everybody-writesHow many times have you heard you need to make sure you have great content on your MSP website? Probably more than you can count, and there’s a reason. As an MSP, your focus is on your services, but content comes into play more than you may think and can be the deciding factor for prospective customers. That’s why you need to make it a priority.

But what distinguishes your content to make it great? Recently I read Everybody Writes: Your go-to guide to creating ridiculously good content by Ann Handley. In it she provides some great tips that can help even a novice writer make drastic improvements and create great content, whether you’re writing content for your website, social media posts, or emails to prospective customers.

Here are some tips from the book that will help you make your content ridiculously good:

Keep content relevant

What is your audience looking for, and what are you trying to achieve with your content? For example, maybe you want them to learn about a new backup service you’re offering.  Ann suggests that you “show, don’t tell.” Illustrate how your services will fit into your customers’ lives and help their business instead of just telling them they need it. As an MSP, you understand why customers need to back up data consistently, but the mom-and-pop shop you’re trying to sell to might not realize the agony that will result from losing transactions from their POS system. Paint a picture to increase your value as an MSP.

Get to the point

Cut down on unnecessary words and phrases when you write. Ann suggests starting sentences with the most important statements (such as a noun or a verb) instead of wordy phrases such as it is important, according to, or in my opinion. Get to the point and state ideas earlier.

For example, instead of saying:

It is important to remember to back up your data because doing so can save you a lot of trouble and hassle down the road.

Say:

Backing up your data can save you a lot of trouble down the road.

Keeping your statements clear and concise will keep your readers interested and help them focus on the point you’re trying to make.

Use data to make an impact

Building content from facts can help you become a more reputable source and raises your credibility. As an MSP, you want to use facts to build your customer base. It’s certainly easier to tell a customer a service is important, but showing them why it’s important is much more effective. For example, if you’re talking about cybersecurity with a SMB, you might tell them backup is critical due to the rising threat of ransomware. But, if you instead explain that 81 percent of data breaches happen to small businesses, then you just gave your audience a reason to pay attention.

Find the right tone

For writing to be successful, you need to use the right tone for the platform. Thankfully, Ann Handley’s book gives great tips on how to do this effectively. For example, if you’re writing for Twitter, you want to keep it casual and conversational, but writing for LinkedIn should be more professional and serious.

Tone is important in email campaigns as well. My favorite point from the book is, “What would you open?” When crafting emails to generate new leads for your MSP, think about what your reader will be more likely to click on. To get a better response, keep the email personal and friendly; a letter from the CEO is certainly more exciting to read then one from an entire organization.

Create value for your audience

Give your audience something to take away from your content.  Your content shouldn’t solely revolve around the services you can offer as an MSP.  Try offering tips to your customers that will help their business. This will peak their interest make them look forward to what your content can offer them. In the book, Ann suggests swapping places with your reader. If you were an SMB, what would you look for from your IT service provider? Considering a new perspective can help you to write better content.

By following these simple tips, you’ll improve your content, and it will start making more of an impact with your SMB customers. For more great tips on how to improve your content and your writing, check out Ann Handley’s book Everybody Writes: Your go-to guide for writing ridiculously good content.  

Everybody Writes

Your go-to guide of creating ridiculously good content

By Ann Handley

298 pages.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc. $14.32.

Have suggestions for what we should read next? Tell us which book we should read next on our MSP bookshelf.

Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is an Editorial Associate at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda. In this position, she creates and develops content that helps managed service providers grow their business. She also regularly writes The MSP’s Bookshelf and our Ask an MSP Expert column.

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