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Writing Compelling Content and The Future of Marketing: 10 Questions With Lauren Berger

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by David Garland in David's Blog, Interesting Entrepreneur

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Writing Compelling Content and The Future of Marketing: 10 Questions With Lauren Berger

fox-night1. What is your background and how did you become involved in writing?

For me, it was never about BECOMING a writer – I’ve always been a writer. I actually wrote my first book at the age of four. My writing style has improved since then, but I still have that fragile little book. I started out writing for myself: diary entries, short stories, lyrics, etc. Then I graduated to articles and blog posts, as that medium became readily available. I also studied English Literature and History in college. I figured, what better way to learn about the different voices of the ages and the historical context in which they lived? Then I started STL Scene and was able to start publishing some of my stuff for mass consumption. The freelance gigs were just a natural extension of what I was already doing with that.

2. There is the old adage that content is king in writing. What are some tips on writing compelling content?

I’ll answer your adage with another adage. “Write what you know.” The easiest way to write compelling content is to write what you are familiar with and passionate about. Nothing comes through in writing better than a genuine love for your topic. That kind of energy just reverberates off the page.

3. What mistakes do you see entrepreneurs and aspiring writers make when perhaps writing copy or a blog?

There are a few… I think number one is, of course, inadequate proofreading. I once read web copy where someone had misspelled the name of the product they were selling! I sent an email to the webmaster and got an offer to write and proof their content. I also see a lot of people doing what I call “putting on the Mensa mask.” They fill their copy with jargon and technical terms in the hopes that people will think of them as an authority. Instead, they confuse the average reader and inspire them to turn to other sources for information.

4. How can one improve their writing ability? Is this something that can be improved?

Writing skill can absolutely be improved! It just takes a bit of effort. Practice is key – I make sure to write something every day. It doesn’t have to be much, but with practice comes skill. I also read everything I write out loud, to make sure that it flows well.

5. You also have a background in marketing and public relations. Tell us a bit about what you have done.

I started in marketing and PR as an entrepreneur. I had just started a business (STL Scene) and needed to figure out how to get our message to as many readers as possible. That was grassroots marketing at its’ best! We’re talking stickers and flyers. We actually had a street team charged with getting the word out. I also worked at Boeing for a time, as a conference planning manager and learned the ins and outs of planning an event. Recently, I have been involved with event promotion and PR for several area businesses. I also do social media strategy and content creation for small businesses and area politicos.

6. This Sunday’s episode is all about marketing. What mistakes do you see small businesses make in marketing?

A lot of business owners seem to think that price promotions = more customers. This is appropriate at times, particularly in this economy, but it’s not always the answer. When people pay a price for a product or service, they are attaching worth to it. I love it when businesses find a way to add VALUE to their product or service, rather than slashing the price. You’re not always going to create a loyal customer with a sale. You may just find a savvy consumer who is always going to be looking for the best deal, whether you can deliver it or not.

7. You have $0 and just started a company. How would you get started marketing? Social media?

I’m probably a bit biased – but I definitely think that social media is key. You really can’t beat the bang for your buck (or in some cases, lack of buck) that you get with social media. If you have a compelling product and something to say on the subject, media placements are also a really good way to get the word out. Just make sure you understand how the various media outlets work and cultivate a relationship with key players.

8. Has social media changed the marketing game? Which sites and why?

Social media has taken advertising power out of the hands of the marketers and given it to the consumer. It is a beautiful thing to see. Staying in touch with your customers and creating brand advocates has never been easier. That being said, if you aren’t responding to your customers’ needs in an effective way, you run the risk of creating some pretty terrible word of mouth. That kind of transparency will really affect your bottom line. Twitter is one of my favorite sites. There are all kinds of strategies you can implement to start dialogue about your product and really hear and respond to what people are thinking.

9. Where do you see happening with social media in the next two years?

I think that social media sites are going to find ways to monetize what they are doing more effectively, through ad partnerships and sponsorships. I also can’t wait to see what SM sites come up with in terms of cross-platform experiences. Sites like are already coming out with ways to manage multiple accounts from one source.

10. What marketing trends for entrepreneurial companies do you foresee being important over the next two years?

Well, I see trends taking root now that will be incredibly important over the next two years. Pay-per-click ads are going to video. Mobile eCommerce is growing at an incredibly fast rate. Remember Miller’s “One-Second Ad” during the Superbowl? Actually, I was watching something on TiVo the other day and I was wondering when someone was going to come out with ads that would just flash across the screen when fast forwarding through commercial breaks.

Lauren Berger is a serial entrepreneur, writer, marketer, trainer and sometime radio personality from Saint Louis, MO. She started her first business, STL Scene, Inc., at the age of 19 and hasn’t looked back since. She is currently the owner of V3 Creative, LLC, a PR/Marketing and Social Media Strategy Services firm. She loves teaching people to fish, SM-style and can also make a mean Cajun gumbo. You can contact her at and find her on Twitter at @V3Creative.

Live Passionately! – David Siteman Garland – The Creative Opportunities Specialist and Entrepreneurial Chameleon –

PS: Are you a passionate entrepreneur or expert who has some valuable tips for The Rise To The Top audience? Let us know below or shoot us an email and you may be our next “10 Questions”

PPS: Thank you to the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur Michael Michaelowicz for listing our blog as one of the “Top 17 Blogs For Toilet Paper Entrepreneurs” We are honored to be in such AMAZING company!

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