The thing about writing is that everyone thinks they can do it, which of course most of us can…to some degree.
But when it comes to writing
good sorry great copy, different rules apply.
Check out the following tips for writing great copy to ensure you stand out from the crowd.
1 Be ruthless
Writing good copy is a craft, some people have to work at it a bit more than others, but even well trained or naturally gifted copywriters all have one thing in common…they are ruthless with their words.
Whether it’s long or short copy, good copywriters get rid of
all the unnecessary clutter. Does that word really need to be included? Does the customer really need to know this? Remember you are writing to do one thing only; provide a message.
Get in there, provide the message…and get back out again.
2 Be honest
Sales copy is supposed to be persuasive…sure….but it shouldn’t be dishonest. Good copy is like a refrigerator with a glass door…a beer fridge if you like. Your job is to show the customer what’s on offer, entice them to open the door and take out an ice cold drink on a hot summer’s day.
Quench their thirst.
It’s not to tell them there’s a chilled beer in a fridge, which turns out to be warm and flat and the fridge has been turned off all week.
That’s not good copy…that is just plain daft and misleading. You may have got their custom once, but you will never get it again.
Not even hipsters like warm flat lager, and probably won’t until a great copywriter has persuaded them otherwise.
3 Be direct
I am not stupid, and neither are you…so don’t treat your readers like they are idiots either.
There is no need to hide behind fancy prose when writing copy. Be direct; ask your readers what you would like them to do. Would you like them to sign up to your mailing list? Then ask. Would you like them to take up your latest discount/offer/free holiday to the Bahamas? Great…ask away!
Sure, give away a free gift or eBook if you like…but do bear in mind the ’Being Honest’ tip above, we all know what sales copy is…we just don’t want to be treated like idiots.
Just ask for what you want.
Remember, your potential customers are not mind readers and their time is important.
4 Be useful
What you are offering should fulfil a need. Think like an entrepreneur. What have you got that your customer needs? What gap are you filling?
What have you got that I desperately need and how will it help improve my life?
You see, I don’t really care about your product…what I care about is how it’s going to help me make my life better. Got a great juicer? Brilliant stuff, I am very happy for you…got a great juicer which will help me lose weight and be healthier and more attractive?
Hey!…Now you’re talking my language.
5 Be unique
Be unique, even if your product isn’t.
That doesn’t mean you should walk around in a purple fedora hat wearing a feather boa and quoting Oscar Wilde, although you can if you want.
What I mean is, tell me something about your service or product that is unique, something I might not have thought of before. Tell me it in a different way, or describe a feature which will blow me away. Or just pique my interest…give me that thought bubble over my head which says ‘Ooh. That’s interesting’.
Tell me that story, but make it succinct. Make me want your unique and useful product so much that I will scream until I get it.
6 Be a copywriter
Speak to me.
I am most likely reading your copy alone…it’s me who you need to be communicating with and I want to feel special. I want what no one else has got. You just have to ‘show me the money’ so to speak.
I don’t want your poetry either, you can save that for someone else or maybe later. Sure I want to like you, I want to be a brand loyal customer, I want to trust you…but I also want a good headline and I want you to work for my custom.
Because it’s all about me you see, how you can help me.
Be a copywriter damn you!
And if I cannot persuade you, perhaps Leonardo DiCaprio can.
Check out this great clip on how to sell a pen from The Wolf of Wall Street.