A lot of us started our businesses with passion, excitement, and little-to-no-knowledge of selling or the words that help us sell. Yep, I'm talking about copywriting.
If you’re thinking, how is copywriting relevant to me? then stick around, cause you’ll find that the copy on your website (or in your marketing materials) is without a doubt the cause of a yawn-worthy site or being booked out for weeks or months.
It’s time to step up our copywriting game and find out how we can use our words to do the selling for us.
Rule #1 of copywriting:
1. Know who you’re talking to
According to statistics you only have 5-8 seconds to grab someone's attention when they land on your site. I don't know about you, but that's not a lot of time to make a first impression.
So you need to know exactly WHO you're talking to and speak to them immediately.
If you’ve ever worked with a brand designer, you know that the first thing they have you do is fill out a detailed questionnaire asking specific questions about your ideal client. I do this with my clients too. Because the design is tailored specifically to reach that client - more to come on that in week 3 of this Elevate Your Brand Series.
Copywriters ask the same things. If you’ve worked with a copywriter, they want to know who you’re speaking to because if you don’t speak the language of your audience, they won’t connect with you and chances are, they’ll click off your site in a hot second.
You may be asking, how can I get to know my ideal client?
Have a chat with the people who get your newsletter.
Reach out and talk to someone who likes all your Instagram posts.
The people who follow along with you are your audience so get to know them.
If you DON’T have the audience you want, or you want a different type of audience you need to do some research and stalk the people you want to connect with. Not stalk... But you know what I mean. Get to know their likes, dislikes, what they are drawn to, styles, phrasing… because once you can speak their language, they will say “I feel like you're in my head!” because you kind of are.
Rule #2 of copywriting:
2. Have a goal in mind when you’re writing something
With any piece of marketing material, you need to have an outcome you want the reader to take.
Whether that be to donate, support, schedule a call, visit a local chapter, or subscribe... you need to have an obvious path you want the consumer to take and lead them down that path.
I see this all the time, and honestly, I used to do this myself, so no judging.
Someone launches a new website and their so excited and it looks pretty but there’s no path for the visitor to take. There’s no “call to action” at the bottom of the homepage, leaving the visitor to click out of the site, not knowing what to do.
The same is true if there are TOO many options. You don't want to leave your visitor overwhelmed with choices, that will also get them to leave.
Get simple, get focused and tell them what you want them to do.
The same rule of copywriting goes for your blog posts, and any other medium you put out there that has words written on it. You want to make sure you lay out CLEARLY what you want the person to do when they come to the end of the piece.
Whatever you want them to do, make it an action ("go," "schedule," "reply," etc) and make it obvious.
Rule #3 of copywriting:
3. Your website should be selling for you
I’ve been bringing up the website a lot but that’s just because a lot of us have websites and a lot of people will go to your site before hiring you… for the most part. And most of us have words on our site, so it’s important to get the website right.
I think we all understand that a website needs to be beautiful. Visuals get people IN the door so they’re interested in what you have to say, but the words make them stay. And that’s the truth.
A website is only as good as the words you have on your site so even if you have a beautiful site, you NEED great copywriting to get people to take action.
When clients hire me to design their website, some are surprised to find out that they need to provide me all the website copy. I don’t write anything on their site for them unless it’s a few tweaks here and there. I will give them “copywriting tips” in the beginning of the project to help them craft the words if they want to DIY, or I direct them to a copywriter I partner with because I understand the need and value of great copywriting.
NOTE: if you ever plan to hire a web designer in the future, you need someone who understands marketing and the importance of copywriting, otherwise, you’re wasting your money getting a pretty site but one that’s not actually working FOR you.
So.. how can you use your website to your advantage? What if you already have a good-looking site but need some help with the copywriting?
Glad you asked, here are a few tips::
• The headline
When someone lands on your site you need to immediately address:
• who it's for
• what you offer
• how it helps
Here are a few examples: Pat Flynn’s site, as soon as you land on it says “Learn how to build an ethical business fueled by passive income.” Immediately, he’s establishing that he’s talking to business owners who want to have a credible, business built on integrity and not scammy solutions by using passive income.
Lauren Hooker’s Elle and Company site’s headline is “Want to turn your passion into a successful, profitable business?” At once you know she’s talking to the entrepreneurs, to the creatives who are passionate about their craft who are interested in having a business that makes them money and one where they can live the life they want. And she opens with a question which makes it even more engaging.
So think about your headline. Do you even have a headline? If you don’t think through how you can make it sound engaging. Remember, Who it’s for + what you offer + how it helps.
• Calls to action
Like I said earlier, every page on your website should have a call to action at the bottom. Meaning there should be a clear path you want your visitor to take once they come to the bottom of a page.
Make these calls to action engaging rather than “go to the blog” find words that represent your personality and brand.
Do a website walk through of your site. Do you have dead-ends? Think through how you can fix each one.
• Clearly outline how someone can hire you
This one is important and maybe not as obvious, but you want to make the process for hiring you as simple as possible.
Taking it a step further and laying out your process is also very beneficial. This way, you're perhaps answering questions ahead of time, putting your potential customer at ease, and showing them you understand that they may have questions.
Is the process to hire you laid out well? Take a look and find out. If not, fix it ASAP.
We all need to take a step back and ask if our copywriting is helping us, or hurting us. And if it falls in the latter category, it's time to buckle down and make some changes.
If you want to read more about how to improve your website, check out these posts:
I would love to hear what you think about this topic.
Do you struggle with copywriting?
What is the biggest issue you have when it comes to copywriting?