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When you think about the phrase “professional image”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it a well-designed office? A well-put together businessman in a suit and tie? A well-designed package or website with professional-looking logos and visuals?
All of those things are important, of course, but there is one critical aspect of creating and maintaining a professional image for yourself and your business that is more often than not overlooked: copywriting.
Whether you’re familiar the concept or copywriting or new to it, if you’re in business, you need to know about good copywriting and you need to put it into practice.
Copywriting in a Nutshell: What You Need to Know
Simply put, good copy?that is, written marketing material that encourages consumers to buy into a product, service, or idea?lets you can effectively convey and communicate why anyone would want to get what you have to offer. It lets you sell the ideas and concepts behind your products and services in a clear, understandable, and powerful way that can move people to say ?Yes! I want that!? to you when all is said and done.
Good copy conveys usefulness, gives off a sense of urgency, communicates uniqueness, and provides the necessary details to back it all up. It effectively convinces people that they want and need what you are offering them now.
If you want to engage and captivate your customers, your material’s content be it in the form of a website page, a brochure, a catalog, or a poster, to name a few examplesmust be appropriately written with your ideal customer in mind, with the intent of delivering benefits clearly and imparting value for them.
6 Things You Can Do Now to Write Great Copy for Your Business
Great copy speaks directly to the people that matter most to you?the people who need what you have to offer. Here are six things you can do to get you on your way to writing great content that will grab your potential clients? attention and sell them on what you have to offer:
- Write Eye-Catching Headlines
- Make Your Content Skimmable?
- Convey the Benefits Clearly
- Write in a Natural Way
- Use Correct Spelling and Grammar
- Give a Compelling Call to Action
Let’s talk about each one of these.
- Write Eye-Catching Headlines:?A great headline grabs the attention of the reader and gives him or her a compelling reason to start reading. It should answer the questions Why should I read this? and What benefits do I get in return for the time I’m giving you in reading this? Your headline should directly or implicitly answer those questions, which in turn gives the reader a reason to give you the time of day.To get you started, let’s look at a few ways to write some great headlines:
- Get to the point: use a direct headline like ?Get 25% off when you call us now!?, ?Get a free bonus when you buy this week?, or ?100% All-Natural and Organic Ingredients?.
- Give a reason why: use a list of reasons or state a number benefits to support headlines like ?Ten Ways to Live Longer?, ?Three Things You Need To Know About Investing?, or Five Things You Can Do To Save More Now?.
- Use your authority: give the reader a direct command to do something by using a headline like ?Join now and start saving? or Don’t miss out call today!?
- Make Your Content Skimmable?:?Keep your paragraphs short and to-the-point as much as possible. Too much information can overwhelm a reader to the point that he or she may lose interest and stop reading altogether.Use sub-headers to organize your content into logical sections. Have you noticed how we naturally tend to write phone numbers in groups of three-four-digit combinations? The mind organizes information into chunks? that are easier to process and absorb piece-by-piece, as opposed to one homogenous blob of information at once; this is true for any amount of information, small or large.Use numbered lists or bullet point lists. Lists are a great way to organize information concisely in a way that’s easy to remember. This is one reason that ?listicles? make up some of the most read and shared articles on the internet, and it’s also a great way to convey benefits (and features!) quickly, if the medium and material allows for it.
- Convey the Benefits Clearly:?You need to write in such a way that your reader understands what he or she will get out of what you’re offering. Tell them how they will benefit if they take advantage of your product or service. If you are marketing a product or service that caters to a more technically-inclined audience, you can include the specific features of your offer.Remember:The benefits must come first, and the features that support these benefits can be included if appropriate.
- Write in a Natural Way:?A great way to connect to your customers is to write as if you are having a friendly conversation with them. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can drop all semblance of professionalism and just start shooting the breeze; be polite, but show warmth and sincerity in your writing. You can do this by avoiding technical and business jargon (unless absolutely necessary), and by writing at least three of the most important benefits (and the features that support those benefits, if appropriate) in a concise, conversational manner.
- Use correct Spelling and Grammar:?You might think that this goes without saying, but it’s important to make a habit or routine out of proofing any material that will be facing your customers for errors! These kinds of mistakes can give the impression of a lack of professionalism and lack of quality control. Make good use of your word processor?s spell checking and grammar correction tools, and consider having a colleague or coworker proof your work in addition to your own checks.
- Give a Compelling Call to Action:?All of your efforts to communicate with potential customers will be for naught if, after having convinced them that they need and want your awesome product or service, you don’t tell them what they need to do next to get what they want.Don’t be bashful about it! Remember, you’ve already convinced them that they need what you’re offering, and they’re ready to say ?yes?; all you need to do is tell them what they need to do, whether it’s a click here to subscribe now!? button at the end of a web page, or a call us at this number now!? line in a brochure.
So there you have it: a crash-course on copywriting basics and some great tips and techniques on how to get started on writing and developing refined content. Of course, the art and science of writing good copy goes further than what we can fit into one article.
There are many avenues to pursue if you’d like to take things further: you can continue learning more about copywriting by delving deeper into it with a variety of books and online courses, or you can also consider hiring a copywriter or a copywriting service to help you out with that aspect of your business.
No matter what you decide, it’s always great to have a good working knowledge of the essentials of copywriting; it’s great for your business, and don’t be surprised if your customers thank you for it!