The word you must cut from your content marketing

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Marisa Goudy
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The word you must cut from your content marketing

Unread post by Marisa Goudy » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:48 am

As a blogger and a content marketer, you want to demonstrate your authority. After all, readers become prospects and eventually buyers because they trust that you know your stuff and will deliver the goods.

At the same time, you don't want to become a bossy pants wagging her finger at the poor reader who just wants to make her life or business a little better.

How do you balance your wisdom with your desire to be personable and supportive? Cut the word "should" out of your writing (and from your vocabulary in general, if you can).

This post offers some ideas for what words to choose instead and gives you an example of how "should" gives your writing a totally different (negative) tone.

http://marisagoudy.com/want-to-connect- ... r-writing/


Writing Coach and Copywriter for Professionals Who Make Life More Beautiful, Bearable, and Bold
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Lany Sullivan
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Re: The word you must cut from your content marketing

Unread post by Lany Sullivan » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:13 pm

Someone once told me not to use the word "should" because it sounds bossy. I had never thought about it and I think there are many who don't realize the implications of using words that essentially forces your opinions or beliefs on others. The examples that you gave in your post are brilliant. I love the Blair Glaser example of her defining what she is moving out of and into and her writing clearly showed the difference. Thanks for this great reminder, Marisa!


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Marisa Goudy
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Re: The word you must cut from your content marketing

Unread post by Marisa Goudy » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:16 pm

Was it Sheryl Sandberg who was trying to get us to "ban bossy"? I disagreed with that campaign - I'm all for empowering girls, but "bossy" feels like a pejorative term that's not really up for a redefinition.


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Sheryl Loch
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Re: The word you must cut from your content marketing

Unread post by Sheryl Loch » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:04 am

I don't get this at all. To me "should" is a suggestion. I guess instead of saying "should" I could just say "Do this" or "Don't do that"?

Maybe it depends on how you learned the word and how it has been used by others to you? Or if you think it is "unsolicited advice, shaming, and regret" then it is you that needs to think of the word differently? If someone uses Should with me...it makes me think to see if maybe there is/was a better way than what I was doing, but not shame or regret. As for unsolicited advice...take it or leave it and move on.

I am also trying to figure out what word you would use if you can't use should.

I also wonder if this is a female thing...do men get that worried over should? (Going back to the video Lany did about Thinkers vs Feelers)


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Lany Sullivan
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Re: The word you must cut from your content marketing

Unread post by Lany Sullivan » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:19 pm

Sheryl...you should get it. :D LOL!

That's a good point. Is it a female thing? I've used the word should a lot in my life and in more of a suggestion mindset, and then someone pointed out to me the bossy thing from my comment above. From that point, I paid attention to the context of my conversations. Is how we present it and how it's perceived the issue? In general, presentation and perception can really eff some people up when they take things the wrong way.

Should still fits into some conversations better than others.


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Marisa Goudy
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Re: The word you must cut from your content marketing

Unread post by Marisa Goudy » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:51 am

I don't know that it's a female thing as much as it's a situational thing. My audience is made up of creatives, healers, and therapists, so their readership is really sensitive to "should."

Think about the difference between "You should get outside and play with your kids more" versus "Embrace this beautiful day and enjoy it with your children." The first one make you feel like a crappy, negligent mom because you already feel guilty about plunking them in front of the TV. The second inspires you to live out your own ideals for giving your kids the best of your attention.

As a blogger, you're an authority. Why not just be straightforward about your recommendations? Isn't "use the best possible mic when you record your next video" more effective than "you should buy a better mic"?

I actually recorded a video for my new opt in series on this very topic... https://youtu.be/DkTNnyLkh8k


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Sheryl Loch
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Re: The word you must cut from your content marketing

Unread post by Sheryl Loch » Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:29 pm

Marisa, I spend MANY hours with massage people and those touchy feeler types. To me they thought they were saying one thing, but in facet they were just making a very open statement and then wondered why you didn't do what they THOUGHT they said.
Marisa Goudy wrote:"Embrace this beautiful day and enjoy it with your children."
Will leave many going and sitting on the couch to watch tv with the kids. You didn't tell them to go outside and play, it isn't really even suggested in much a way.

As far as
Marisa Goudy wrote:"use the best possible mic when you record your next video"
They may say they are using the best mic as that may be the only one they have...I'd still end up telling them they need to buy a better mic. Otherwise when their audio is crap, I am left with nothing to say, because I didn't tell them straight up what to do to improve it.

So my thought is that instead off having misunderstandings because they can't read my mind, just be straight forward and fix the problem. This is also why many in the massage school said I was rude/brash/blunt/mean/evil/bitchy....but they couldn't say they didn't know what I meant.

I think this is a female thing because I worked in some predominantly male jobs and never had a problem with misunderstanding with what was said. Men seem to be more straight to the point and blunt. I loved that I didn't have to try and analyze what they meant or thought they said because they just said it.


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Marisa Goudy
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Re: The word you must cut from your content marketing

Unread post by Marisa Goudy » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:30 pm

Sheryl, Your response proves how subjective language really is. Everyone perceives things based on their own experiences and biases.
I don't agree with your interpretations of the off-the-cuff examples I offered above, but that's why we have so many voices approaching similar topics from such different angles.
As for the "touchy feeler types" -that's my tribe. I know offer up writing suggestions that help them get their messages across to the audience that's open to hear it.


Writing Coach and Copywriter for Professionals Who Make Life More Beautiful, Bearable, and Bold
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