Tag Archives: good writing for businesses

Writing copy that sells – 6 top tips

Book and pen

Writing copy that sells: Engage the reader

You’ve crafted what you thought was the perfect homepage, newsletter, blog or flyer – and you’re feeling pretty chuffed with yourself right now.

But it soon becomes clear that the only person who got excited about your masterpiece was you. So what are you doing wrong?

Good copywriting is not just putting words onto paper. Writing copy that sells is a skill that can make a real difference to your business.

The principles of good copywriting predate the Internet and apply to print and online text – the bottom line is – you’ve got to engage your reader!

Here are some copywriting tips to get you started:

  • Who is your customer? You can’t write anything worthwhile unless you know your customer. Think of some-one specific whose business you’re keen on getting and try to get into his or her head. Does he like Arsenal? Does she love expensive handbags? What makes them lose sleep? Call up a mental image of this person and imagine talking to him or her in the pub or over a coffee when you’re writing.
  • NEVER write for groups  Even if you’re writing something that you hope will be read by lots of people, you need to write as if you’re only ever going to have ONE reader. People switch off when they read phrases such as: “Many of you.” “Some of you.” They want to feel special.
  • Write the way you speak Lawyers and businesspeople often shake their heads at this point, assuring me that this type of writing doesn’t apply to their special customers. Not so. Even the wealthiest, snootiest potential customer is human and responds to good copy in an emotional way. There are not many people who’ll be persuaded to do something by someone who speaks as if he’d escaped from the pages of a Charles Dickens novel.
  •  Planning Before you reach for your laptop and start typing, take a piece of paper and a pen, pour yourself a glass of wine and jot down a plan for the blog post, newsletter, homepage, flyer. Start with a goal – what are you trying to achieve? Do you want your customer to call you, visit your online sales page or fill out a survey?
  • What do you want to say? Once you’ve nailed your goal, think about what it is you want to say – and here it’s important to think more about your reader’s needs rather than your own. So, you want your reader to know that you can sort out his finances? Think about how this will make life easier for him. For example, you could write: Do you want to spend more time on the tennis court or golf course and less time trying to stay on top of your finances? Why not let me take care of your finances, so you can work on your serve or improve your handicap.
  • Don’t forget a call to action  Tell your reader clearly what you want him or her to do now that you’ve persuaded them you’re the right person to contact. Link to your contact page or a page with more details of the offer you’ve talked about or the service you described.

I hope these tips will inspire you to experiment with your own copywriting – you’ll be amazed at the difference even these basic tips will make to your business communications.

Of course, if you’re rather be spending your time doing something else – why not let us help you work out who you want to talk to, what to say and how to write copy that sells.

Find out more about our new small business package here – designed to manage your online presence (and media presence if you need it) so you can focus on what you love to do.

Photo credit: Free Digital Photos.Net : Tiramisustudio

 

 

Create engaging content – tips for businesses

A computer screen bursting open with engaging content

Engaging content grabs eyeballs

Something’s really been bugging you lately.
Every time you click on a local website or even some national news sites read by thousands of your potential customers, your competitor’s face pops up.
And you know for a fact that she is definitely not better, prettier or more intelligent than you.

So what is she doing that you’re not?
Most probably she (or someone on her behalf) has spent quite a bit of time and effort creating nifty blog posts offering advice, writing engaging guest posts about industry trends and chatting up potential customers on social media.

What is engaging content and how do you create it?
Engaging content grabs eyeballs or stops people in their tracks – it gets online readers to stop and then get involved – subscribe to your newsletter, enter your competition, fill in your survey, load something in their virtual basket, comment on your blog or contact you.

3 tips for creating engaging content

  • Have a plan:

A local council appointed an IT company to run their Facebook and Twitter accounts a year ago.  They’re axing the company’s services because the council’s not seen any engagement on these forums.
Well, I’m not surprised. Letting techies loose on the council’s target audience of local residents without any clear strategy linking to the council’s overall goals, is a complete waste of time.(and taxpayers’ money)
Social media is one tool in your company or organisation’s communications toolbox and it needs regular, engaging and planned content.

  •  Find stories about your company

I’m willing to bet that the council has a wealth of stories that would interest local residents. Maybe they’re fighting a controversial planning application that is ruffling feathers locally.
A lively blog post – written in an engaging tone and inviting comments or a video interviewing a planner about the impact of the development, could boost SEO, attract media attention and be amplified on social media.
There’s no such thing as an unsexy industry. If you don’t believe me, send me an email and I’ll come up with 10 story ideas you can use to create engaging content.

Tip: Subscribe to top industry blogs to find out about the latest trends and then add your own fresh angles or simply comment on them in your own content.

  • Good writing:

Most people think they can write, but often they can’t. It’s a skill and it takes practice.
It starts with a good headline and an intro that grabs your reader’s attention – although headlines can’t be too clever or ambiguous online.

Identify keywords – what will your potential customer be searching for on Google – use those terms in your title, subtitle and sparingly throughout your copy.
Have a light touch – don’t overwrite, don’t overcomplicate or use jargon and don’t be afraid to let your sense of humour and character shine through.

Don’t waffle – get to the point quickly and have a call to action – what do you want your reader to do now he or she has read your post.
Let me know how you get on.

If you need help to identify ideas for engaging content, draw up an editorial calendar or communications plan or do some writing for you, contact me.