Were you the kid in school who loved creative writing assignments? (Not my favorite.) How about research papers? (I could take ‘em or leave ‘em.) Did you thrive on persuasive essays? (That was always my sweet spot!)
Copywriting is a weird mix of all three disciplines. It requires building an engaging storyline. And giving all the necessary information. And convincing your audience to take action.
If you’re writing for your own business, there’s an added layer of complexity: emotions.
Now, I’m the first one to advocate for using emotions in copy! But when emotions are driving the bus, we create some pretty significant blocks for ourselves.
Fear (keeps us stuck, without taking action to move forward)
Anxiety (overthinking every word of every project)
Excitement (moving too fast and making silly mistakes)
Overwhelm (trying to do too many things at once, lowering the quality of our work)
So how can you overcome these challenges? It depends on where you are in your entrepreneurial journey.
Already Making a Profit? Hire Help!
If your business is established and you’re in the black, hiring a professional copywriter is a worthwhile investment that will catapult your business forward.
First of all, someone like me will save you a ton of time.
Would you rather spend umpteen hours fighting with your website and email copy? Or does serving your people sound more inviting? Imagine how much more energy you’ll have when you’re outsourcing the stuff outside your zone of genius!
Secondly, a good copywriter is trained. We immerse ourselves in the world of marketing. We’re continually learning new tactics and techniques. And your business can reap the rewards of our expertise!
Still in the Early Stages? Learn the Basics!
If your business isn’t drawing in enough revenue to justify outsourcing your copywriting, it’s time to buckle down. New business owners, especially solopreneurs, have to wear multiple hats.
The copywriting hat is one of the most important. Really it’s second only to the hat you wear as a service provider or creator.
Without well-written copy, you won’t be able to attract and engage an audience of paying customers. Your messaging allows you to connect your product or service with the very people who need it. So invest your time into figuring out how to craft messaging that converts!
Now, don’t worry. I won’t leave you hanging on the cliffs of despair! Here’s a tip to help you improve your own copy.
The Law of the Three C’s
Once you have a draft of your copy, read it over with these questions at the forefront of your mind:
Is this CLEAR — even to someone with no background information?
Is it COHESIVE — creating a logical path my audience can follow?
Is my writing CONCISE — giving the reader what they need without overwhelming them?
Listening for Clarity
My 6th-grade teacher used to ask our class if her explanation was “clear as mud.” Try to be more clear than that!
Read what you’ve written out loud. How does it sound? Is it easy to understand?
Make sure you’ve avoided unnecessarily complex or jargon-y words.
Creating Cohesive Copy
Your writing should flow along nicely. If you hop around between too many different ideas, you’ll confuse your reader. And if your reader gets lost before they get to the buy button… you’ll lose the sale.
The ideas you’re stringing together need to actually work together. Ask yourself, “Does this idea belong here? Does it relate to what comes before and after?”
Ever found yourself staring at a wall of text? How did it feel as a user?
Humans’ attention spans are ridiculously short, especially on digital media. It’s just the way our brains work! That’s why brevity is a hallmark of effective copywriting. (And it’s why I never charge by the word! Can you imagine the person who wrote Nike’s tagline accepting $.03/word?!)
So give your audience what they need in as few words as possible. Besides, the quicker they get to the point, the faster they get to that BUY button!
Watch Out for These Common Mistakes
Writing your own copy means you have to step outside of your own head and write to a very specific goal. These are the traps I see business owners stuck in:
Get focused! What do people really need to know? And what do you need them to do? Keep it brief, but specific.
Forgetting to proofread
Always, always, always proofread your material. I recommend reading it out loud, which makes it easier to catch errors.
Better yet, have someone else go over it to catch anything you may have missed.
If you’re warm and welcoming on one page, but sterile and standoffish on another, you’ll lose your audience’s trust.
I recommend making a tone guide for your business. How do you want to sound? What feeling do you want to evoke? What words represent your brand, and which will you avoid at all costs?
Stay consistent all the way through your website and all other copy.
Writing without an outline
It’s surprisingly easy to start rambling on once you get over that blank-page-blinking-cursor hurdle. Use an outline to make sure you stay on topic.
Well, you’ve made it this far, so I’m assuming you’re trying to write all your own copy. And you’re probably not ready to hire someone to write on your behalf. Wouldn't it be nice to have a professional available to look over your work?
I'm here, and I'm creating a community just for you! We’re launching soon, so stay tuned! If you’re interested in getting the details once we’re open, sign up for the waitlist!