If you’re new to this whole online marketing copywriting world, keep reading.
I am, too.
When I gleefully deleted “Freelance Copywriter” from my resume and began to build my online Health Coaching business, I was as horrified as you might be to learn that, to succeed online, I had to write copy.
A sh*t ton of copy.
Nobody tells you this part when they talk about starting a business.
But it’s as true as anyone over 40 saying: I can’t figure out Shapchat.
People talk about freedom.
And doing what you love.
And making all the money.
But writing? Nah. Not a mention.
Well, my friends, I’m glad we’ve found each other.
I’ve gone through the Rolodex of my days as an advertising copywriter and pulled out three tricks to improve your copy.
Keep these in mind when you write your emails, landing pages, website pages, ads, and blog posts.
It’ll seem less daunting.
Trick #1: Know your audience and talk to him/her
This is a biggie.
Entrepreneurs have a tough time with this and skip it all together.
I see it a lot in the coaching world.
You want to help ALL THE PEOPLE. But we all know what happens if you set out to help everyone, right?
We must choose ONE person with ONE issue that we can solve.
From there… you’re buttah.
HOW TO PIN DOWN YOUR AUDIENCE (a.k.a. Target Market, Niche, or Ideal Customer Avatar/ICA)
You want to ask yourself questions and answer them thinking about one person specifically.
Who are you talking to?
Where do you they live?
How old are they?
Where do they shop?
Who do they listen to? Follow? Read?
Where do they hang out online? Offline?
What do they struggle with?
What might they change with a magic wand?
THE BOTTOM LINE: Create a person. Give him/her a name and a face. Always speak directly to that person when you’re writing your emails, landing pages, websites, webinars, etc.
Trick #2: Write like you speak
This is the fastest way to find “your voice.”
Yes, you have a voice! You were gifted one at birth.
Let’s say you are offering a service, like coaching. And you want to write your About page for your website.
The best way to start is to picture your ICA (see above) and tell him/her what you want to say as if you two were chatting on the phone.
The way you’d tell a friend.
So, instead of:
Greetings readers. My name is Marnee Jennifer Horesh. I was born in Los Angeles. I always enjoyed going to the beach. A long time ago, I realized my life was passing me by, and I was not happy with the work I was doing. After a little contemplation and a lot of soul-searching, I decided I would look for something better. And now I am here to help you. Thanks for reading.
You might say:
Hello, my friend. I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so friggin’ happy I’m here, too. Growing up in Los Angeles, I fell into work that didn’t please me. At all. After years of suffering and getting to the root of who I wanted to be, I landed here. I can’t wait to help you.
See the difference?
The first example is a cold, somewhat boring, passive and shows you zero of my personality.
Also, I don’t talk like that. And neither do you. Do you?
Write the way you speak. Use your own authentic voice.
HOW TO “find” YOUR VOICE
It’s the one you hear when you speak in your head. Or when you’re on the phone with your friend. Or when you order your morning coffee. You know it well.
But sometimes, between your head and the computer screen, it turns into robot-speak. (See above.)
Here are some techniques you can use to get clear on what your voice sounds like and what it looks like on paper:
Record yourself talking. Imagine you’re talking with a friend and record yourself explaining why she should try your program or click on your link.
Write an email or landing page and read it out loud. Does it sound like the person you recorded?
Talk in the mirror. Look in the mirror, make eye contact, smile and speak.
Read it and teach it. Grab your favorite children’s book, read it and then explain it to a friend (or explain it in the mirror).
Now, review what you’ve come up with.
Does it sound like you? Do you repeat extra words (as in “like” or “um”) too often?
Sound tired? Drained?
Next, remove the fluff.
THE BOTTOM LINE: You already have what it takes. You need to see it to believe me.
Trick #3: Brain Dump before you draft
When you sit down to write, don’t think about your desired outcome.
Think about what you want to say.
And say all. Of. It.
Dance like nobody’s watching. But with words.
Write it all down. Nobody will read it.
This is the beginning of your first draft.
HOW TO write YOUR FIRST DRAFT IN 3 STEPS
Step 1: The brain dump. Start typing and don’t stop. Write everything that comes to mind, knowing you’ll never show it to anyone. (And don’t!)
Step 2: The break. Walk away. Take a break. Ideally, leave it for the next day, but at least an hour. Take a walk, a shower, a nap, eat some chocolate. Step away and don’t look back.
Step 3: The chop. Now start editing like a crazy person. Set a timer for 30 minutes and jump in. Move words around, cut. Cut some more. Keep cutting and rewriting. Can you say more with less?
You’ve got your first draft.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Assuming you can sit down and bang out a first draft is what’s stopping you from doing it. Nobody can do that. First get it all out of your head, then step away, then cut it down.
Oh, by the way, your first draft will suck.
And so will your second and third.
I’m telling you this so you’re not surprised when you see it.
Writing copy is hard.
But if you know who you’re writing for,
write like you’d speak with them,
and remove the pressure,
you’ll be golden.
Let me know how it goes.
Want more help? START HERE.