Writing effectively about your business takes a few stages to master. The problem is many businesses prematurely publish. They stop just as they needed to get started.
Stage One – It’s All About You
The first stage is getting clear who you are and what you offer. You also need to spend time clarifying what result or outcomes you want from your brochure, website or other writing.
If you hire a marketing consultant, often they will design a communications matrix at this point, where they list out your main target clients or stakeholders, the desired results you want from each stakeholder group, and the channels you will use to communicate with them (such as a brochure etc).
The problem is that many businesses stop there. They go through this process and then hit publish or print, and wonder why their door is not being beaten down.
No client is as enamoured of your business as you are. If you write something along the lines of “Our goal is to be the best in the world at producing widgets. We want to meet with new clients in order to engage and build future relationships for when they need widgets,” your potential clients will be gone faster than a politician’s promise after election time.
All of the first stage of your thinking should never go anywhere near a client or a public forum. It is purely an internal strategy process to help your business gain clarity.
Stage Two – It’s All About Them
The second stage of effective copywriting is when you get clear on what your clients are looking for. This is where you need to get some clear data on their needs and wants.
You need to know the words they use when looking for a product like yours, as well as the concerns and issues they have that need to be addressed before they will buy. You need to walk a mile in their shoes, and empathise with their issues and their concerns.
One size does not fit all. The concerns and language that a professional person uses, are different to the concerns of an office admin or a mum trying to fit in buying your product or service around looking after kids and holding down paid employment. Unless you understand this difference, and target accordingly, your results will be wishy washy and vague.
This is where you could add in a few columns to your communications matrix – adding in lists of your client needs, wants, concerns and some general information about each stakeholder group.
But don’t write your brochures or website at this stage, or hit publish yet. You are still refining your thinking.
Stage Three – Matching The Two
The third stage is working out how (and if) your product or service meets the needs of the different clients you potentially serve.
You need to go in with a problem solving mindset. You need to work out how you can make a difference to your clients by meeting their needs. By meeting their needs, then generally your own needs that you identified way back in stage one can be met.
This is where the pencil finally can meet the page, and you can start to put words together that will appear in your website and other marketing material through effective copywriting.
By starting to write at this stage, you will naturally find yourself writing for the client, and not yourself. You will end up with much better outcomes as the clients will get clear information about you and how you can help them – which will result in more genuine inquiries and sales.
A Quick Word on Business Ethics & Copywriting
Remember, you are not going through the process of identifying needs so you can manipulate people into buying. As an ethical business owner looking to build a sustainable business, you are looking to fill genuine needs.
If you have to trick or manipulate someone into buying, it is like trying to trick someone into sleeping with you (or sleeping with them while they are drugged or drunk).
If you are all excited that no-one will be able to resist your offering as your words are seductive and hypnotic, go back and take a course in basic business ethics. Ethical businesses don’t need to manipulate to get great results.
As a Brisbane copywriter for 10 years, with a psychology degree behind me and trained in the art of Direct Response copy, I know the temptation to sneak over to the dark side – and get results whichever way you can.
I also know that you can achieve effective copywriting results without the sleaze factor – and still feel good about yourself and your business in the morning. All you need to do is take a bit of time and identify and care about your client’s needs at least as much as you care about your own.
Check out our copywriting services for more information.