Oct 2012 – Allow Me to Introduce Myself.

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

What are all these words, and why should I care?

A good introduction is important.

My husband often forgets to introduce me to bike racing and business associates. With no introduction, I can’t participate in the conversation, but it seems rude to interrupt everyone to say, “Hi, I’m Debra.” It totally changes the group dynamic, pulling the focus off the subject they’re all interested in and onto…me. Ick.

Introductions are important in social settings. Without one, people don’t know who you are or why you’re hanging around. They don’t know how or whether to include you in their conversation. If no one grabs their attention and says, “This person is worth your time,” they take the easy way out and ignore you. Again I say, ick.

You want to know you’re in the right place and so does your reader.

Introductions are equally important in writing, for the same reasons. They let your readers know what to expect from your writing and how to fit the information you’re providing into their lives. Introductions orient your readers.

Think about the last time you started a new job, joined a new group, started college…you felt watchful, guarded, nervous. You weren’t sure if you were in the right room, what to do, or where to go next.

You probably felt the same way when you saw this email in your inbox. Who is this from? What do they want from me? Should I give it to them?

Then orientation started and all was explained. You were able to relax and get the most out of your job, group, or collegiate experience.

The introduction to this newsletter answered your questions. You decided I wasn’t asking too much of you, so it was safe to continue reading.

Curiosity is a powerful magnet.

Introductions not only orient your readers, they also grab their attention. They demonstrate that your writing is worth spending time on. When your first paragraph hooks your readers with a story or something unexpected, it makes them ask questions.

Why doesn’t she remind her husband with a subtle elbow jab? What do awkward social moments have to do with writing?

Humans don’t like unanswered questions. Your readers will continue reading so they can find answers.

Evaluate your home page with this checklist.

As in social settings and writing, the introduction to your website – the home page – has to orient your site visitor and grab their attention.

Does your home page answer these questions or make it easy for your visitor to find the answers?

  • What do you do?
  • What problems do you solve?
  • Who do you help?

Does your home page grab your visitor’s attention and draw them further into your site?

  • Do you tell a story they can relate to?
  • Do you address them directly?
  • Do you show that you understand the pain that brought them to your site?
  • Do you give them internal links to information they need?

First-time visitors to your site are wary, as you were when you started that new job or joined that new group. When people search for something on the Internet, they’re fiercely protective of their time and attention. If your home page doesn’t answer their questions and draw them into the site, they’ll quickly move on to a competitor’s site.

In social settings, in writing, and on your website, a good introduction does an important job.

Enough said

By finishing this article (thank you!), you proved my point.

 

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About the Author

If you’ve ever found yourself wordless, out of time, forced to write and hating it, you’ve needed my help. I’m Debra Hemminger. I write content for people like you who want to grow their small business by sharing knowledge their audience values. Writing content for small businesses is my dream job because I draw on all of my interests as I help people like you grow their audience.

 

October’s Special Offer

50% off writing for your website

If you’ve been in business very long, you’ve gathered new information about your target audience and changed the products and services you offer. Have you updated your website accordingly?

Make sure your website copy is up-to-date and speaks directly to your target audience. During October, sign up for website writing and editing services and receive a 50% discount.

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