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Ann Handley, the author of the popular Book “Everybody Writes”, shared her journey of creating content in her backyard, also known as her website, during the Content Marketing World conference. Here is the background of her keynote: She wrote two books and is prolific in providing content in popular publishing sites from Inc to Forbes, but her website is like a content ghost town, so one of her followers said to her “what gives?!” So, she took on the challenge, started creating content and doing email marketing to engage with her followers. Email marketing, Ann?  Welcome to the dark side.

Focus on One Audience

She talked about her journey and learning about getting subscribers. One of her key learnings is to write for the audience of “ONE.” And she used Warren Buffet as an example. His Annual Letter to Investors is widely read by millions of people.

Warren shared that he writes that letter with his sister, Doris, in mind. Doris is very smart and a voracious reader, but she doesn’t understand finance jargons and the complex economic trends. So, he made sure that he writes in a way that Doris can understand. Warren also injects humor into the letter to get Doris to laugh.

So, Ann followed the same approach. She tried to write with her Doris in mind. I love this story shared by Ann.

Apply to B2B Marketing

Most of us in the B2B marketing have buyers’ personas in mind. We try to craft our messaging and content to our personas. We are doing what Ann was talking about to some extent.  But can we be even more focused and write the content with one person in mind? Will that make it more compelling and personable, possibly, humanize our brands or even our products?

Her talk made me think about my email marketing. I don’t send out an email on a regular basis. And I send out an email when I have something to say, but I am very business-like…. Frequently, I share my post, podcast or what not…. Can I write my email with the intention of a specific marketing manager in mind?

In an effort to be more relatable, I am going to take on that approach moving forward. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

Find My Own Doris

I just wanted to say – Ann, thank you for sharing your journey. I am now trying to find my own Doris.

If you are also trying to write with only one person in mind, please keep me posted about your journey. #findingyourdoris. I’d love to hear about it, and I bet so would Ann!

Also, send me your marketing questions or thoughts via Twitter @pamdidner

Keep hustling, my friends. You got this!


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Pam's personal observations tie back to her knowledge and passion for sales, marketing, and technologies. Enjoy her stories and use her templates to start thinking differently about marketing and sales.

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