If you write better copy, you'll build a better business...
Whether you're writing a blog post, brand story, sales page or social media, these copywriting tips will help your content to really shine - and more importantly, to call out to your ideal clients! Because let's face it, in a business world where content is king, being able to write better copy than your competitors is key.
If you find yourself staring at the screen and wishing you could express yourself better, if you read through your content and cringe because it just sounds corny, clumsy and almost like it was written by a complete stranger, if you actively avoid things like writing your About page or next blog post because you hate that feeling of writer's block, well then this post is written just for you my friend...
So without further ado, let's get to the tips! I asked the opinions of a few professional copywriters too so keep an eye out for their pearls of wisdom as we go...
TIP 1: Write With Purpose
No matter what you're writing, whether it's your About page, some content for your website or even just a Facebook post, you should always have a purpose in mind. What do you want your copy to achieve? Without this step, your content is basically pointless. I'm guessing time is of the essence for you (after all isn't it for all of us?) so don't waste valuable minutes or hours writing copy without purpose!
Consider - what is the key message you're trying to convey? Is there a specific action that you want your readers to take? Is there a certain way you want your readers to feel? And don't forget, your purpose should relate back to your overall business goals!
Start with the end in mind. What do you want your copy to achieve? What do you want your audience to feel after reading your piece, and most importantly: what do you want them to do?
TIP 2: Write With Someone in Mind
In the same way that writing without a purpose in mind is pointless, so too is writing without an audience in mind. After all, how often do you find yourself just speaking out loud to no one in particular? (Actually, perhaps best not to answer that one!)
This is one of the reasons that it's so important to have a clear and specific picture of who your ideal clients are. It allows you to shape your message around them and to speak directly to them when you write.
You've met someone in your life who's a carbon copy of your ideal customer. So write the copy as if you're telling that person about an amazing chance to solve a long-term problem.
TIP 3: Use a Consistent Tone of Voice
Your copy is one of the key ways that you can make your brand more recognisable. Your readers should know your written voice in the same way that they would your spoken one. What tone of voice will you use for your business? Consider if your tone is appropriate to your reader. For example, you might write very differently to a teenager than you would to a middle aged businessman! How formal will your tone be? If you choose a more informal voice then will you use slang words and will you swear? All of these decisions should be made with your ideal client in mind.
TIP 4: Less is More
I'm not talking about length here - I'm talking about cutting out the waffle. If your content is 10,000 words long but full of valuable, relevant information then it's the perfect length. If it's 500 words long but full of fluff then it's too long! For EVERY sentence you write, you should be asking yourself if this is helping you to reach your content purpose. Is it helping you to express your key message? If the answer is no, then you should probably cut it out.
Focus on clarity. Nobody cares about how clever you are, if they can't understand your message.
TIP 5: It's About Them - Not You
This is one that a lot of people forget. Writing about yourself is important - you need to tell people about your experience and qualifications, you need to let people know your brand story and it's always helpful to share insights into your life, your beliefs and your own hopes and fears. While all of this CAN be valuable content, it needs to be written with our audience in mind. How does what you're writing relate to THEM?
For example, when you're writing about your skills and experience on your sales page, rather than just saying 'I made my first 6 figures in my first 6 months', you might say 'I made my first 6 figures in my first 6 months and I want to help you to do the same'.
When your ideal clients read your copy, it should feel like you've read their minds, you've understood their hopes, their fears and their frustrations and you've found the perfect solution.
Write as if you are speaking directly to your audeince.
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TIP 6: Let Your Ideal Clients Write Your Copy for You
In order to read your ideal clients' minds, you need to know them inside and out. You need to know what it is that keeps them awake at night and what it is that gets them out of bed in the morning. Learn as much as you can - the more you know, the more you can show empathy and the more impactful your copy will be.
The magic REALLY happens when you learn how your ideal clients describe their hopes, dreams, challenges and struggles and can then use those same words and descriptions back to them in your copy!
TIP 7: Your First Draft is Rubbish!
Most first drafts will be rubbish - but that's fine! The point of a first draft is to just get everything out of your head and on to the screen/paper. It may not be Shakespeare but it's a whole lot easier to go back and edit SOMETHING than nothing...
So get that first draft out, don't worry about how good it is and THEN go back and edit and tweak to your heart's content.
TIP 8: Bite Size is the Right Size
People skim read the vast majority of content that they see - especially online. By breaking up your copy with images and headings, you will make it easier for your readers to see your main points and the content itself will look less intimidating. There's nothing like a big block of text to get people immediately clicking away...
A good title and sub-headings, make it easy to read. Relevant images too.
TIP 9: Proof Read Out Loud
You may feel a bit silly but honestly, try it! Proof reading aloud has a couple of huge advantages. Firstly, if you're reading in your head, you will almost DEFINITELY start to skim read and be much more likely to miss mistakes. Secondly, when you read out loud you can hear the rhythm of your words and spot where phrases sound clunky or awkward. You'll find it much easier to sound natural if you hear yourself saying the words you've written.
If you can get someone else to have a read through for you too then all the better! Four eyes are better than two and all that...
Always let someone who isn't emotionally attached to your business review your copy for clarity and simplicity. Because business owners are so deep in their business, it's often hard for them to see that their copy is all complicated, full of logic or facts about their business, and no emotional persuasion.
TIP 10: Make Life Easy For Yourself
Take advantage of the various tools out there that can help you save time. For example, services like Grammarly may save you stress when it comes to checking your spelling and grammar.
Set yourself up for success by writing during the times when you're mind is sharpest and you're at your most creative. For me, that's first thing in the morning - but do what works best for you!
Lastly, think about what opportunities there are to create templates and swipe files for yourself to save time and effort later!
I'll leave you with one that I need to pay heed to myself. Exclamation marks are a bit of a weakness of mine...
Stop with the exclamation marks! They don't make dull sentences more exciting and they won't help sell a tired product or service. Instead they make you sound like an over excited teenage girl.
Before you go....
Don't forget to try these 3 simple exercises to hone your copywriting skills and start writing like a pro!
I've created a worksheet with 3 little exercises that you can try which will help you to strengthen your writing muscles and increase your copywriting confidence.
Pop your details below now and I'll send them right over to you!