When you’re writing marketing collateral, from website copy to printed brochures, it’s pretty normal to start with what you know.
But if you’re not careful, you’ll end up sounding like one of those annoying dinner party guests that just won’t shut up about themselves.
You know the type!
It’s all me me me ….. Enough about me. What do you think about me?
If you want to write copy that really connects with people, so much so that they actually keep reading, you need to make them the star of the story.
This post covers five no-fail ways you can transform your copywriting from a megaphone blast to your market to an intimate chat with your customers.
1. Walk a mile (or 2) in your customers’ shoes
Be as literal as you need to be to face the same challenges and work out what it is your customers really care about. Don’t assume you know and just pad your copywriting out with buzzwords that sound good.
If you’re a copywriter writing to someone else’s target market, this list will still help you to get into their headspace. The most important part of understanding your reader is to think about the why behind their actions – their motives.
2. Talk about benefits not features
You’ve probably heard this before but it can be harder than you think. A little copywriting trick I use is to imagine a stony faced customer responding to my explanation with a “so what?” … again and again and again.
I say: My copywriting courses have text, video and audio lessons.
So what? Well, that means that you can learn in the way that you like best.
So what? Which means you are more likely to remember what you’re learning.
So what? Which means when you go to write copy, you’ll be able to recall the techniques you’ve learned.
So what? Which means that you’ll write more persuasive and effective copy.
So what? Which means that your clients will be stoked about their copy and the results it achieves.
So what? Which means that come back with new work or refer you on to their friends.
So what? Which means that you’ll have a more successful copywriting business!
Ahhhhh … now you’re talking
That means that you don’t tell your customers about your widget, you talk about how your widget will make their life easier/happier/quicker/more comfortable/safer.
If you’d like to see this copywriting technique in more detail, sign up for my free copywriting mini-course.
3. Make it personal
Switching most of the instances of “We” for a “You” will immediately change the focus from the business company to the customer.
In fact, a good rule of thumb is to try and use the word “you” twice as much as the words “me” and “I” or “we” and “us”.
So rather than “We provide at home consultations for your convenience” you could say “To fit in with your busy schedule, you can meet a consultant in the comfort of your living room”
Another way you can give your copywriting a more personal touch is write about write about your readers’ challenges and frustrations. I particularly like using the Pain Agitate Solve (or PAS) copywriting formula for this.
4. Share stories and experiences from other customers
Reading about someone else having the same challenges will instantly connect your customers with your solution.
Testimonials and case studies show some proof that real problems have been solved, for real customers. And that’s what makes a business more credible to prospective customers.
Powerful testimonials cover areas like:
- How you helped them overcome their specific problem.
- How much profit they generated as a result.
- How the final product met their needs.
- Whether they were surprised by the service delivery.
- How they found the experience with you.
- Whether they would recommend you to their friends or colleagues.
Believable testimonials also include as much detail as possible about the author of the quote (but be practical and sensitive to the amount of information people want to share about themselves).
Which is more believable?
“Business Owner, 2011”.
“Belinda Weaver, Owner of Copywrite Matters, August 2011”
If you can get a photo, even better. Video testimonials blow the roof right off.
Case studies expand on the testimonial by creating a more detailed story. A strong case study outlines:
- The challenge, trigger or problem that led to the connection between customer and the business.
- The solution including the fix but also how the solution was delivered and any challenges that had to be overcome.
- The result of everyone’s hard work. The more specific, the better!
5. Use the same language as your customers
Whether you’re getting down with the young folk or pitching to a blue chip corporate audience, you can build a connection and rapport by using the same language and tone of voice as your customers.
When I talk about tone of voice, I’m talking about how a business expresses itself through the written word. Tone of voice covers the actual words, the order they are presented and the rhythm, pace and cadence.
It’s what you say and how you say it.
Kate and I dedicated an episode of our Hot Copy podcast to the tone of voice in your copywriting and it’s worth a listen.
Over to you
What do you think? Do you have any other tips you use to connect with your customers and make it all about them?
Like a prison escapee, dig deep and think outside the square to connect with your reader.