To be frank with you. I’m tired of reading boring, bullshit, copy text. I know that it’s often a bit pricey to use a professional copywriter. And sometimes you have to put something on the air ASAP and there’s no time to brief anyone.
We all know that it is your content that will do the selling. Writing good copy is the most important thing in your company’s success in the market.
The only thing preventing the sale is that the buyer is not ready to trust you. It’s your job to earn your clients trust.
Master the Art and the Science of Persuasion.
After reading my DIY writers guide, you’ll be on your way to write like Hemingway in no time. Sit back and relax. Here we go!
1. The Tone of Voice Is The Secret Key To Get Your Customer’s Attention
First, I want to tell you a little story about one of my most loyal customers, Juha Ruokangas. When our co-operation began 20 years ago. He was a simple one-man business, and there was this text on his website front page:
“We make the best guitars in the world”.
We..!? He worked alone! The copy on Juha’s website was brave – but it was written either in a third-person point of view or in ‘we are’ -format.
The truth be told, that’s the way it’s done all too often, for several reasons: Such passive style is simply the most common way you’ve seen other companies do – or maybe you want your business to appear bigger than it is? Or… could it be that you are perhaps scared of something?
Juha was scared. He was so very passionate about his work and guitars, and he had so much to say – but he just couldn’t find his way around the corporate-like jargon. We worked closely together for years, developing his online presence step by step.
Eventually, the big breakthrough took place a few years ago, when Juha’s website was redesigned, and every word on it was rewritten from a completely different perspective. Now it was Juha talking in the first-person point of view.
After a few cautious trial sentences, he realized how liberating and easy it was to write this way! No need for fancy marketing acrobatics, but instead he could open his heart and soul, and tell the world why he does what he does.
“Music changed my life already as a child. I learned at an early age to channel my emotions – be it positive or negative – through music. As I track back my life, I realize that music has guided my way substantially – including the fact that I got swept off to the path that eventually led me into becoming a guitar maker. There was never a choice. It all just came along in a very natural, yet unyielding way.” – Juha Ruokangas
Yes! How can you not fall in love with that? And that is what great stories are all about: Striking a chord that resonates in other people on the emotional level.
So, Did We See a Difference by Changing the Tone of Voice?
I will tell you later because I think it needs a chapter of its own! It’s a good story worth the wait, I promise.
Your Tone of Voice is a Combination of These Three Things.
- Personality – What makes you unique.
- Style – How your brand presents itself.
- Beliefs – What your brand’s mission is based on.
Think of it like this. Your TONE is how you want others to see you. It’s most natural to use your very own VOICE to state what you believe in.
There is Actually a Little More Science Behind My Claims.
When you talk to your client as a human being, you are also more likely to use active voice instead of passive. Active voice is more convincing, engaging and more likely to drive action. Leave passive voice to politicians. Passive sentences suck the life out of your content. Let me show you an example.
Which slogan you think would sell better?
I rest my case.
TIP: Use Hemingway Editor to improve your writing. It’s completely free. Hemingway writer is sometimes in contradictory to Yoast SEO. I have decided to stick to the Hemingway writing style all the way myself. I told you that you are going to write like a Hemingway!
3. Do You Want More Sales? Use Emotional Power Words in Your Headlines
In today’s world of Google, we also need to make sure that our headlines are search engine optimized. Here’s how you do that.
Start by doing keyword research. (Read more about SEO here.)
People love the idea of getting something as low effort possible. Appeal to that emotion. People also love saving time and money.
Don’t write your headline for what your product is, what it does and so forth… Add also how it does it, at what time and what is the outcome. Use emotional power words to get people excited!
Here’s an example:
A. Tools to Grow Your Site.
B. Free Tools to Automate Your Site Growth.
I added these emotional power words:
“Free“. People love things that are free. Free things always get an extra look.
“Automate“. People like things that require no effort.
“Growth“. Appeals to our greed.
You get the idea. I recommend taking a close look at this article next time you are writing a headline. sumo.com/stories/headline-formulas
Use Numbers in Your Headlines.
People tend to click more headlines that have numbers in it. Odd numbers get more clicks than even numbers. Why? Uneven numbers suggest that there is proper research behind the numbers. Next time you see a headline with numbers, I bet you that it’s an uneven number.
But whatever you do with numbers. For the love of God, do not use “easy as 1-2-3” in any circumstances! It’s so 90’s, why not grow a mullet while you’re at it…
“The sole purpose of the first sentence in an advertisement is to get you to read the second sentence of the copy.” – Joseph Sugarman.
Note: Superfluous Adjectives are NOT Power Words.
People want to add flair and glare to their offering using unnecessary adjectives. “Awesome”, “amazing”, etc.. for example. Trying to make writing more exciting often gives the opposite effect. It can kill the user experience for people who want information
Adverbs are unnecessary and many text editors suggest you to remove them. If you need to have an adjective, please do not put the adverb into the mix. Example of good use of an adjective, with an unnecessary adverb: She is an incredibly amazing singer.
“Flowery adjectives and adverbs are the enemies of content clarity and credibility.”
– Scott McKelvey
Now you have a couple of tools to start improving your headlines. Headlines are not where DIY marketers got everything wrong. So let’s move on to more important things.
4. WIIFM? What’s In It For Me?
Companies have ‘all about me’ syndrome. You should know that your clients are not interested in you. They’re interested in themselves. – Dale Carnegie
A Common Agenda is More Important Than Yours.
Figure out a way to not talk about your company or product. Instead, talk about what it would do to your customers. That way they could visualize how it would benefit them! Your text will be way more interesting to the reader.
What’s in it for me? Is the question everybody has in their mind when they’re reading your copy. It doesn’t matter if the reader is a business manager, CEO, hobbyist, teacher, worker. Everybody is thinking about what the product or service could do to them on a personal level.
When you switch the WE language to YOU language. Your content becomes much more engaging to the reader. Apply this technique to all your writing, email, web, brochure, or any type of sales copy.
5. Turn Your Features into Benefits to Make Your Product or Service 200% More Desirable.
Again. People don’t care about your product or services. They only care about what it can do for them. Sell the end result, not the product.
Benefits are wired in our brain to desires and desires will activate purchases. Here’s a super simple exercise professional copywriters use to turn features into benefits. You will love this!
Feature X + So what? = The benefit.
“This bike has 32 gears” (Feature.)
“No matter how long distance or deep of a hill you want to climb. 32 gears will make your travel smooth and effortless.” (Benefit.)
So What About Services? Glad You Asked.
“Artificial intelligence assistant.” (Feature.)
“Scheduling sucks!” (You can see the benefits right?)
The Benefit of The Benefit.
These are the ones that speak even deeper emotional level. This is where it really counts. Tell how you can solve your client’s problems or how they get more about what they want. It’s a guaranteed way to get your readers undivided attention.
Writing The Benefit of The Benefit is Easy as 1+1+1!
Feature X + So what? + so what again? = The benefit of the benefit.
“Artificial intelligence assistant” (Feature.)
“AI will do boring and laborious work for you.” (Benefit.)
“By knowing you have everything in control, you can sleep tight at night.” (Benefit of the benefit)
Funny thing is that by putting benefits first, you are also writing SEO friendly content. You write exactly the type of content that ranks high in Googles search engine page results. Without even putting too much effort into it!
Differences Between B2C and B2B
Many B2B owners make the mistake of thinking there is no personal value to sell to their clients. They are missing enormous opportunity to appeal them on a personal emotional level. It’s people who decide whether to buy from you or not. Not the damn building!
B2B purchasers are 50% more likely to buy a product or service when they see a personal value. Don’t believe me? Check out this study made by Google.
In the B2B buying process, there is usually more than one person involved in the buying process. Instead of trying to make your text compact to fit the needs of all. Try to identify your customer persona at every level and create content to satisfy them all. That way you show understanding and expertise in all areas of the business.
To Sum it Up.
Paint a picture in your client’s mind, how his/her life could be after they have purchased from you. Be a problem solver! Not at all difficult when you think about it right?
6. Start With Why Who.
Before starting to write your copy text, it’s a good idea to think about what is your client’s persona. You want to speak with words that are common with your audience. That way you earn their trust and respect. Think about how it would benefit your writing if you would know these things from your clients:
→ Age, demographics, education
→ Industry, Job title, experience, skills, income
→ Career goals
You can get to know your customers from data available in a CRM. You can approach them directly. Send surveys, monitor social media, and read reviews.
Tools to Help You Understand Your Target Customers:
You don’t hit in the nail at first try, but over time you will. When you know your customer well, you can write copy that clicks with your reader every time. You know which words, ideas, and values convince them to take action. When you write for everyone you end up writing for no one.
For a Long Time, I Believed That You Should Start With ‘Why’.
If you live in the twenty-first century. You have heard Simon Sinek’s ‘Start With Why‘ lecture one too many times. If you haven’t, you should do that right now. It makes all the sense for sure. You might even get inspired – I did too! Your peers will convince that you need to figure out your ‘why’ before you can write good copy.
It’s next to impossible to figure out your ‘why’ without knowing who is the persona you are selling to. So start with ‘who’ instead.
7. How to Plan Your Text and Set Meaningful Goals?
You wouldn’t buy a car without knowing what you want from it, don’t you? It would be a disaster to know it only has a two-seat when you want to take your family to your parent’s house.
What is Your Desired Outcome?
- What you want your reader to KNOW after reading your story?
- How you want your reader to FEEL?
- What type of ACTION from the reader you want?
One good idea is that you start your writing from the end. Write the ending first, so you know where your writing needs to go.
When you know how you want your reader to feel after reading your copy. You can keep the style consistent and along the way come up with ideas to enforce that feeling.
Call To Action.
When talking about marketing related text. We need to plan what is the call to action (CTA). This is not the time to be a shy partner. Be clear what you want and tell the reader what to do next.
⇨ Buy now
⇨ Contact me
⇨ Book a demo
⇨ Sign up for the newsletter
⇨ Read another article
Hint on urgency.
Make the reader feel that they miss an opportunity if they don’t act immediately. This will increase your conversion rate.
2. Why Storytelling is The Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains.
Wait a minute! Should this second tip be after the first one? Uhm… No, because it would kinda spoil my opening story.
People Love Good Stories.
There is no better way to start an article, blog post or whatever than an engaging story. It has been copywriters secret for ages. That way the writer can create emotional bonding with the reader.
Cliffhanger Story is Even Better.
So – did we see a difference after we changed Juha’s tone of voice? We sure did! One of the immediate effects was, that he got a 235% increase in newsletter subscriptions almost overnight. This happened despite the fact that we moved the contact form from fold to the bottom of the page. It was clear that people would now spend the trouble of reading through the content. They identified with Juha’s words and wanted more.
Write From Your Heart and People Will Listen.
The most significant effect was, however, that Juha’s own perspective shifted. He started seeing his purpose in the business in a different light. He found the courage to approach his clients with increased transparency. He started taking a stance in matters he saw important. Gradually, he has claimed his position as one of the most authoritative figures in the world of contemporary guitar making.
Juha is a co-founder and the vice-president of EGB (European Guitar Builders association), the organizer of The Holy Grail Guitar Show – the largest international exhibition in the world dedicated for the art of hand made
Today, Juha continues making the best guitars in the world in his workshop in Harviala, with his team of guitar makers. But he doesn’t need to say “we’re the best in the world” anymore. His clients say it for him.
Juha doesn’t want to sound like a corporation, because he isn’t one. He wants to sound like a human being, talking to another human being. Such a text is very effortless to read, and easy to engage to.
Yes, it is scary to be genuinely open. When I do that, I inevitably put myself into a vulnerable position. What will people think? What if they will laugh at me?
Well, I have good news for you regarding that fear. When you take the leap and open your heart, you’ll notice that it’s only the fear that dies, and what you gain instead is a new sense of authority. You’re being brave. People respect that.
The Third Person Talking.
Sometimes thou, you can’t avoid the third person talking. If it’s more conversational to use third person talk, then you should use that. The story is more important.
8. BONUS! Why Do So Many Companies Fail to Get Newsletter Subscribers?
Now you know that people want to be treated as individuals. You know how to set goals and we talked about Juha’s emails. I guess it’s a good idea to talk a little bit about newsletters. It’s still a good marketing channel and if someone says it’s not. Don’t listen. They simply don’t know how to do proper email marketing.
Write Your Email as You Would Write to a Friend.
We know how people hate spam in their overcrowded inboxes, so you need to remove that risk. When you ask them to join your newsletter, they want to know that they are not receiving corporate spam.
They want to get mail from real people. People like you! When you wrote your marketing material as a real person, they can rest assured you are not wasting their time.
Before signing up to your newsletter. Tell them that they get something that has value in the minute they push the send button. An article, tutorial or course they can’t get anywhere else. Video or direct message. 10% off or anything that has real value or benefit to them.
- Offer exclusive deals and discounts
- Run sweepstakes or a contest
- Give away free content
Write a Different Message to Every Web Page.
If they didn’t order the newsletter on the last page, you might get them with a different message? If not that, at least you are not sounding spammy and that’s important!
You don’t open a spammy looking newsletter, so why would anyone else? Use a conversational tone and be direct. Address your reader by name if possible.
Emails are a sidetrack here but I wanted to use this opportunity to show you a real-life example. Now you have an example of how to increase conversion rates using everything I told you earlier.
I gave you seven tricks on how to make your writing better. It’s not a complete guide on how to become the best copywriter in the world. Heck, I’m not even copywriter myself! But with these neat techniques alone, you will improve your writing a ton.
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share this article with your peers if you liked it. It would make my day! 🙂
My friend, I see you in the next article!
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