How convincing are you? More importantly, how convincing are your written words?
Do your written words get to the heart of your business, to the heart of connecting with your customers, to the heart of the outcome you can offer?
The “secret” to writing winning website copy for your creative small business is not so elusive as it may appear. It starts with knowing your brand and exactly who you’re writing for. Let’s break it down into a few easy steps.
Start with attention-grabbing headlines. It is a given that you know the ins and outs of your brand, but who are you writing for? Who is your ideal customer or audience? By understanding your audience and what makes them tick, you can tailor your words to address their likes, dislikes, needs, and splurges. These one-liners should be short, compelling sentences (ideally, around 10 words or less) that speak to your reader about what you can offer them to make their lives better or more enriched. Follow up the headline with relevant subheading (around 20 words or less) that has some element of persuasiveness. This one-two punch is the starting point of website copy and sets the stage for language choice, tone, and brand voice.
Make it short and sweet. This is a hard one for me personally because I really love words. I know the power of the written word and the beauty of weaving words together in a poignant and eloquent way. However, I also know the brief attention span of readers these days–in the era of tweets and increasingly shorter blog posts–calls for website copy that immediately commands attention and does not get overly verbose.
If a potential customer visits your website and is instantly bombarded with paragraphs and paragraphs of text to weed through, more often than not, you will lose the interest and attention of this customer. People do not have (or give) the time to read through the entirety of your website copy–however eloquent–because they have other things to do. If your words do not draw them in instantly and take them through a short (yet sweet) storyline of who you are and why you can meet their need, it’ll be goodbye. It’s not that people are lazy; it is easy for them to feel overwhelmed with rows and rows of words to sift through.
Focus on how what you offer solves their problem or provides transformational results. If you are a creative small business, shop, or blog with products or services for sale, what you offer has value. You won’t find paying customers in everyone, but there are people out there who can indeed benefit from what you offer. So as awkward or “salesy” as it can be at first, don’t be afraid to honestly tell your audience why your product would solve their problem or your service provide a transformational result.
Can you talk about what your customer might lose from not purchasing your product? What is the consequence of passing this by? Can you talk about what your client will gain from working with you? What is the amazing result they can expect? Focus on their need and answer the unspoken question of why you are the right person for them.
That is not to say you should ignore the process or experience you offer your customers–everyone loves to be treated well, with respect, and served with genuine interest. But let the experience speak for itself. Instead, sell what kind of pain point your product or service will address and how the benefits will give transformational outcomes.
This could be as simple as letting people know that your handmade shop’s dolls are made out of organic materials safe for their babies, or your client’s shop attracting new, converting customers with a shiny, optimized website, or your photography capturing beautiful memories for a lifetime.
Have clients tell them! Include targeted testimonials in key places of your website, like after you’ve explained how your offer can solve a pain point or provide desirable results. Social proof can be everything, and testimonials can be one of your websites most important trust signals. The best, most convincing social proof includes examples containing specific numbers, data, and applications of how your product or service has benefitted them.
You can also include customer reviews or testimonials in your social media schedule and other packaging or print collateral.
Use call-to-actions. Everywhere. If you want your copy to convert to sales, you have to include these little nuggets in your writing.
But wait, you may be wondering exactly what a call-to-action is. Simply put, a call-to-action, or CTA, is part of your copy that asks your viewer to do something. On a website, common CTAs include opt-ins for email subscription lists, segue to learn more about products or services, and encouragement to contact for more info, read the blog, and visit on social media.
Asking your viewer to take action also needs to happen in your social media marketing. The ever-famous “link in bio” line on Instagram is not a CTA. (Sorry). However, if you tweak your copy to say “Click the link in bio to sign up/register/get your coupon”, voila. You just asked your viewer to take an action, to do something.
While this may seem too obvious, it’s our job to make things clear and tell our customer exactly what we would like them to do. It’s their choice whether or not to act. But if it is not instantly apparent, people will move on. Plain and simple.
Is writing for your business something you struggle with? Would you rather just toss your copy out the window and call it quits? I would LOVE to chat about working with your business to create a unique brand word guide, the attention-grabbing headlines and calls-to-action that convert your readers into sales.