3 Tips to Write Copy for Your Small Business
Last week we talked about messaging on your website. Messaging is different than copywriting, but they’re related. Basically they’re first cousins or step sisters. This week, I’m digging deeper into copywriting for a couple of reasons.
First off, in the ‘new-business DIY world, I’ve seen a lot of mistakes made in the realm of copywriting. Everyone knows you need a platform to sell your services or products on (like a website, app, social media account, etc). But one thing people don’t talk about, is how to write words or copy that will help your business. It’s just kind of easy to overlook entirely. I actually overlooked copywriting myself for my first 6 months of business. I just got my website up in a hurry so I could start advertising to more clients. There was nothing on my very first website rendition that spelled out (literally, with copy!) what I do and why clients should work with me. I just got my portfolio up and went on my way.
Second mistake common in copywriting for small businesses is being flat and boring. As a business owner you probably care about the way your website looks, if it works right, and what your social media looks like, right? But the writing that represents your business is an easy thing to do the bare minimum of work on. Wherever you’re using words that your audience may read, make sure it offers more than the very basics.
The purpose of this newsletter is to share highly useful and actionable tips or information with entrepreneurs so they can improve their business. Quality, thoughtful copywriting can be a great asset to do just that!
Identify your dream customer. Specifically, what language style do they use?
Businesses interact with their customers way more often these days than they did 20 years ago. Thank you social media + our little pocket computers (smart phones). That’s why brands today should have personality. People resonate more with businesses that have personality vs those that feel flat. They’re also more likely to engage with, remember and trust a brand that has personality. So then, the question remains, how do you decide on the kind of personality you should emulate? Look to your dream client. These aren’t the people you work with now, or the client that is driving you crazy. These are your ideal people. Next week we will talk more about identifying them, but this week, let’s stick to the topic. Mmmkay? So, look at your dream client and notice what kind of language they’re using when they’re online. When you’re copywriting for your small business, you have the liberty to be more creative and lend a voice to your writing. Take advantage of that to help create engagement for your audience.
Each word costs $5. Words longer than 8 characters cost $10.
Make each and every word count! This tip is really easy to understand and use. Often times new copywriters for books, websites, social media etc. start off with the known or subconscious goal of sounding smart. Personally, I try to make my content so easy to understand that a kindergartener would get it. It’s been said that you should avoid technical words unless there is no substitute for it. So if you’re a doctor that is providing additional training services to other doctors, you are excused from this lesson (a little bit). But the point still stands: make your small business copywriting super easy to understand. Today’s world isn’t going to slow down just because you like to sound smart. The faster you can communicate, the better.
One note: even if you’re writing a blog post for your website to help with SEO (which should be longer than 350 words), choose better, shorter words. The point of hitting the top google ranks isn’t just to be on the top of Google, right? You want to see something come out of the ranking. So give your viewers what they are looking for in a way that keeps them engaged with your copy.
Use the word “you” in your copywriting
That makes people feel more emotionally connected to what they’re reading. Easy tip, right? … Let’s take it a little further then.
Using the word “you” when you’re copywriting for your business is essentially a tip to help you use active voice. It’s über important to use an active voice. I’ve always been told this and when I wrote papers in highschool and college this issue was one that took me from a shiny gold star to a thumbs up sticker. So I knew passive voice = bad. But if you asked me why, I couldn’t remember at all. Enter Google. Apparently, the list of reasons for writing with an active voice is really long. Using active voice makes your copywriting better because it:
Puts people in the moment*
Uses fewer words
Makes the writing more concise and efficient
Creates a faster-moving narrative
-which makes for easier writing and more engaging reading
Cleans up the sentence and helps prevent grammatical mistakes
Makes it easier for non-native english speakers to understand
So now you know why passive voice is bad.
*shout out to Ashley for writing the moving list I posted above of reasons to use an active voice. My mean old AP English teacher would thank you for explaining it to me!
That’s it! Thank you for reading. As always, we absolutely adore hearing from our readers. So if you liked something, didn’t like something, used something you learned, or anything like that, please don’t hesitate to reach out! email@example.com
At First Sight Creative is available for hire for small-medium sized businesses! We love helping businesses grow through the following services:
Develop brand strategy
Brand identity (logos and such)