As an entrepreneur, it’s your duty to write marketing content on a regular basis. From sending e-mails advertising a special offer to posting social media updates giving your ‘two-cents’ on a certain issue, topic, or event, reaching out to your audience is essential to growing your brand. It’s also essential that you make a good impression (especially in terms of first impressions), and it’s natural to want to sound as knowledgeable as possible in everything that you write.

That’s a fine line to walk, though.

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to sound smart instead of writing a message that showcases the depth of their knowledge! Harvard Business Review has a great article discussing exactly this topic (and it’s worth the read if you want to know how to craft better content overall). For some entrepreneurs, in an effort to prove they know what they are talking about, win over new customers, and grow their brand as a whole, they actually hurt their brand and credibility by failing to be genuine. How can you ensure that you share the scope of your knowledge without trying too hard to ‘sound smart?’ It all starts with…

Know thy message 

Being genuine without forcing your message to ‘sound smart’ can typically be avoided if you know exactly what you are trying to say. Before you write anything, answer these questions:

  1. What do I want to say?
  2. What do I want my audience to feel?
  3. After reading my message, what do I want my audience to do? 

Similar to the ‘Who, What, When, Where, How’ rule journalists use to write complete news stories, you too must answer these questions with every piece of marketing content you write. It will ensure that you write compelling, functional content that works, plus it will give you a solid idea on the message you want to convey. Knowing this, you won’t struggle to sound like you know what you are talking about. 

Leave out the jargon 

Do you hate when insiders use jargon to make themselves ‘sound smart?’ Look, there’s a time and place to use jargon – and when it’s the right time and place, you’ll know it (e.g. sending an email to an advanced class related to your niche would be the appropriate to use jargon). Other than that, stay away from jargon. It won’t impress anyone, and could actually confuse them. Rather… 

Keep it simple 

You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of your audience – don’t waste that time trying to make others believe you are knowledgeable! By being genuine, it’s impossible to not come across as being knowledgeable, so just be yourself and craft a stellar-yet-simple message. Simple is better when it comes to marketing your brand. Simply use the first tip above, plan out an appropriate message, and take it from there. No fluff, no inserting smart-sounding quips, let your actual knowledge speak for itself naturally. 

If you have to try, don’t 

In other words, if you find yourself feeling forced to ‘sound intelligent,’ you need to rethink your entire message. Nobody is judging you based on how many unnecessary statistics you put into your message, nor do they care about how many buzzwords you can throw into one message. They only care about one thing: what you can do for them, and why they should choose you.

That’s it.

You’re a professional that knows more about your niche than the average person – that alone is worth something. Learn, grow, and become better day-by-day, but never try to compensate for what you feel you don’t know, lack in skills, etc. by being anything less than genuine. Your desire to be transparent (and of course, the best) is going to win new customers – shoving items that ‘sound intelligent,’ won’t.

To get you started on your content marketing, feel free to download this FREE eBook, Mastering Content Marketing. It will guide you in the right direction. You’ll be creating killer content in no time.

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