Brand messaging coach, copywriter, ferocious ice cream eater (not necessarily in that order...)
I'm here to help talented female coaches, consultants, & subject matter experts to roar about what they do with unwavering confidence.
In today’s episode I dive into copywriting… specifically why copywriting is the #1 ‘must-have’ marketing skill that’s of huge benefit for you to develop as a business owner. Because the reality is, there’s no getting away from the need to write copy for your business.
But when writing’s not your strong suit or you feel like you don’t have a creative bone in your body, is it even possible to be a good copywriter for your biz? The simple answer? Absolutely! And in this episode I’ll share some simple techniques that’ll make a massive difference to the way you write.
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Let’s get started well, hello, my friend, and welcome to episode five of the fierce impact podcast. It’s fab to have you join me thank you for listening in wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, it’s a joy to be in your ears. And so today I am diving into copywriting. Specifically, I want to talk about why copywriting is the number one must have marketing skill, that’s a huge benefit for you to learn and develop as a business owner. And essentially, it comes down to your copy being what connects you emotionally to your reader to your ideal client. And without it, how do you sell your services?
You can’t market yourself without copy. If you don’t have copy for your business if you don’t have words, what do you have? How do you tell your story? And how do you tell people what you do? How do you let the right people know how you can help them? And how do you inspire them to take action with you. If you don’t have words, all you’re going to have is empty Instagram posts and blank emails and wordless websites. And that isn’t going to get anyone very far in business. And I’m not going to sit here and tell you that if writing isn’t your strong suit, that actually you’re just best off getting a professional copywriter to help with your copy. I know let’s stop. And just take a minute to insert a shocked emoji face right there.
I actually believe it is really important to learn how to write solid copy for your business to learn the basics. So you can have real confidence in how you talk about what you do, and why you do it, and the immense value of what you do. So that you know how to get the attention of and connect deeply with the people you want to serve and help. Because that is what good solid copy will help you to do. So learning the skills of copywriting will help you to get that attention and to connect deeply with the people you really want to serve. Because even knowing the core elements of copywriting can make a massive difference to what to the way that you show up and communicate with your audience. Knowing how to write solid copy for your business is an invaluable skill to have. And I can’t reiterate this enough. And I know in future episodes, I will no doubt mentioned this again and again and again. But the reality is there’s no getting away from the need to write copy for your business. We all have so much copy to write things like social media posts, emails, landing pages, website sales, pages, brochures, video scripts. Yes, copywriting is also used for video and audio and presentations and webinars and so much more. And I bet you would run out of fingers. If you sat down and worked out how many pieces of copy you write for your business in just one week alone.
Absolutely, there is definitely a time and a place for working with a professional copywriter. But let’s face it, it’s just not realistic to use a copywriter for every single piece of copy you need to write and that’s why it’s really important for us to learn as best we can some solid copywriting skills that will help to elevate our writing, and our business writing. And when you’re in the first few years of business in particular, it actually takes time to find your groove with the message that you want to share and what you want to be known for. And things like your services and processes might change as you refine things with each client, actually investing in a copywriter too early means you could be wasting a whole lot of money because your business might change substantially within a really short timeframe. That’s not always the case. But it is quite often the case when you are fairly new in business.
So, it’s really important to consider these things if your business is still evolving, because you don’t want to spend 1000s, getting a website written only to need to change it in six months, what actually is better for you is to actually ground yourself in some basic copy skills. And actually, the process of working on your own copy in these earlier days, can help you to refine your message as well. And so when you invest time into learning copy skills for your business, you will get that investment back. Absolutely. So it’s not necessarily always just about getting it back from a monetary perspective, it’s actually that you will be able to write faster, you will be able to communicate your message in a much clearer and confident way. And you’ll understand how to write engaging copy that draws the attention of the right people to you, that inspires the right people to take the desired actions. So for example, to book your services.
I know that right about now you are probably thinking something along the lines of Yeah, okay, easy for you to say, Hayley. But I’m not a natural writer, you know, it doesn’t come easily to me, or I’m not creative. But and here’s the but the awesome news is that even if writing isn’t your strong suit, it’s absolutely a skill you can learn. So, just like you learn other aspects of marketing, like social media and email marketing, because you don’t actually need to be a professional copywriter to write rock solid attention-getting engaging copy, you’ll be pleased to hear that writing compelling copy for your business actually isn’t about having creative bones in your body. In fact, being too creative with your copy can actually be a conversion killer. Sometimes creative writing, if you’re not careful, can actually muddy your message. So writing really good copy is really about clarity over cleverness, it’s about speaking directly to your ideal client. It’s about things like structure and science first. And so when you look at it this way, it’s a skill that you can 100% become stronger at for your business. And so part of my mission with this podcast is to help equip you with some solid copywriting knowledge so you can build your skills, bit by bit.
So what I want to do, for the remainder of this episode is to dig into a few basics that I believe are a must to work on developing first. And what you might find surprising is that the first couple of these don’t even involve writing. Awesome, hey.
So first up, there is one simple but important rule that I want you to remember, every time you sit down to write a piece of copy, and it is the rule of one. So each piece of copy that you write should have one goal, one job and be written for one reader. So when you’re sitting down at your computer, and you’re about to write your social media posts or an email, for example, I want you to ask yourself, what is the single goal of the piece of copy you are about to write? What is it that you want your reader to do? Make sure you’re clear on this first before writing anything. And then we’ve got one job. So every part of your copy has one specific job. So let’s take emails for example. So when you’re writing an email to your email community, the job of the copy in your subject line is to get people to open the email and opening line of your email. Its job is to get your reader to read the body of your email. And the job of the body copy is to inspire your reader to essentially want what you’re offering.
So whatever that is, it might be a freebie, or a product or a service. Or it might be to get more information about something, or it might be to go on and read a bigger blog post. So then we’ve got the call to action, and its job is to get your reader to click. So this process, this principle applies to any type of copy you’re writing. And when you’re going back through it and reading it, if you have copy in that, that feels like it’s jobless, that it’s not actually adding to the flow of the copy, or it’s not actually adding any additional insight or interest to the copy, that it’s not serving a purpose, I just want you to ditch it. And then we’ve got your one reader, so to speak to one person only. And that’s your ideal client. And no, an ideal client isn’t a female business owner, aged 25 to 45. That’s far too broad to be an ideal client. So what I want you to do is I want you to think about a client that you’ve had, and would love, love, love, love, love to have more of so a client that you would really love to clone if you could, that’s your ideal client. So what I want you to do is then imagine that one person when you’re writing your copy, because actually, if you try to write to everyone that you could, and I’m saying could, in air quotes, possibly help in the hope that you will get a bigger response, or more engagement, you won’t, because what will happen is your copy will become vague, and you’ll risk resonating with no one at all.
And that leads me nicely into the next basic copy skill that I want you to think about developing. And this is ideal client research, specifically, Voice of ideal client research, okay, so this skill will make a massive difference to the way that you write, essentially. And it’s not about defining your ideal clients. And this is about actually putting on your sleuthing hat and digging into the way that your ideal client talks about the problem you solve, and what they want to achieve and why so it’s about looking at the type of language that they use to describe their problems, to describe their sort of hopes and dreams and that sort of thing. Because the key to copy that resonates really deeply with your ideal client, and that is going to help you to convert is research.
Without research, your copy is essentially based on assumption, not fact. And so as much as possible, I want you to be looking at the language that your ideal clients are using. And I want you to be using that to write your copy with. And I totally get it that this research process does take time. And as a small business owner, you might not have access to lots and lots of data. But there are some really simple ways that you can actually go out there and gather this intel so that you can write in a more powerful way. And so I’m just going to share a couple of these options with you. So for example, you could interview existing or former ideal clients to dig into what was running through their head before and after you worked with them. So how are they feeling before and after? And what impact did that problem have on their life and their business? And make a record of that.
You can also gather information via things like your thank you page. And this is a really underutilized tool. So when someone signs up for a freebie on your website, when they join your email community, and they are faced with your thank you page or immediately after they’ve signed up on that page, make use of it by asking a really simple question. Something like you know what made you sign up for this freebie today or tell me what your biggest struggle with x is. And you can use things like Typeform or Google Forms or if you use like a CRM like dubsado or something like that. You can use that have your question box there and get them to answer directly into that question box and because they are in that moment, they have obviously just signed up for something because they have, they are feeling or they have a specific problem that they are trying to solve, or they’re trying to find out more information on, and that you’ve given that to them, you know, they may well then sort of then share with you what it is that they’re struggling with in that particular area. And that information for you is going to be gold, it’s going to help you to look at the way that your potential clients talk about the problem that they are having, what it is that they’re trying to achieve, you’re going to be able to look at the kind of language that they are using. And so again, as before, I want you to record those responses, that information so that you can keep going back to it whenever you’re wanting to write something. And it’s an awesome source of ideas for content as well.
Another one is, every time you’re on a discovery call with a potential client, record that call. And then afterwards, if they are a great fit, what I want you to do is transcribe it, and pull out all those words and phrases that they’ve used to explain their problem and their hopes and their goals. And then as I said, you know, record this information and use it to guide your copy. Because what happens is, your ideal clients, your potential clients are essentially then helping you to write really strong copy for your business, because they are giving you the language that they are using, they are giving you the words that are going round and round and round in their head the way that they’re thinking about the problem that they’re having. And so there’s no point in sitting there trying to be really creative around how you shape up the copy when you can actually look at how, you know your audience is talking about a particular problem. And you can use that language and use it in the copy that you’re writing so that it really connects with them. So that helps your reader to feel really understood because it is also given you this immense insight into your ideal clients as well.
So essentially, you shouldn’t be needing to make your copy up. And this is one of the biggest kind of revelations, I guess, for a lot of people is that actually, really good copy isn’t just made up. Really good copy is pieced together with a lot of research that has happened prior to the process of any writing starting. And it’s not a case, as I said, of trying to be really creative, because, as I’ve said, clarity is better than being clever. People want something that is clear and easily understandable. And that really deeply speaks to them. So the more research that you do, the more focused you can actually make your copy. And that helps you to call in the people that you really, really want to work with. And lastly, for today, so the next place that I would advise you to focus your efforts on when you are first looking to kind of strengthen your copywriting skills is actually to loosen up a little. That’s right. So, you know, for so long, it’s been drummed into us that in business, we have to write a particular way. And so that way is typically that corporate way, you know, a grammatically correct, grammatically correct way. But what happens when we write like this is it doesn’t come out sounding like us. And it basically sucks the life out of our copy. And it makes it really hard work for people to read. And no one has time or wants to read anything that feels like hard work.
I often get asked whether people read long copy. And the answer to that is yes, people do read long copy. They just don’t read boring copy. So your copy can be really can be long, but it has got to be really, really engaging and interesting for that whole time. Otherwise they are are not going to spend time reading. So it’s got to draw people in. And so anything that is written in a really stiff corporate kind of way, is going to be much harder work for people to read. And they just simply going to switch off essentially. And so I’m not saying kind of be really free and easy with your copy so that it kind of ends up like this sort of sloppy typo ridden mess. And I know that you wouldn’t do that.
Anyway, what I am saying is just loosen up a little, because I know that you know, when we sit down to write, we can feel like we’ve got to write in this really professional way. But actually, what I want you to do is just let the words that you really want to use kind of tumble free and let your personality shine through. And so get rid of things like that complex corporate words and jargon and saying no to long meandering paragraphs. And if you want to write sentences, that are two words, long do it if you want to start a sentence with the word and do it and you will, and, and you will notice as well, in a lot of my writing, I start a lot of sentences with the word and, and even now, every time I do it, I can feel my English teacher, you know, looking over my shoulder and kind of tutting in the background, not that I did it, you know, at school or anything like that. But I’ve still got that sense of that. This isn’t grammatically correct. But the thing is, it’s how we talk. And so I want you to talk I want you to write, I should say, in a conversational way. And obviously, it depends on the audience that you are writing for. But just let yourself go a little bit when you are writing. And you will find that actually, that process of writing becomes easier because you’re not censoring yourself so much along the way. And so that means if you’re wanting to write paragraphs that are actually just a single sentence, and you’re wanting your copy to be really kind of peppy, and fast and punchy, then go ahead and do it. Because that kind of copy is, you know, that fun and easy to read copy will always win.
So websites and emails, whatever, I want you to inject your personality. So don’t be afraid to write like you talk because honestly, your dream clients want to get a feel for who you are, before they book you, or before they buy something from you. And if they can’t get a sense of your personality through your copy, it’s going to be 10,000 times harder to connect with the people you really want to vibe with that you really, really want to help. So what do you reckon? Do you think if it gives some of these a try, I guarantee that these techniques will make it far easier for you to write copy for your business. And it will take away a huge amount of the guesswork and deliberation about what to write and how to write it.
I would love you to give this a go. And if you start using some of these techniques, I would really really love to hear how you go with it. Whether it makes it much easier for you. Drop me a DM on Instagram that you can find me @hayleymaxwellwrites, and so that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you found it useful. And as always, if you enjoyed it and want to keep hearing more, please subscribe or follow the fierce impact podcast in your favorite podcast player. And until next time, go forth and be fierce