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The “Dinner Party Reply” Article Template
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"So, what business are you in?"

"So, what business are you in?"

Have you ever been at a dinner party, a family gathering, a child’s sporting event, or anyplace else where you were asked, “What do you do for a living?” or “What business are you in?”

Especially for those of us whose work is online, this can be a tricky question to answer.

When you get pulled out of your regular circle of people and are surrounded by folks who are totally unfamiliar with your niche, you’re starting from scratch, level one, the ground floor.

For myself it’s not enough just to say, “I own an automated content distribution service.”

If I say that to someone who has no idea what my business is about, they are still left with a dazed and confused look on their face. If I’m to give them any sort of a decent answer, I need to take a different approach.

That is what this article template is about.

It is helpful to look at your topic from the perspective of someone who is not familiar with your niche and to try to explain things to them.

Why do this?

You very well may have potential customers who do not know they need your help. You must help them come to that conclusion by explaining your topic in a way that they can understand.

As an example, my normal target market would be people who are interested in marketing their websites. That seems obvious. But what about business owners in general?

They might not know that they need to market their sites, but I know that they do. I need to give them some more education on what is involved in marketing a website and how article marketing can come into play.

What about you?

Is there an untapped target market that you have been overlooking?

Have you only been writing for readers who are already interested in your niche?

If so, try the “dinner party question” article template:

Step 1: Pretend that you are at a dinner party or anywhere where people tend to come up to you and ask you ice breaker questions like “What business are you in?” or “What do you do for a living?”.

Step 2: On a blank piece of paper (or a blank document in Word) formulate your reply. Pretend that the person who has asked you this question is in your untapped target market.

Your reply may be as long as you need it to be, but remember, you’re giving general information to this person you’ve just met who is in your untapped target market.

The guidelines:

  • Do not tell your business name or anything related to your specific business–remember, your listener doesn’t even know the first thing about your niche. The purpose of your reply is to educate them about your niche.
  • Do not use niche jargon–all of the words that you use should be readily understandable by your grandmother, your next door neighbor, your butcher, your son’s football coach, etc.

Points to cover:

1) What types of people do you serve?

What is the common denominator of all the people in your target market?

Again, using myself as an example, my answer to this would be that I serve business owners who have websites. That is the common denominator for my target market.

2) What are the benefits these people receive from your niche? Why are these people interested in your niche?

You may have to do some backward explaining to get up to this point.

An example:

I have formulated an example of the type of “dinner party reply” that this template will use. Here is my dinner party reply.

Heads Up…

Notice that I wrote it as if I was having a conversation with someone. I pretended that the person I was talking to was in my untapped target market. I focused not on myself, but rather on painting a picture of the situation and needs of those I serve.

My dinner party companion did not know that I consider him to be “one of those whom I serve”, but my goal was to show him (not convince, but show him) that my work is something that could benefit him. I let him reach the conclusion on his own, rather than try to make a direct sales pitch to him.

Notice that my reply was not about me and my business–it was about the people that I serve.

Now it’s time to extract your new article ideas…

Step 3: Look back over your reply that you have written out. Extract key topics from your reply.

For example, here are some of the topics I “extracted”:

  • Small business owners: What is the purpose of a website?
  • Small business owners: Why you need to market your website
  • How to get more potential customers looking at your website
  • How do links work?
  • What is Article Marketing?
  • How To Attract “Warm” Prospects To Your Site
  • How To Write Free Reprint Articles
  • How You Can Market Your Own Website

These are just a few, but notice that by writing out that dinner party reply for a person who is totally unfamiliar with my niche and is in my untapped target market, it helped me focus in on some more basic topics/questions that a person unfamiliar with my niche would need to learn about before being ready to use my service.

Hot Tip:

Notice that I focus on teaching people about my niche. I focus on showing my target market the benefits of article marketing. I don’t try to make a sales pitch for my business–this is a trick of the trade.

When you’re formulating your reply to your dinner party companion, remember you are not trying to sell anything. You are educating your new friend about how a person in their situation can improve their website, health, career, or whatever the benefits of your topic are.

Now, put your new ideas into action…

Step 4: Write articles on your newly discovered topics. Use a word count limit of 400-800 words.

Remember, do not use niche jargon or any technical language. Your article should be understandable to anyone in your untapped target market who is not familiar with your niche. The purpose of your articles is to educate them about basic key elements of your niche, rather than about your specific business.

When submitting these articles, the right spot for info about your specific business is your resource box.

What do you think–will you try this new template?

Just speaking for myself–I like this one. I’ve gotten at least 8 new article ideas out of it!

Photo by jasmined


NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"


13 Responses to “The “Dinner Party Reply” Article Template”

  1. Hi, A Great Appreciated Kick Off for 2010

    Great tips and informatiion that
    I will intend to use when writing
    articles.

    Regards,
    Author Eleanor Lynar

  2. Ramachandran says:

    Nice article.
    Thanks!

  3. Wayne Weeks says:

    This is really a great idea. Thanks for taking the time to put that together for us. I will be referring to it often.
    Have a GREAT 2010!
    Wayne

  4. Louis says:

    Steve

    The ideas in your dinner party question article template are very good. I intend to give it a try for my next few articles. Perhaps as you say it may help separate our articles from the million others in the same overcrowded niche.

    I’ve actually printed your article and will be following the template step by step.

    Keep those ideas coming, so we may all learn and benefit from an article-marketing expert. Thank you so much.

  5. alicia says:

    I like this article. It is basic and to the point. I always receive too much information from other people that seem to complicate matters. Thanks for all you do.
    Sincerely,
    Alicia C.

  6. Thanks for the information. I will certainly be implementing them from now on, and be referring to this article to get the juices flowing.
    With gratitude,
    Brenda

  7. David says:

    So many of my clients respond “Oh No!” when I suggest articles can be the key to bringing new clients. Your “template” offers a explanation that can be understood by anyone who’ll take the time to read it and in doing so, they’ll likely see the value of and “get” just how easy it can be to put together a “killer” article. I’m sharing YOUR article with MY clients!
    Thanks much,
    David

  8. Ana says:

    Your article was so right and answered all the unanswered questions for me. Thanks for that so from now on it is articles with a difference for me. Thanks.

    Ana

  9. Aomos says:

    Love your tip of the trade – also found your reminder when telling our dinner party friends about what we do – not to make it a sale pitch – I must say this is one that I fall into quite easily as I am so passionate about what I do and can get a little carried away. So from now on I will be more interested in telling them how they can improve their life. Thanks again for that. Keep doing what you are doing as you do it very well.
    Aomos

  10. Dianne says:

    Great tips using K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Stupid) Your article has inspired me and helped me off the launch pad! Now I got to go write!

    Keep up the great writing I’ve enjoyed receiving your “How To Write Outstanding Content Series”

    Dee

  11. Any business owner, online or offline, will be required to wear different hats from time to time. In the IM field, the two we most commonly wear are the “educator” hat and the “salesperson” hat.

    These two hats can appear to be in conflict.

    One trench of IM wisdom tells us to seek targeted visitors who come with a pre-qualified interest in our products and services.

    Another view tells us to provide knowledge and insight, to freely share our field experience – that in doing so, we will develop lifelong loyal readers and buyers.

    This brings to mind my own experience with a past client who was an outstanding producer of quality content – but was a complete failure at asking for the sale.

    So it’s important to realize the ultimate need for balance between our educator and salesperson hats – and to recognize when it’s time to change.

    At some point in our attempt to educate, we must inject a call-to-action element – an Order Here button.

    Otherwise, little or nothing will be bought or sold.

    And if no money changes hands, we will eventually find ourselves running a school …. not a business.

    Wishing all the best
    Dan B. Cauthron

  12. Priscilla says:

    As a beginner, this is wonderful information! Thanks!

  13. Andrew Toll says:

    What a great template. We have several employees that write our articles and many can benefit from reading this article. Glad I stumbled across this one.

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