10 tips for writing copy that sells
Every small business owner needs to be a content marketer these days. Blog posts, social media content, email newsletters… the amount of copy you need to write on a weekly basis is staggering, especially when you’ve also got customers to serve and a business to run. So how do you make sure you’re getting the best return on the time you spend writing? Our top tips for writing copy that sells will help every small business owner hit the mark, every time they hit ‘Post’…
Talk about benefits, not features
The features of your product or service might be what your customers are looking for, but it’s the benefits that they really care about. After all, it’s the benefits of what you’re selling that bring value to your customers. Benefits are those little things that improve and enhance your customers’ lives – like saving them time, removing unwanted hassles from their lives, or helping them make sustainable purchase decisions with your product’s eco credentials. The features are purely and simply the attributes of your product or service; the benefits are what make the difference.
As the sort of person who has set up, built and made a success of their own business, there’s something pretty special about you – and your customers want to hear what that is
Big-up what sets you apart
As the sort of person who has set up, built and made a success of their own business, there’s something pretty special about you – and your customers want to hear what that is. What makes you different from your competitors? What are they crap at that you excel at? Where do they fall short and you absolutely nail it? Without battering your competitors with the bitter stick, articulate why buying your product, from you, is the only sensible option.
Know your audience
Even if you’re selling something that can be used by anybody and everybody, you can’t talk to all people in the same way at the same time. Spend some time drilling down the attributes of your primary target audience for every email, social update or blog post – age, gender, location, interests, occupations, income, problems – and then speak directly and only to them. Knowing who you are talking to will help you decide what you need to say and where you need to say it, and that will ensure you can build the most meaningful connections.
Spend some time drilling down the attributes of your primary target audience for every email, social update or blog post – age, gender, location, interests, occupations, income, problems – and then speak directly and only to them
Talk about them, not you
Your readers don’t give a monkeys about how great you think you are – they want to know what’s in it for them. So tell them. Focus on your readers – on who they are, what they need, what their daily lives are like and what their problems are. When you can demonstrate that you understand them fully – that you can identify with their problems and concerns and know what makes them tick – they’ll be more likely to believe you know exactly how to help them.
Understand your platform
Whenever you’re writing content, the way you intend to share it should be front-of-mind at all times. Is it a Facebook post? A blog post? A sponsored ad in the local newspaper? Where you are going to publish your content will determine everything from audience and tone of voice to layout, word count and imagery, so the way you write should always be tailored to the platform. Start each copywriting project with the platform in mind and work backwards from there.
Your readers don’t give a monkeys about how great you think you are – they want to know what’s in it for them. So tell them
Avoid technical jargon
In the same way most people don’t really need to know the features of a product (beyond the fact that they’ll meet their needs, of course), they don’t really care about the technical information and they don’t want to be bombarded with jargon. Unless they’re an engineer or a developer, they only want to know about the benefits, the possibilities and the lifestyle enhancements your product will bring. Give them access to the technical specifications by all means, but don’t have it front and centre in your marketing materials – that’s not what they’ve come looking for.
Encourage them to act
The best copy in the world is not going to get you any sales unless you’re actually asking people to buy… and then making it easy as possible for them to do so. Every piece of content you push out should contain a strong call-to-action (CTA) and a fuss-free way for your audience to take that action. A ‘Buy it now’ or a ‘Send us a message’ button that lets them take immediate action will massively improve the chances of your copy converting into sales.
Every piece of content you push out should contain a strong call-to-action (CTA) and a fuss-free way for your audience to take that action
Back up your words with numbers
Numbers and statistics are a great way of lending credibility to your words (and your business) by making your claims solid and quantifiable. But, whatever you do, don’t get caught in the trap of making bold claims to make yourself sound better – unless you can prove your numbers as 100% accurate, you risk them coming back to bite you on the arse. Better to be honest with genuine figures that aren’t quite as ‘impressive’, than discredited and untrusted by being caught in a big fat whopper.
Let others do the talking
The most persuasive copywriters your business will ever have is a legion of existing happy customers. They are your most effective brand ambassadors, and you should work in their words of praise at every given opportunity. Plaster your 5-star reviews over social media. Pepper your blog posts with snippets from testimonials. No copy will ever be as compelling for prospective customers as people who have already had an amazing experience with your business and your product.
… whatever you do, don’t get caught in the trap of making bold claims to make yourself sound better – unless you can prove your numbers as 100% accurate, you risk them coming back to bite you on the arse
Proofread before publishing
There’s very little that will damage your credibility quite like a whopping turd of a spelling or typing error. You need to make sure the words you are sending out into the world reflect the level of quality you want people to see in your products and your business. Having someone look over your copy before you hit ‘Publish’ might take a bit more time in the first place, but it will almost certainly spare you reputational damage that could affect your business for months.
Copy that sells, without you having to lift a finger
For many small businesses, the benefits of paying a professional to write their blog posts and emails far outweighs the financial cost. If this is you, and you’d rather outsource your copywriting so you can get on with running and growing your business, give Comma Chameleon a shout. We’ll make sure your copy is working hard for your business, and you won’t have to lift a finger.