5 Secrets to Writing Copy Your Customers Will Love

Great copywriting is gold in today’s digital world. It’s the bridge to building a successful small business brand and it’s paramount as you craft your custom website.

But how do you write the copy that truly moves people and makes them want to learn more? Below are some secrets that might unlock your inner Hemmingway so that you can convert the I-think-I’m-interested customer into a happy and paying customer.

Share your story.
Everyone loves a story, especially a real story rooted in triumphs and yes, failures. When you write copy, include the personal elements that will help your audience connect with you on a more meaningful level.

This is the time to dig into your personal journey. Think of the places you’ve been, the people you’ve met, and the experiences that have led you to the place you are today. In particular, write about the details of why you set up the business you did and why, at a deep gut level, it matters.

This story serves as the anchor of the connection with your customer and makes it easier for them to spread the word about what you do. Why? Because we love telling stories! It’s how we humans are wired.

Write a manifesto.
What’s the best way to uncover your story? Write a manifesto! The great thing about a manifesto is that it can be rambling and totally disorganized. What matters is just getting it down.

What I recommend is sitting yourself down with a cup of your favorite tea and writing an unfiltered, uncensored, unabashed stream of consciousness about the passion that led you to launching the small business of your dreams.

 Here are some questions to consider as you write your manifesto:

  • Why does my business energize me?
  • How do my offerings transform my customers?
  • What are my successes so far?
  • What are my failures so far?
  • What does my life look like in one year? In two years? In five years?

You can also choose words that have particular resonance for you, like “freedom,” “abundance,” “heart,” the list goes. Dig deeply and explore why these words stir your soul and then let your pen – or keyboard – fly.

Don’t worry if your manifesto feels chaotic. What you’re looking for is the fodder of uniquely you expressions that you can draw from for your actual copywriting. This raw honesty will create a way for customers to truly care about who you are and what you offer.

Keep it simple.
It’s interesting. When we talk, we speak in short, to-the-point sentences. But when we write, we tend to get long and drawn out and relentless in never-ending explanations that can really tire a reader out and make them feel like closing their eyes and taking a little nap even though it’s just before lunch. OK. You get what I mean.

But seriously, something weird happens when we try to articulate our thoughts through writing. We feel compelled to use long, jargon-y words. Our sense of logic gets tied up in knots. We. Just. Stop. Communicating.

So, next time the gremlin of confusion starts creeping into your writing, just slow down and imagine yourself actually speaking the words. If it helps, say a few sentences out loud. Do something to get yourself back to a place of clarity and focus.

Treat your reader like a friend.
To really build a bond with your reader, you have to actually like them. Even if you have no idea who your reader actually is. Imagine your long lost friend from seventh grade is sitting across from you and you’re sharing the things you did during the day. You’re sharing all of the juicy details that make her laugh or grimace or even cry. You add in some gestures, your voice gets louder, you imitate your teacher with perfect inflection, you make that story just come to life and your friend feels exactly what you went through.

That’s the stuff of good copywriting, and what every custom website needs to reach out and grab attention.

And now, bring out the carving knife.
OK, I’ve given you plenty of tips to loosen up your inner creative genius. You’ve got great material to work with. Awesome! Now it’s time to let your inner organizer get to work.

Wherever you can, create sections. Make sure the copy is structured in a way that your reader can actually follow. If a sentence is extraneous and doesn’t add to the punch, take it out. Be ruthless. Read your words with a metronome ticking in your head so that you start to hear a certain rhythm. If a phrase doesn’t fit that rhythm, then change it us so that it starts to blend into the cadence of the other words.

You’ve got your new copywriting tools. Now give them a whirl!

And then, let’s start a conversation. Add your comments and questions below and I’ll get back to you with more thoughts.

12 comments on “5 Secrets to Writing Copy Your Customers Will Love

  1. Dan Eisenman on

    I’ve never heard the process described in quite this way. This makes sense and is very helpful! Thank you! I’m going to go get my thoughts down where I can work with them.

    • Elicia Putnam on

      When it feels really tough, just go one sentence at a time. Or, just create bullet points of what you want to say and then come back later and start to “stitch” the bullet points together into coherent sentences. If all else fails, pour yourself a glass of wine – and then come back to it. 🙂

  2. Joan Higgs on

    I agree with Dan; your tips are original and truly helpful! I’m just in the final revisions of a short book I’m writing and so I get what you mean about “if a phrase doesn’t fit that rhythm”. And the manifesto exercise is such a good idea. Thanks, Elicia!

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