We’ve all been there …
You speak to a new client. You’re excited to work with them. You’ve signed an agreement. Yay! This is going to be fun.
But when you start writing their web copy, you begin to feel a little insecure.
Is your copy good enough? Do you really understand their business well enough?
Writing for a variety of clients is great.
You get to know different people and different businesses.
But it can be challenging, too.
How can you learn enough about each business to make each client happy? How can you write copy that converts so your clients can grow their business?
1. Sneak into the head of your reader
“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut
When you don’t know who you’re writing for, you can’t write good copy.
Before you start writing, ask your client who their ideal customer is:
- Is he male or female?
- How old is he?
- What is he looking for? And how does your client help him achieve his objectives?
- What makes him feel frustrated? And how does your client take these frustrations away?
- What type of language speaks to him most strongly? Formal or informal? Rebellious or friendly? Streetwise or business-like?
After you’ve written your copy, imagine yourself phoning the ideal customer and reading your copy aloud to him. Are you inspiring him to buy? Are you taking away his objections to buying? Or does he slam down the phone because you sound so ridiculous?
When you know who you’re writing for, your copy becomes engages and seduces the right people. And that makes your clients happy because they’ll gain higher quality leads.
2. Dig up the details that make a business special
When you don’t understand enough about a business, your copy becomes wishy-washy, watery and ineffective.
Only when you understand the specific details, can you make your copy credible and compelling.
“When people perceive certain general statements as puffery or typical advertising babble, those statements are at best discounted or accepted with some doubts. By contrast, statements with specific facts can generate strong believability.” ~ Joe Sugarman
Learn as much about your client’s business as you can. Never be afraid to ask more questions, for instance:
- When a client tells me their facilities are state-of-the-art, I ask them to explain to me why this is the case. What makes their facilities so special? What makes their facilities better than their competitor’s?
- When a client tells me their customer service is excellent, I ask them to give me specific examples of how they treat their customers.
- When a client tells me their customers are looking for modern interior design, I ask them to explain exactly what makes a modern interior appealing. And I ask for examples of the type of interior designs their clients admire.
Learn more details about a business, so you can write copy that’s more specific, credible and persuasive. That’s how your client can win more business thanks to your copy.
3. Focus on benefits
Readers aren’t interested in your client’s products.
They’re not interested in your client’s company.
They want to know how they can benefit.
Clients are often so wrapped up in their products and services that they forget what’s in it for their customers.
“The most frequent reason for unsuccessful advertising is advertisers who are so full of their own accomplishments (the world’s best seed!) that they forget to tell us why we should buy (the world’s best lawn!).” ~ John Caples
Your job as a copywriter is to translate features into benefits. Features are facts about a product, while benefits explain what’s in it for customers.
Always ask your clients why a customer should care about a feature. How does it make their life better? What problems does it take away?
4. Keep your web copy concise
Long sentences and long paragraphs make your web copy drab. They’re not inviting. They wear your readers down.
How can you be more concise? And keep web visitors reading on?
- Make your copy easy to scan by using straightforward headlines and subheads.
- Don’t be overly clever. Instead, use simple terms to get your message across.
- Use bullet points. Because they’re easy to scan.
- Avoid copy sagging under adjective sludge. Highlight all adjectives in your draft copy, and remove as many as you can.
Word count doesn’t indicate the value of your copy.
In contrast, your writing is most valuable when you communicate a clear message concisely.
5. Be compelling
What’s the purpose of each web page?
What would you like your reader to do next?
Should readers pick up the phone to call your client? Or should they sign up to an email list? Or buy straightaway?
Understand your client’s sales funnel, and how the website (and your copy!) should contribute to sales. Agree on website objectives and a call-to-action for each page.
Make your calls-to-action crystal-clear, and conversions will go up, making your client happy.
The Truth About Your Client’s Copy
To write persuasive copy, you have to become a super salesman, a supreme marketer and an excellent psychologist.
Get to know your client’s business at least as well as your client does.
Sneak into the head of their ideal customer. Tap into their desires and dreams; and take away their objections to buying from your client.
That’s how you write persuasive copy. And that’s how you make your client deliriously happy.
And happy clients means more business for you, and more referrals and higher fees.
About the author
Henneke Duistermaat is an irreverent copywriter and marketer. She’s on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and to make boring business blogs sparkle. Get her free 16-Part Snackable Writing Course for Busy People and learn how to enchant your readers and win more business.