Updated: Apr 29, 2022
I grew tired of trying to create great content that just wasn’t connecting. Then…I realized it all came down to listening. True, deep listening.
It’s in listening that we’re able to effectively communicate. So, it should come as no surprise that listening plays a vital role in how you market your business. From ads to social media to websites and sales pages, you are using copywriting to communicate to your audience. The message you send matters.
And the message doesn’t start with what you want to say. It starts with what your audience is saying. This begs the question – are you listening to what they’re saying?
Brand messaging success relies on you being able to understand your audience so you can articulate how you are the perfect fit for their needs. Not only do you need to effectively provide a solution to their problems, but you also need to connect deeply with them on an emotional level to encourage further engagement (and sales). Taking the step to outsource this important task can be daunting, to say the least.
“Authentic brand messaging that represents your core values through strategic content pillars that connect and convert all stem from intentional listening.” - Shauna Van Mourik, Copywriter & Content Marketing Strategist
As someone looking to outsource your copywriting, you want to be sure that your voice, tone, and core values come through in your marketing - you need it to sound like YOU. Your audience feels the same way; they need to be able to feel seen and heard in your marketing for them to engage and invest in what you have to offer. It is through the different levels of listening that all of this is done.
“Listening creates deeper curiosity about our values so we can live in greater alignment with them.” Lindsay Harle-Kadatz, Values Vixen & Listening Expert
Building stronger relationships with a likeable brand starts with you listening to the invisible hand - your market - and ends with the ability to connect, resonate, and convert with authority through effective copywriting. When a writer actively listens to you, they will have a clearer understanding of the topics being discussed and will be able to represent your core values and content pillars in a way that authentically attracts your dream clients. This true-to-you writing combined with the expert skills of a conversion copywriter will increase your power of influence and authority in your field.
Who needs to listen first? You must first listen to your audience. In turn, your writer must then listen to you!
Patterns that help listeners to tune into your unique marketing voice include verb tenses (past, present, future), storytelling style (long and short form), positive or negative approaches to topics, and subject matter (individual, group, third person, etc). Emphasis and disdain can be inferred by noting subtle facial expressions and the tone with which the topic is discussed. A few small details will set the mood for how your marketing is portrayed when outsourced so it’s important that your copywriter is a good listener. If your writer doesn’t take the time to listen and help you explore your thoughts, then they may not be able to properly capture your voice or your audience’s concerns.
“You spend more than half your day listening yet only 2% of people know how to listen.” - Oscar Trimboli, Listener, Author, Speaker
The cost of listening poorly is extensive; confusion, misalignment, lack of trust, profit loss and more. This is why a good copywriter is also a good listener. A writer’s job in this space is to cater to the authentic brand voice of the business. One way that a writer will tap into your unique way of addressing your audience is through the art of listening.
4 types of listening:
Deep Listening: You are committed to understanding and empathizing with the other person’s perspectives. Use verbal and non-verbal cues (words, body, tone etc.) to ‘hear’ what is not said and to build trust and rapport. This type of listening makes others feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and opinions.
Full Listening: This is when you pay close attention to what the speaker is expressing. Using Active Listening Techniques (below), you are looking for clarity and full comprehension of the details involved with what is said.
Critical Listening: Systematic reasoning and careful thought is used to analyze the speaker's message and separate facts from opinion. This is one of the only listening spaces where evaluation, judgement, and advice are appropriate. To be sure that this is the type of listening required for the situation, you can ask, “Do you want my advice or do you just want to be heard?”
Therapeutic Listening: Here, you are allowing a close person to discuss a problem while showing supportive non-verbal cues (nodding and eye contact) and empathizing with their experiences.
3 Active Listening Techniques:
1. Pay attention & show you are listening (physical & oral responses)
2. Don't interrupt (defer judgement)
3. Respond Appropriately - Show you were listening by paraphrasing or summarizing what was said. - Clarify by asking open-ended, probing, and reflecting questions
- Provide feedback if necessary and desired
The Power of Silence
“Listen and Silent are spelled with the same letters – coincidence? I don’t think so.” Unknown
Oscar Trimboli reminds us that you can only speak at about 125 words per minute (wpm) while a listener can listen at over 400wpm. At the same time, both parties can think at 900wpm so it’s no wonder that intentional, active listening has so much power in the marketing space where clarity and refinement are key. Pausing and allowing for silence gives everyone the opportunity to let their words and minds align.
Silence has the power to help you gather your thoughts and dive deeper into the message you're really trying to get at. This is helpful for both parties in the exchange as you will be better able to understand your own brand identity and the writer will be better equipped to capture its essence. A skillful listener will listen fully to silence like they would any other word.
“When you listen, you are not there to make sense of what the speaker is saying. Deep Listening is about helping the speaker make sense of their thinking.” - Oscar Trimboli, Listener, Author, Speaker
A copywriter’s ability to listen attentively eliminates the fear that comes with outsourcing your content marketing. It attracts your dream clients, engages your audience, and converts with confidence. The combination of listening to you - through direct communication & past content research - as well as your audience - through market and competitor research - is what makes outsourcing this business task easy. Looking to explore the world of outsourcing to a copywriter who truly listens, send me an email with the subject "LISTEN" today.