Want people to consume your web content and even come back for more? There’s a recipe for that.
Want to stand out from everyone else in your field? Think of one teachable moment and offer a solution in a recipe-style format.
No matter what your field of expertise, you can break common complex problems down into small, workable chunks and eloquently expand on each one. Think about it. You already do it every day.
Think of a current problem one of your clients had recently. Did you help solve it? I’ll bet it’s not the first time you’ve encountered a problem like it. In fact, you probably already have a system for delivering that particular solution.
When you applied that solution to the customer’s problem, did it “work?” If the answer is yes, don’t hold back: share that step-by-step solution with others who have a similar complaint or roadblock.
The beauty of a soulful step-by-step solution — one that takes the time to point out the wisdom and meaning inherent in each step — is that it moves the audience to a place of possibility. While the problem itself may take some time (maybe even weeks or months) to solve; just contemplating each step exposes your ideal clients to your methods and organizational abilities. The client already senses that they are in the hands of a trusted advisor.
As they fill out a questionnaire, or listen to a discussion, or watch a slide deck or video, the step-by-step recipe you provide in your web content builds the case for your helpfulness and competence. They get a sense of what it would be like to actually work with you.
When it comes time to hire someone to help them with the job at hand, who will spring to mind? YOU.
Resorting to an habitual food analogy, I ask that you take the Beef Stew Challenge.
Pretend you have all the basic ingredients you need on hand. You open the laptop in search of a recipe. Something new, something you haven’t tried before. A new combination of steps perhaps, to give it some WOW. Enter the search bar. Go ahead and Google “Beef Stew Recipe.” I’ll wait.
Here are a couple of my results: On one hand you find a basic beef stew recipe claiming “while there are hundreds of variations on this traditional recipe, it’s hard to improve on this version’s savory and comforting goodness.” Fine. It will do.
Then you find this… an image-heavy “let’s-build-this” missive, complete with an aside about the cook’s Basset Hound Charlie chasing a squirrel. By infusing the recipe with rich inner musings and visual details of what’s going on outside her kitchen window, the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) truly shows you exactly how to savor the experience of simmering stew…
One moment at a time.
What makes Drummond’s recipe-style story so compelling? The anticipation. The organization. The promise of a final dish. And the step-by-step visual layout. Her stew seems richer, yummier, more adaptable to the ingredients you happen to have on hand. You get the sense that cooking in her kitchen isn’t an exact science, but an activity filled with imperfection, humor and joy.
It’s web content that pulls you in and makes you want to stay. (Added points when your readers read other blog pages or engage with you on other online social sites!)
Your industry doesn’t have to be food related to make use of the step-by-step method for creating web content. Think of the possibilities and apply this concept to your business:
- The organization coach: With the right guidance, suddenly it seems possible to tackle that project they’ve been avoiding, like de-cluttering an overstuffed attic.
- The business trainer: Taking time to lay out each step relieves sales managers of the overwhelm inherent in training a team on a new piece of software.
- The relationship coach: By breaking down a stressful problem into easy, logical increments, you infuse a peaceful, can-do attitude. Eg. showing your concerned father-in-law that computer technology isn’t making the kids less teachable.
- The financial advisor: Steps can simplify and repair even long-held habits, eg. helping a disengaged family member take on more responsibility and awareness of the family finances.
- The dog-trainer: Even a mundane task like giving the dog a bath can be infused with soulfulness if you separate and show how to savor each step.
Don’t be the source of web content for content’s sake. Next time you’re searching for a way to transfer information, try the recipe-style content creation.
- List all the ingredients your client has or will need.
- Think through your process and list all the steps required. While you should be able to fill in every nuance and gap, don’t feel like you must go to those lengths in a blog post or white paper. It’s enough to state them and why they help move the process to the next step. When you work with your client one-no-one, then you can go into the fine details.
- Finally show your reader or viewer what the finished result feels like, sounds like, or looks like. The transformation should be obvious.
While you can supply the recipe in your web content, most times you can’t actually “do the cooking.” That comes next, when your client hires you for your services. The idea behind the recipe is to make your readers hungry for more.
Want to learn more about finding and building relationships with your best clients by creating compelling web content? Request a self assessment sheet for your business.