All posts by Leigh Baker

‘ Aint What You Do, It’s The Way That You Do It

There’s an old jazz standard that goes (in part):

When I was a kid about half past three

My ma said “Daughter, come here to me”

Said things may come, and things may go

But this is one thing you ought to know…

Oh ‘t ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it

‘T ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it

‘T ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it

That’s what gets results………………….

You can try hard

Don’t mean a thing

Take it easy

Then your jive will swing….

We live in a constantly changing world, facing a constantly shifting range of issues.  It’s easy to get caught in what one of my coaches calls “toxic seriously”.  Unwittingly, we can bring this to the way we message our clients and customers.

How we succeed in business and is as much about the style and grace with which we present our message as about the content.

Why? What? How? What Else? A 4MAT Guide To Writing Web Content

One of the emerging requirements for effective digital marketing is writing good content that will introduce you to prospective clients.  So it’s no longer enough to be good at what you do, you need to be good at educating people you don’t know about the value of what you do.

This can sound quite challenging, however the good news is that there are tools available to help you develop material for the customers you haven’t met/won yet.

One very useful tool with multiple applications is  the 4MAT learning styles model. I learned about it years ago in public speaking training and have used it ever since for speech writing and developing training materials as well as authoring magazine and blog articles.

Writing content that engages people can keep them on your site longer – and that will help your Search Engine Optimisation.

4MAT proposes  that different people like to learn differently, so when you’re writing for a general audience, you’re likely to get better results if you meet their needs.  It also proposes that there is a particular sequence which will make sure you collect and maintain the interest of the four different learning groups:

  1. Why? Imaginative learners need to connect what they’re hearing with prior knowledge and experience. Connect what you’re communicating with their personal meaning system.
  2. What? Analytic learners want to know the underlying theory and the authorities behind it. Give them information about the facts as experts see them.
  3. How? Pragmatic learners want to jump in – to get hands on and learn in the doing. Answer the question “How does this work (specifically)?”
  4. What Else? Dynamic learners learn by doing, and then explore what else they can do with what they’ve learned. Answer the question “What can this become?”

So far in this article, I’ve introduced you to two elements of 4MAT:

  • Why you should learn about it – because it will help you develop digital marketing content suited to a broad audience.
  • What it is – 4 learning styles, covered in a specific sequence.

The next step is How.  Different people have different ways of writing – this is what I do:

  1. Work out the topic I’m going to write on – usually this is an article title.  These sometimes come from discussions about “if only our customers understood XXXXX then we could YYYYY”.
  2. Jot down the 4 styles in sequence – why/what/how/what else.  (I like doing this on a white board if at all possible.)
  3. Expand the headings with words about my topic.
  4. From this stage I can usually write my article or post.

The final element of 4MAT is What Else.  So in this introduction to the process, I finish with the suggestion that you use 4MAT in other places besides blog posts.  It’s useful for a range of marketing material including slide presentations, speeches, training material and video scripting.    You might explore the preferred learning styles of people you interact with. Could what you’re trying to tell them be better matched to how they learn?

So next time you have a blog post to write or a message to get across – try 4MAT-ing it.

Meet Mr And Mrs Lohas – They Could Be Your Best Customer

“Times have changed. People are looking for products that offer them a sense of something beyond the ordinary, grounded in authenticity and quality.” -John Marshall Roberts, expert in world view thinking.

There’s a growing group of customers out there who care about more than products. The name that’s been given to them is LOHAS – customers who are choosing Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability. The Lohas family buys on value – and the values they buy on are their beliefs in the importance of personal, family and community health, environmental sustainability and social justice.

Mr and Mrs Lohas used to be considered on the fringe of the economy, however these days their influence has grown dramatically, now representing more than $300 billion in buying power in the US. As a New York Times article says “They Care About the World (and They Shop, Too)“.  In Australia, the value of the healthier, more sustainable products and services they choose is over at $21 billion.

Your product is more than product – it’s value… Marketers have been emphasizing for years that consumers don’t really buy products, they really buy what those products do for them.  Back in 1986, best selling author Michael Gerber told us in the original eMyth that your commodity might be perfume, but your ‘product’ is romance.

A decade into the 21st century, your product is now about even more than the commodity you sell or what your customer wants from it – now it’s also about the values that it stands for and the ethics of its creation and delivery.  You and your values are part of the whole package.  To engage Mr and Mrs Lohas, you need to offer more than dollar value.  You need to know who you are, what your values are and you need to make sure that your digital marketing strategy tells a truly sustainable story.

If you’ve been putting off developing an explicit statement of your business brand and identity because you don’t think it matters – think again.   If you can’t put into words and images what your business is about and what your purpose and values are, then how likely is it that it’s showing up coherently in your online presence?  Will the Lohas family pass you by because you don’t look like you care?

Branding and identify matter – they’re the coherent, documented core of building your business and getting the right people on the bus and through your door.  If you don’t have a well documented statement of your purpose vision and values, and your digital marketing assets don’t communicate it, then contact us now to book a review.

Find out more about the Lohas family here: http://lohas.com.au/what-lohas

John Roberts is quoted here: http://www.marcstoiber.com/2013/11/17/build-futureproof-brand-build-global-expert-network/)

For more information on all things digital, you know the drill