Ever heard of NLP?
NLP stands for neuro-linguistic programming.
Neuro as in the brain, linguistic as in language, and programming as in computers. In a nutshell, it’s using the power of words to re-program the brain and change behaviour. Not a million miles away from copywriting when you think about it.
I've always been fascinated by the power of language to influence and persuade. So many years ago I decided to train as a Clinical Hypnotherapist and then as an NLP Practitioner and it’s been the bedrock of my business ever since.
One of the most useful skills health writers can learn from NLP is how to enhance written rapport to increase reader engagement. To do that, you have to capture your reader's attention right from the start. That means using language patterns that suits the other person’s preferred communication style, whether their perception of the world around them is primarily visual, auditory or kinaesthetic / feeling.
Why is this important?
Because the words that have the greatest impact and convey the most meaning are those most closely aligned to the readers own preferred representational system.
We all have one sensory modality that we give preference to over the others and it's useful to know what this is so that you don't let that bias creep into your writing.
Consider the examples below and see if you can recognise your own language preferences.
Visual language patterns.
Do you see what I mean? How does that look to you?
I get the picture. That appears to be OK
Auditory language patterns.
That sounds good to me. Do you hear what I’m saying?
Tell me again.Listen, I’ve got an idea.
Kinaesthetic or feeling language patterns.
I need to get a better grasp of what you’re saying. That feels OK to me.
You need to get a grip of the situation. Let go and move on.
Can you recognise your own sensory preferences from these examples?
Even just listening to yourself speaking out loud for a while should give you a clue as to whether you are primarily visual, auditory, or feeling in your perception of the world around you.
Speaking your reader's language.
As a writer having an awareness of representational systems is important because it reminds you to cover all sensory modalities in your writing. The temptation, of course, is to write, as you speak, using your preferred sensory words to communicate your message. And because they are your words, you probably won’t even be aware if you are being biased.
But you need to appeal to all of your readers. Not just the ones who share your own language patterns.
Now that you know how to spot those, visual, auditory and feeling words, have a look back through your latest blog posts, articles or information leaflets and make sure that you use them all to make the greatest impact on your readers.
Whenever you are writing for your patients and customers, it’s important to choose words that will engage them clearly and deeply. Words that will paint a picture for them, strike a chord, or perhaps even touch their hearts.
If you have an interest in medical copywriting you’ll already know that its good practice to use sensory language throughout your copy but having some background knowledge of NLP can make your writing even more effective.
It's one of those little details that can help your business stand out amongst the competition.
Writing a blog is always a good idea if you want to grow your business, but it's easy to underestimate the time involved.
Not only do you have to create a content schedule, but you also have to research and generate each individual blog post and source appropriate royalty free images. You'll also need to think about where to place your most important keywords and when all that's done you'll need to find the time to actually sit down and write your post.
Enter the healthcare ghostwriter.
Hiring a medical ghostwriter can do all this for you. Quietly working away in the background on your behalf. If you're a healthcare business owner you'll probably be able to think of some good reasons of your own to hire a ghostwriter but here are the most common reasons I'm asked to write behind the scenes.
Top 3 reasons I ghostwrite for medical and healthcare companies.
1. You get more free time
Running a successful business takes time, and so does writing. Hiring a ghostwriter to work away in the background for you helps you see the bigger picture of where your business is going. It gives you much more time to work on your business rather than just in it.
2. Your ghostwriter does the research for you
A healthcare ghostwriter does one thing. They write. That means they are well practised in the skills that matter.
Getting someone else to do this for you not only frees up your valuable time, it also saves you the headache of learning how to do these things yourself.
3. A professional writer can give you fresh perspective
Typically all you need to do is give your ghostwriter some brief guidance on the topic you want to be covered and any keywords that need to be used. Then leave the rest to them.
Another huge benefit that is often overlooked is the fresh perspective your ghostwriter can bring to your work. A fresh pair of eyes can often see things that you can't, such as new or different ways to express your core message or engage with your readers. At it's best a ghostwriter can also turn out to be a valuable unseen member of your business team.
A good ghostwriter should be able to save you significant time and tell your story in an engaging way that provides each and every reader with something of value. But you know it's not all about blog writing. As a medical ghostwriter, I can write a variety of documents, all with your name on and credited to you.
Hi, I'm Anne, welcome to the Mind Body Ink blog.