Brand Writing Quick Tip: Cornerstone Content

Brand Writing Quick Tip: Cornerstone Content

You know your blog is a major marketing vehicle for your interior design business. It’s how you communicate to your readers (and prospective clients) that you’re the bomb, that you know what’s happening in the interior design marketplace; that you create amazing interiors for your clients.

But it can – and should - be much more strategic for your brand message than that.

When I first learned about cornerstone content, I was like, “Duh!!! Where have I been?! Of course every blog needs this!” I mean, just the name ‘cornerstone’ means it’s foundational, people. All of our blogs should be built on it.

So what the heck is it?

Cornerstone content is simply a series of posts (not necessarily sequential or consecutive) that lay the foundation for what you and your business are all about.

Picture these posts as literally the 4 corners on which your brand’s house is built.

Cornerstone content illustration

(Please excuse my drawing – I don’t have a CAD person, but I inexplicably felt compelled to help interior designers visualize the corners of a house!)

It doesn’t have to be four posts – I recommend no less than three and no more than six. Once you have them on your blog, you can build on their themes in future posts. And by the way, you should link to your cornerstone content in your other posts as often as possible!

Your cornerstone blog posts aren’t client project features or product round ups or trend alerts. They’re specifically chosen and artfully told pieces of your brand story.

 What kinds of pieces might those be?

 ·      Discussions of your brand values and why you choose to embrace them

·      Stories from your past (personal or professional) that catalyzed or shaped how you do business

·      Stories about working with a client that deeply affected how you now serve all your other clients from the heart

·      Items (paintings, pieces of furniture, mementos, etc.) that are touchpoints for you in your design aesthetic

·      Iconic designers, artists, or fashion designers who have particularly inspired your aesthetic and / or business

·      Discussions of the main item or items that act as inspiration for most or all of your designs (fabric, artwork, statement pieces, etc.) and why you think they inspire you

·      A behind-the-scenes look at your creative process – Do you turn up Frank Sinatra or Twenty One Pilots while you design? Do you spread out on your studio’s worktable or sit on a floor cushion in your home office? Do you work with others or in solitude? Is there cherry limeade La Croix, coffee, or champagne involved?

The point with all of your cornerstone content is to pull back the curtain a bit and paint a picture for your readers of the heart and soul of your business.

Pack these posts with as much sensory detail as possible. Reveal a little something deeper about yourself and how and why you work as you do.

That all said there are a few big ‘Don’ts’ for your cornerstone content...

1.      Don’t be self-promote-y – as always, readers can smell a disingenuous writer

2.     Don’t overly guarded, but don’t make your readers uncomfortable either - keep the tone and details in the professional zone even when it’s a personal story

3.     Don’t forget to keep your brand message as the main point no matter what the subject (i.e. if you write about Charlotte Perriand, don’t give your readers her life story – just give them the details that relate to what shapes you as a designer; if you write about a book that inspires you, don’t give them a book review – tell them how the values or message from the book informs your business)

And the biggest ‘Don’t’ of all:

Don’t ever, ever, ever forget that these posts – as with all your posts – are actually not about you. They’re about your readers.

That means that if you don’t give them the answer to their inevitable question, “Why should I care about what you’re saying here?”, then you may as well not write it at all. You need to pick stories that directly affect what kind of designer you are for your clients, what makes you the person and business owner you are, what makes working with you a certain kind of experience. That’s the only reason why they’ll care. Give it to them in no uncertain terms.

If you take the time to put some deep thought into writing these few, key posts, your blog will be infinitely - and I mean INFINITELY - more strategic for your business by ‘baiting your hook’ perfectly to catch the kinds of clients you most want to work with.

It’s kind of like hunting for key investment pieces for your wardrobe!

Oh, no – did I just make you want to shop online when I meant to make you want to write your cornerstone content?!

Not sure what to say about that. But seriously, go write your cornerstone content, people.

Happy writing!

Deb

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