Copywriting for Beginners
If you want to stay in business, you need to write copy. If you’re going to have a successful business, you need to write good copy.
Copy is simply the words you use in your marketing.
Let’s take time to reflect and be honest – do you believe you can write good copy? And if not, is this a skill that you need to learn?
Copywriting is a great skill to learn. It improves your sales and marketing capability, which impacts the revenue and profit that you make.
Not only is it useful in marketing, but it is also helpful in everyday conversation. Why? Because copywriting is essentially salesmanship in writing. When you write good copy, you can use it in conversations, like when someone asks you what you do; you can share your one-liner or elevator pitch.
Copywriting is a crucial part of your business and life, and you might sometimes feel like you are not good enough at it. Well, the truth of the matter is, you need to let go of those feelings and understand that you CAN do it!
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting adds text to websites, emails, social media content, blog posts, and lead generators - literally any type of activity, advertisement, or publicity material. And it doesn’t have to be written either. It can be in videos or vlogs; you name it.
Copywriting is a critical element in all forms of marketing collateral you create.
The Importance of Copywriting for your Business
What makes your business successful? It’s the words that help potential clients understand the benefits of your program, product, or service. These words make it easy for clients to understand and want to buy from you instead of your competition. Even better, they allow customers to buy what you’re selling without you having to work hard at it.
What good copywriting looks like
When you write good copy, it will achieve these things:
- It creates a paradigm shift. A good copy affects how you see things or think about them. An example is that many people believe they give a good customer experience by providing good customer service. In fact, your customer’s experience begins when they type the thing they’re trying to fix into Google, not when they land on your website.
- It builds connections. It is possible to build relationships with your customers by sharing your brand story. You can position them as the hero of that story, and you can be their guide. With your ideal clients as heroes in the story, you speaking about what they want, the successes they desire, and the challenges they face, means you’re talking to them, where they’re at. As their guide, you give them the plan to solve their problem and show empathy and authority by demonstrating both knowledge about their problems and a willingness to help resolve them.
- It piques curiosity and interest. People will only read or listen to your text if the headline or title captures their interest or attention. In most cases, you only have three seconds before people move on. So you must have a terrific scroll-stopping title!
- It clarifies rather than confuses. Good copies are devoid of jargon or particular words that confuse readers or potential clients. So keep it simple instead of using three-letter abbreviations or whatever language is relevant in your niche, industry, or sector.
- It solves a problem. If you share value with your audience, they will keep on coming back to your content because of something they gain. One way for people to value content is when it gives solutions to problems.
The Copywriting Process
The copywriting process begins with an in-depth understanding of your target audience and then moves on to understanding your program, product or service. From there, you must outline and establish your marketing goals and branding. After that, it’s time to look at messaging and tone of voice, as well as budget requirements.
What does this mean for your copywriting? It means knowing your target customer before you begin writing content for them. You also need to know what message you want to convey—and why.
The next logical step is to determine your plan and objectives regarding what you want the outcome to be. As you consider these, think about how you would like people to feel, think, or engage, having read or heard your message. When writing something, be intentional about what you want the outcome to be. If you don’t have a goal or you’re not leading people to a conclusion, you’re wasting your time. You’re essentially a penfriend.
Suppose you’re copywriting for a social media platform, an email nurture campaign, or even on your website; in that case, you can’t be selling all of the time. Sometimes, the point of what you’re sharing is to give value and build relationships and connections with your audience. When they’re ready to buy, they’ll then buy from you.
So on social media, offer free things instead of selling. You can sell via a sales campaign and on your website in your emails.
Ideally, you want to educate, inspire, or inform so that people come away thinking, “This fantastic solution will help me resolve that challenge, pain, frustration, or irritation. This is a great new opportunity/idea/process/plan. It will help me achieve my desired outcome, and it’s attainable only through your business’s new framework, etc.”
With nurture emails and social media, the idea is that you make your material invaluable. Hence, your audience comes to rely on it, and they refer back to you. What you share on social media or email will only be the tip of the iceberg compared to what someone gets when working with you. So don’t scrimp on what you share; your audience will still need a guide.
When writing your copy, first just put pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard and get everything you want to say out of you. Then you can come back later and refine it. Know that there are copywriting formulas you can use to make the whole process easier.
If you’re stuck on where to start with copywriting, try applying some of these copywriting tips and techniques.
First and foremost, you need to know what your brand is known for.
There are a lot of brands that make the mistake of thinking their brand is what they sell, but it’s not. It’s a perspective. It is something that comes from inside you and is projected outwards.
This means you can give your brand a different look and feel that is unique. And then,whether you are writing an article or giving a speech, you are reverting back to your unique brand. So each time you write or speak, you talk about something relevant to your ideal clients in a way that is unique to you.
For example, Tony Robbins speaks about results consistently whether he’s talking about health or business. Richard Branson’s narrative is always positive and exciting as is his life and business. My narrative is always about getting and keeping clients—my customers are my best brand ambassadors!
So when writing, keep in mind to establish a clear brand tone of voice, brand archetype, brand narrative, and brand story.
- Identify what the attention-grabbing headline will be.
It’s important to create a title that will resonate with your audience. The first few words will eventually let the readers decide if they want to continue reading or not.
For example, the next time you’re sitting at your desk to write a blog post, email, or social media caption and find yourself looking at a blank screen, wondering where to start or what to write about…
The idea is that you can picture yourself doing that in the future because it’s something you’ve done in the past. So this is something you recognise.
This type of scene should be introduced in the first few sentences to keep your audience reading, especially for email copywriting.
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You’re aiming for your audience to be thinking:
- What’s this about?
- Really? That’s interesting.
- I’m curious. Tell me more.
All within the first few sentences.
It is critical to start with something surprising or emotive.
- Agitate the problem - elaborate on the feelings associated with the problem.
Most readers read content online because they want to learn something or find a solution.
You can start your post by showing them that you understand their problem and give them a solution. You can talk about the typical obstacles, internal problems (emotions, feelings, fears), and external problems (things happening around them in their world) that get in the way or worsen the problem.
Always keep in mind to empathise and convey emotion.
If you agitate the problem and then introduce something that solves it, this is a great way to enlighten people about your program, product or service because people chase what moves away from them. People take action to avoid things, and to prevent something from happening.
So your solution should include a clear next step. For example, your solution should be a clear, low-risk, easy-to-take call to action for your audience on social media.
Whether it’s social media or elsewhere, the call to action doesn’t necessarily mean “grab your wallet and credit card”, and buy now. It could be “comment below, call me, get your free download” and so on.
You want to stimulate a concrete action step that actively engages your prospect with your business. Essentially you’re inviting them to engage with you in some way. Ideally, it’s at a pace that they’re comfortable with.
This technique allows readers to trust you and stay engaged throughout the post and eventually come back every time your release content.
- End your message with an irresistibly compelling offer and a clear Call-To-Action.
This is a very critical aspect of the copywriting process. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating a social media post, a sales email, or a live presentation; you need to close with a compelling, irresistible offer.
Why? Because if you don’t, 99% of people will walk away and forget about you. Your prospects will not take any action unless you ask them to, and you give them an excellent reason why they should.
Your compelling offer should provide your prospect with a low or no-risk option for taking the next step in the sales process: to take action.
If your intent is to sell an economical or moderately-priced product or service, the ideal next action would be for the reader to purchase. If you sell a higher-priced item, the ideal next action might be to request for additional information, as in, fill in a form.
- You must have killer copy on your website.
Be Aware: if your website isn’t correctly created - you will lose a ton of business!
It is the digital age. You must have a killer website. And, you must have killer copy on your website.
- It promotes your business 24/7.
- It helps your clients to understand better who you are and what you offer.
- It answers potential questions and expands on what your content on social media offers.
- It helps to establish trust and credibility.
- You can use it to provide authority and position you and your business as a guide. Sharing statistics, testimonials, and your track record of success supports positioning you as a thought leader.
- Plus, you can use your website to track your business’s performance in terms of marketing.
If your lead generators are good, you’ll use them to drive traffic to your site. If your blogs are good, they’ll help generate more traffic to your site through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This all comes back to copywriting and purposefully using your clients’ words and language. These are known as keywords.
If at the present you do not have a landing page or website, there are tons of free website builders available. With a quick Google search, you can easily proceed to a more advanced site when you are ready. A good recommendation would be to stick with WordPress if you’re just starting. And if you’re a coach or consultant, Kajabi is a personal favourite of mine.
You only have 3 seconds to make a great impression- without the correct format or marketing message, people will go elsewhere.
When visitors arrive on one of your landing pages, think of your call-to-action as a cash register on the page. The aim is to encourage visitors to take only ONE specific action from your site. For example, booking a free coaching call, or a free consultation, buying your products or services, or signing up for your new challenge based on where they are in your customer journey. To know more about how to enhance your Customer Experience using Customer Journey Maps, click here.
These pages are also usually standalone rather than part of the business’s overall website. They have no navigation options or other pages linked to them that would encourage distraction and promote browsing.
To be a good copywriter, focus on how your copy is written. Keep in mind that the reader will only pay attention to what you have written if it is clear and concise and the headline and sub headline was enough to pique their curiosity and entice them to keep reading. This means that any information must be easy to understand, even by people who don’t have much experience with the subject matter of your programs, products or services.
You have to also make sure your content appeals to as many different types of readers as possible. That way, more people will be able to relate and connect with what you are trying to say in your content! This can make all the difference between a successful piece of writing and one that fails miserably at conveying its message enough for readers who have no previous knowledge about the said topic before reading the text itself.
Ten Questions From Your Audience’s Perspective
When creating copy about your programs, products or services, take note of these questions from your audience or potential customers perspective:
- Who is this for?
- How will this make my life better?
- How do I get it?
- How do I know this is genuine and I can believe it?
- What’s stopping me?
- Why is now a good time?
- Why are you the person I should trust?
- How does it work?
- What do I need to do to get started?
- What am I putting at risk?
This way, you’ll be able to have a clear outline of what to write that can connect and appeal to the audience and give solutions to their problems, and at the same time gain their trust and have more potential clients.
Great copywriting often doesn’t just come out of the blue. It takes lots of practice and a good understanding of your target audience. Knowing how to write great copy is not easy, however it is a skill than can be learned.
Copywriting is the art of creating compelling content that persuades readers into taking action or buying something. If done well enough, it will make them feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. Follow these tips and you can create effective content every time.
Learn more with me by scheduling a call now!
Check out this previous blog post to learn more about generating demand with this 9-step Marketing Plan!
Deirdre Martin is a business mentor that specialises in brand, marketing, sales and customer experience. She is a keynote speaker, business award winner and bestselling business author. For a FREE business breakthrough call, go to Deirdre’s calendar and find a time that works for you. Follow on LinkedIn!