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Framing Your Story: Writing Tips for Online Marketing

The Art Of Self Promotion

One of the keys to small business success is the ability to develop, write, edit and design your own marketing material. In order to accomplish this goal a small business owner must learn the essential art of self-promotion. The Internet has opened many doors for small business owners and entrepreneurs to market themselves for little or no cost through online writing and publishing. To take advantage of this easy and affordable marketing opportunity all you need is time to research and skills to help you express yourself. Writing skills can be honed with creativity, planning and practice. Building your skill in this area helps create a more focused marketing campaign and increased confidence in your sales approach. Once focus and confidence are infused into your marketing scheme it can generate more leads, more sales and more exposure to your identified consumers.

Framing A Story

The Internet world is a place where small business entrepreneurs can be published and feature their expertise, problem solving techniques and personal success stories. This can generate networking contacts and qualified leads. Writing a story is like building a home. The most important part of the house is the foundation and the framework. The framework must be strong and solid. The rest of the article is shaped by your individual voice, humor, insight, educational content and clarity. Framing a story is the first step to writing an article that will stand out and catch the audience's attention. There are three basic frames to consider. Choose carefully according to the marketing goals you have set and the consumer audience you want to attract.

Frame #1 A Chronological Sequence

Framing a story with a chronological sequence is a standard in writing. Simply create a beginning, middle and end. The impression you leave with a reader is largely based on the opening and closing, so be certain these two areas are strong, clear and exciting. A powerful beginning is what catches a reader's attention. The middle of an article should provide the reader with a reason to continue. This is essential in online writing projects since Internet readers generally have a shorter attention span. The end should cause the reader to remember your name and the information you have provided. Don't be afraid to take risks! The more original the article content is the more attractive your article will be for potential customers. Summarize your article in the beginning and end with fresh perspectives and angles. Don't be too repetitive and make sure your article includes something the reader can take away.

Frame #2 Cinematic Appeal

In this framework you write the article as if it is a film. Be creative and use the voice of a narrator to set the scenes visually for the reader. Use descriptive language and reach out for all of the reader's senses. The reader must imagine this framework unfolding on screen. They must smell, touch, taste, hear, and especially feel what you are saying. Write to make an emotional connection or make the audience stand in someone else's shoes. This will capture the reader's imagination and create a relationship between the reader and the subject. They will walk away feeling as if they have just had an experience instead of just a good read. This is the framework that can be used to teach someone about another place or another culture. This will also arouse interest in the subject you are writing about. It can increase awareness and stir up passion.

Frame #3 Talking to a Loved One

This framework is handled as if you are telling a story to your mother or your best friend. It must be simple, open, and honest. The reader should feel as though they know you. An article framed in this way is perfect for telling your own personal story and sharing who you really are. It can create a feeling of intimacy and works best if you show some vulnerability and sensitivity. Comfort, familiarity and flow should emerge. This writing style is like giving a gift or letting someone in, trust is vital. When you speak to a close friend or relative you learn things about yourself. While framing the story in this manner you make the reader feel they are learning a lesson as well.

Believe In Your Own Abilities

Writing is an ability anyone can cultivate. It simply takes the practice, time and creativity. These are the same tools necessary to market yourself and your company well.
Intentionally choose which voice will best reach your target audience. Know exactly what type of writing the online publication or web site is looking for. Most web sites, e-zines and online publications offer writer's guidelines for review. Let another friend or family member hear the story. Read it out loud or give them a copy to look over. A second set of eyes is the best way to edit or critique the work. If necessary, hire a professional writer to ghost write if you don't have time. A well-written article can boost your reputation and credibility.

About the Author

Sarah Benoit is co-owner of Sidhe Communications in Asheville, North Carolina. She specializes in business writing, market research and event planning and promotion. Ms. Benoit also participates in local business support, art, performance and metaphysical studies projects.

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