assume they’ll know. For example, you could say you’re an accountant. But wouldn’t it be a lot more interesting if you tell people, ‘I can solve your money problems,’ or ‘I can make numbers work for you.’ When you’re creating content, use your what to show people what you can do to make their lives better.





This is an animated infographic with the words What and When printed on it in 3D capital letters. To the left, there’s a question mark, and to the right, there’s a drawing of a man with a  speech bubble coming out of his mouth, but no words on it. On the far right is a signpost pointing in two directions.. Image credit: Finola Howard.

The What question can also cover what you value. In your content, you can talk about the values that are important to you in running your business and how these translate into great service for your customers. Write a list of the values that most matter to you and brainstorm about how you bring those values into your business. For example, creativity is important to me, so in my content, I tell people how I bring out their own hidden creativity through my training. Through your content, you can demonstrate to people that you run your business according to clear principles and that you know what you’re about. And people will be impressed by this.

We explore these what, how and who questions in my content training course for business – take a look.

Next Question: Who

Who will benefit most from what you offer? Of course you’re going to say everybody, but there’s usually one group of people who’ll benefit more than others. Or there may be different groups of people who will benefit from different products that you offer. So, it can be helpful to have a broad brush-stroke idea of who they are. You can keep those people in mind when you’re writing your content, and you can write content that shows them you understand them and can help them.

Final Question: How

We all want to be different, and your how will help you show your customers what makes you different. The how question centres on how you deliver your service. How do you go the extra mile to deliver brilliant products to your customers? How do you personalise your customer service with little extra touches? It’s a great question to consider if you’re in a very crowded business field, like coaching, or you have to follow a set process to deliver your service, like a solicitor or accountant. You can create content that tells people about the free consultation sessions you offer to help them make up their minds, or the ebooks you offer when people sign up to your service.

Your how also centres on how people will feel after they’ve used your service. You may have heard the saying, that we don’t always remember what people do or what they say, but we’ll always remember how they made us feel. Some businesses tap into feelings more than others – people who produce crafts or beautiful food will fill their audiences with delight. But a finance broker can offer people relief and peace of mind knowing that the future is secure for themselves and for their families. Appealing to these feelings we all have is another important way to differentiate ourselves from the others in our market.

What questions do you ask yourself about your business? Send me an email on derbhile@writewordseditorial.ie and we can explore them together.

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Your Why: The Cornerstone of Your Content

In my last blog post, I showed you how to create a character sketch for your customers to help you understand them better. better. This week, I’ll show you how to create a character sketch for yourself so you can understand yourself better, what inspires you in your business. For this character sketch, you’ll ask yourself four questions. We’ll deal with the who, what and how questions in the next blog post, but we’ll start with why.

This is a picture of the cover of the book Start With Why. The words Start With Why are written in bright red uppercase letters on a white background. Copyright, Simon Sinek

This is a picture of the cover of Start With Why, a well known business book that inspires you to find your motivation.

Start With Why is actually the name of a well-known business book by Simon Sinek, who argues that knowing why you’re in business is the foundation for your success. It’s the spark of inspiration that gets you up in the morning and keeps you going on grey days when nothing is happening. It’s your purpose. It’s what gives you meaning in your life. It’s the reason you’re doing all this hard work in the first place.

Resonating With Customers

There are two powerful aspects to your why that will resonate with your customers – the good you do for the world and the good you do for yourself. It’s true that we set up in business to make money, but truly successful businesses do good for the world. It doesn’t have to be world peace. You can make people’s lives better in all kinds of small but valuable ways.

This week, I heard a presentation from a solicitor. The role of a solicitor is seen as a traditional one, one that follows well established practices. And most solicitors will offer similar services. But this solicitor electrified the group – because of her why. Maria O’Donovan is a family law solicitor who puts empathy for her clients at the heart of her practise.

Maria’s mission is to lighten the emotional burden that clients feel when they’re in difficult family situations, so that they’re ready for the legal battles that lie ahead. That’s a powerful why. She even keeps a list of counsellors at hand that she can refer her clients to if they need it, which shows that she’s breaking the mould.

If you want to create a compelling why statement yourself, you can sign up to my content training course.

What Motivates You

It may seem a little selfish to talk about the good you’re doing for yourself, but your customers will be interested in the human being behind your products. You can share the passion that led you to set up your business or your interest in coming up with innovative solutions to people. Maria O’Donovan chose to specialise in family law because personal experiences in her own life gave her a unique understanding of what her clients faced. That will resonate with people who need to find solutions to complex family issues. They’ll identify with her and trust that she can help them through their difficulties.

So, what do you do with this why when you’ve identified it? You turn it into a mission statement for your business. In that mission statement, you set out the goals you want to achieve for your customers and the values that you want to live by. The values are the things that give your life meaning and purpose. When your mission comes from your heart, it will truly resonate with customers and they’ll be drawn not just to your brand, but to the person behind the brand.

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How Storytelling Can Help You Understand Your Customers

How well do you know your customers? You may have some idea – you know the demographic you’re looking to reach or where they life. But do you really know them on an intimate? In this week’s blog, I’m going to show you how authors develop their characters, and how you can be inspired by their techniques to create content that really speaks to those customers.

Authors know everything about their characters. They don’t include all those details in their stories, but they know about every aspects of their characters’ lives. That’s what helps them create a character that’s realistic and believable as a human being. They create a character sketch of their characters. It’s like a profile, a life story of a character created using various headings.

For you as a business owner, a character sketch is a great way to get to know your customers. You’d create a character sketch based on a particular customer who represents your target market. They could be a real person or someone you’d make up. The idea is that you can visualise this customer every time you write content and you can write your content for them. This allows you to create content with a friendly, intimate tone, helping your customers to feel like you’re a wise friend who understands your problems and can help them improve their lives.

So, how do you create a character sketch?

Basic Character Details

Let’s start with the basics. Give them a name and age. You can just choose a random name, but giving your customer a name makes it easier for you to imagine them as a person. Knowing their age is very useful. It helps you imagine them as a person. You can call them by that name when you’re writing your content and that’ll help you imagine you’re addressing what you say to them.

Here’s Maurice Murgatroyd, the star of my content creation course. I ask participants to practise their character creation skills on him. The results are interesting.




This is a charcoal type sketch of an old, grumpy looking mad with a pointy beard and a long face. He’s bald with spots on his head.

Another good way of visualising your customer is to find a profile picture of a person that represents your customer. You can download a stock picture from the internet and stick that photo up on a wall so you can see the customer in your mind when you’re writing your content. Or you can add a picture to the written details on your customer profile.

Life Details

This section of the character sketch is about a customer’s life circumstances. These are the circumstances that help shape their purchasing behaviour. Knowing their educational background and job will give you an idea of the income they have available to spend. Their family circumstances will determine what products and services they’ll buy. People with children will want to buy family-friendly products, while single people may want to buy high-end products to treat themselves with. Even a customer’s hobbies will shape their buying habits, as they’ll need to buy products that help them take part in their hobby.

Buying Habits

There are a few ingredients that will differentiate your character sketch from an author’s one. Where authors will identify their character’s secret power, or secret from their past, you’re identifying their purchasing power, or the ways they decide to purchase. One of the ways that people decide on their purchases is through the media. Increasingly, this means social media. If you know what media your target audience consumes, you can follow them onto those media platforms and communicate with them there. If you know where they shop, you know what types of shops they favour and what they buy when they’re in those shops. You can then appeal to customers whose consumer habits match the types of offerings you have.

Solving Their Problems

Your customers are coming to you because they have a problem they hope you can solve. This needn’t be a big problem. It could just be something they’re missing, a need that isn’t being met. The most important part of your character sketch is the section about the problem your customer would like solved. If you know what that problem is, you can create content that shows them how you solve that problem. They’ll then trust you to solve that problem, and they’ll buy from you.

How Character Sketches Help You Reach Your Customers

So, what’s the benefit of doing this character sketch? The isn’t a tangible result as such, but there is a result just the same. The character sketch helps you keep focused on your customers’ needs when you’re creating your content. When customers are reading your content, you want them to feel that they’re sitting across the table, having a coffee with you, and you understand where they’re coming from. And with that content, you can show them that they can trust you to help them improve their lives.

If you like the idea of character-driven content and you’d like me to help you create some, please give me (Derbhile) a call on 0876959799.

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