The very first thing I do with every new client is create a phrase.
It’s nothing too dramatic, and it’s usually something that comes to me quickly after having gone through discussions with the new client. It’s also not static. Sometimes we move on from one chapter to the next, so the phrase needs to change.
Why a Phrase?
Ease of Content Creation
It’s a fact that working on content is a whole lot easier when you aren’t staring at a blank page. If you have a starting point, then your brain has something to wonder on.
What does this phrase mean to me right now? What does it have to do with current priorities? What does the phrase have to do with our audience? What do they like about the phrase?
Thinking through those questions and more will take you from content block to content creation.
You probably have developed voice and audience personas. Your phrase should a natural extension of that. And then it can be a check for every piece of content you produce.
Does it have something to do with the phrase? If it doesn’t, how can we change that?
By making every piece of content have something to do with your phrase, you’re presenting a more unified, cohesive story that your fans will recognize as being unique to you. That can be powerful.
Creating a Phrase and Using It
There is no one way to create a phrase. It takes in a whole host of factors (your audience, who you and your company are at a basic level, etc.), and so the best thing I can do to help you come up with your own is go through a previous client phrase.
The phrase was, “Our favorite hometown.” Each word held special meaning in order to inspire future content.
“Our” is necessarily inclusive. It includes the fans, the client and me. We’re all working on this story together and we each play our own roles within that story.
“Favorite” refers to the fact that you could have multiple hometowns. Yes, there is the town you were born in. There is the town you choose to live in. And there are others that might have stolen a bit of your heart along the way. When compared to all of your hometowns, this one strives to be the best and the content should reflect that.
“Hometown” evokes a feeling. This client was not exactly a small town and not exactly mid-sized. So it has a lot of those vibes of nostalgia and yet you could get a lot of the amenities of a bigger town (which also fits into “favorite”). Content should be reflect that nostalgia while also showing new spins on it.
With all of that in mind, content just rolls off the tongue. We consistently look for fan content that fits into our phrase. We look at events and things to do through the lens of nostalgia and how it is better than anything else. And we have a bit of a bravado, because when you are trying to be the best, you have to act like you’re the best already.
So what is your phrase?