Warning, the information that you are about to read could literally result in more profit in 2018.
I met Ashlyn while she and I were speaking at the Creative at Heart conference last year. As she walked on stage to speak, a very big and well known wedding photographer (I won't name names!) leaned over to me and said - "This girl is the real deal and is a copywriting genius. Everyone is working with her, including me!"
Um. I'm listening!
At this point you are using SC Stockshop images to make your website look fabulous and you're using Social Squares to crush it at social media, but something is missing.
You've got the show stopping images but are the WORDS that you are using (on Instagram, Facebook, your blog, your website) leading to SALES?
I've brought Ashlyn in for this months Educator Spotlight to school us on how to choose and use our words strategically as business owners.
Web / Instagram / Facebook / YouTube
Image clarity, composition, editing? Check. You have hex codes and gorgeous images, but ... do you have a mood board for your words? Do you know what to put next to your images so you can make sales happen? Here's how to get started corralling those words!
1. Never write without gathering your toolbox—starting with your brand messaging.
Here’s the thing I tell my students and clients: you can’t tell people what you do if you don’t know how to say it yourself.
Think about Fixer Upper: Chip takes the house down to the studs before they get cranking on shiplap city. When you write on the fly, you’re likely slapping up words and not paying attention to the message at stake—not to mention the sales goals you need to hit to be a profitable business.
TIP: Have your own demo day. Pour a fresh cuppa coffee, sit down, and pull your brand down to the studs by gathering (or writing out for the first time!) the following. This will help you be more thoughtful with your copy.
The unique selling proposition (I call this your “onlyness factor”) of your brand AND your offer
Word bank or brand voice statements
Your message and sales goals
2. Guide your reader through with copy.
One of the biggest mistakes I see on websites is messaging that doesn’t guide your readers through an experience.
You slip into hostess mode when someone waltzes into to your website. Ever had a dinner party and needed to direct someone to your guest bathroom? Or needed to communicate that the big screen TV and friends are gathered out on the back porch, and it’s right-this-way? It’s important to start with the end in mind, and direct your reader.
TIP: Write your website in a tool like Google Docs—not your website platform. Write “GOAL:” at the top of each Google Doc page. After you’ve verbalized what you want visitors to do on each page of the website, write an outline for your first draft.
3. Pool what you like.
“There’s no such thing as great writing. Only rewriting.” With online businesses, know/like/trust is the name of the game! What does this mean? You need to encourage readers to hear YOU through your copy. The more they “hear” you, the more likely they are to trust ya.
TIP: One of my favorite things to do when I write a website—or even rewrite my own!—is to grab markers, white paper, stacks of books and magazines, and a laptop. Pick out some favorite books, magazines, and websites (ahem—NOT in your industry!) and look for fun phrases and words. Write them all over sheets of white paper, making a word collage, and head back to your initial drafts. Start cutting-and-pasting words and phrases into your rough copy. It’s a work-in-progress, but it will help you get on the right footing!
The internet changes on a daily basis, but it’s our job to learn how to write copy for our businesses that connects and converts, so we can reach our ideal clients online. Have fun with it, share your story, and couple your brand imagery with words that further your relationship both on and offline.
Want to dig into the words that define your brand’s online persona? Take the quiz, and get swipeable copy bank of your own fabulous word style!