Ever sat and wondered ‘how safe is my content’?
Writing content for business marketing often requires us to use storytelling and to share human experiences with our audience.
When storytelling you will, at times, be sharing personal experiences and situations which have led you to where you are today and shaped a particular value or belief.
This is a beautiful and human thing – to reflect, to share, and to connect on an honest and person-to-person level.
And, as a business owner, you can’t possibly know everyone who might come across your content, or how they might connect to or be impacted by your words.
As I’ve developed my ethical copywriting business, I’ve been keenly aware of the power of words to harm and to heal. With a decade of experience delivering trauma-informed therapy to thousands of folks, this is an area I’m passionate about prioritising in my business and hope that in sharing these tools they can support you in your business.
Here’s to open conversations and increasing fluency in safe and inclusive content and conversation.
The role of trauma-informed principles in business content…
Trauma-informed principles are a set of guiding ideals that can help you to make sure that your business content is written and shared safely – for you and for your audience.
Being trauma-informed or trauma means striving to do no harm – to be aware that different folks have experienced different levels of mental wellness, trauma, privilege and safety in their lives.
Applying these shapes the way we tell stories and share information and empowers others to decide how and if they engage with our content.
Applying trauma-informed principles to your business – a handy self-check exercise
Block out some time in your day, grab a cuppa, pen and paper and spend some time reflecting on the following questions:
- Safe: is your business environment welcoming and does it provide emotional and physical safety?
- Trustworthy: is your business sensitive to people’s needs?
- Choice-led: do you provide choice in how you offer your information and products or services? Do you check for consent before selling?
- Collaborative: do you communicate a sense of ‘doing with’ rather than ‘doing to’?
- Empowering: are you focused on empowering folks through your information and offerings?
- Respectful: do you respect diversity in all its forms and strive for inclusion?
How did you go? It’s natural to have areas where you’re already shining, and to have areas for learning and growth.
Celebrate the areas where your business is shining.
And, make note of where you would like to learn more or commit to increasing your understanding.
You probably won’t get it right 100% of the time – and that’s not the goal. Instead, the goal is simply to be open to learning, receiving feedback and working from an intent to offer clear, consensual and collaborative online business environments.
Striving to be trauma-aware in life and business doesn’t need to be complicated.
Simple steps such as including a ‘content warning’ or ‘trigger warning’ before a story or post that has details of a potentially triggering nature can go a long way.
Adding an alert like this empowers your audience to decide which information is helpful and healthy for them to engage with, and which information they will skip.
Content warning script for kind content:
One example is to include a post at the front of your article, story or post that states something like:
“The following [post / story] includes discussion of [x, y, z]. If you’d prefer not to see these today, please skip ahead. If you decide to read on, please nurture yourself around this content or read through it with a trusted support person by your side.”
This allows your reader time to action their consent in engaging with your content or choosing not to.
Same goes for you…
Remember to give yourself permission to be trauma-informed for yourself as well as for your audience.
This goes for the type of content you choose to interact with and also what you choose to share with your reader – you don’t have to share deeply personal stories in order to connect and engage – you can, but it’s not necessary unless this feels safe, and aligned with your values and boundaries.
As a trauma-informed mental health professional these are practices I lived and breathed for 10 years in the counselling room.
I’m now applying them within my copywriting business and here to support you to do the same.
Need help identifying trauma-informed approaches for your content? Let’s connect.
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