Writing copy for your website is hard. Why? Mystery. Intrigue. Self-loathing. It’s hard because we are pretty good at writing stuff. Articles, policies, emails, blogs. But writing copy isn’t the same as writing other stuff. Writing copy is a love letter to your ideal client – a sweet siren song that invites and lures. Except we do not then eat our ideal client, we serve them. (All analogies break down at some point. Leave me be.)
This is why, at some point, I’d like you to two things: getting really good at it, or not doing it yourself.
Lemme tell you a secret: Many successful small businesses do not write their own copy.
OF COURSE, I read your site, and I assume you wrote it. You read mine, you assume I wrote it. We think this is important. We think it’s authentic and genuine.
BUT LO! GET THEE TO THE TRUTH TREE:
Writing your own copy is not necessarily authentic.
Because if you aren’t accurately expressing yourself or your brand or business in who you really are, then how authentic can you really be?
Writing your own copy is like scratching your own back.
It CAN be done, but it’s much more satisfying if someone does it for you.
It’s like singing. Anyone can do it, but not everyone can do it well!
When someone else helps, they get to all the places you can’t see or reach. It’s still your back, of course. It just gets scratched more thoroughly by someone with an outside perspective.
When you write your own copy, getting some tips and lessons helps so that you can do it well.
(I’d like to take a deep bow for being able to connect back scratching and singing in one blog.)
If you are just starting out on your site, here are some quick and dirty rules about how to write for a website:
- Always, always, always start with the “information download”. This is ALLLLLLL the things that go through your head. Yep, Every. Damn. Thought. Please for the love of all things copy, do NOT try to write and edit at the same time. This process is gonna take SEVERAL drafts. Expect that from the beginning, please.
- The home page should be about YOUR CLIENT, not about you. Yes, even for us. NO ONE CARES THAT YOU ARE A SOPRANO. Sorry. They care about themselves, their voice, and are wondering how you can help with it.
- The word “I” is reserved for your story/about page. The word YOU is for all the other pages!
- Your offers are about what goals and outcomes your client will get ~ not about your training, background, and voice type. (Again, that goes on your about page!)
- Even your about page is about your client. Love them. Speak to them – remember, writing copy is a love letter to your ideal client.
- Keep it simple. TOO MANY WORDS IS YUCKY. #guilty
- Have a call to action ~ a very easy way for potential clients to contact you, right away. If you don’t give them a way to contact you AS SOON AS THEY ARE INTO YOU, you are leaving awesome people, and clients, on the table.
If you are not just starting out on your website, consider hiring someone to help you hone your mojo. The cost will far outweigh the benefits. Consider asking yourself how many voice lessons you would have to teach in order to pay someone to create words that brought you four, or eight, or even twelve more voice clients a month, depending on your capacity and offers.
You aren’t denying your true-ness and most authentic self by asking for help. You are FINDING your true-ness and most authentic self.
Up until about two years ago, I wrote all the copy on my current website.
I currently write all the blogs and SECO content. I only write some of my social media posts.
I also work with a copywriter.
WHY? WHHHHY? When you are just so fun and such a delightful writer, Michelle?
Because I know I am prone to missing something, and being shy about sharing my own awesome.
As I learned more about my role in my business (hint – it’s not all the things) it became clear that it was time for me to hand over my copy to someone who does it for a living, and knows all the rules, and can help me tell my story better than I can tell it myself.
It came time to become more authentic by getting out of my own way.
It’s still my story. It’s still my back. Only now it gets full attention by a third party who is not as nearly as emotionally invested on what I should or should not say about the offer, or myself.
She tells stories. Really good ones. She also swears a lot. This, I love. And I love you for loving me and my potty mouth anyway.
When I first told her about SECO, she lit up for it. She loves our story.
She also looked at our sales page and threw a pencil at the computer because of all the words.
She helped me by re-writing the SECO sales page because I didn’t feel I could accurately represent us anymore without getting googly-eyed and word vomit-y. As I am re-writing the sales page, she’s got her eyes on me, and it, to be sure that I stay true to the love letter to SECO’s ideal client.
Trying to scratch my own back was really annoying, and I was missing a realllllllly itchy spot.
So, enter Jenn. As I’ve worked with her more and more, I now know how to reach the itchy spot better. AND, I know the difference between an itch I can scratch, and an itch I need some help with.
What copy do you have the most trouble with? Apply a few of the rules and see what happens… play with your copy. Invite it to be more you-ish, while understanding that writing copy is a love letter to your ideal client.
When you write a love letter, what do you say?
What do you tell your lover?
- You talk about what lights you up about them
- You share with them how they make you feel
- You insist upon making them happy
- You assure them that you can ease their pain
- You commit to supporting them in their goals
- You fuss
- You fawn
- You flirt
Just think of what could be accomplished with your copy if you looked at it that was something designed to celebrate your clients, rather than celebrate you.
And if you need some eyeballs on your words, let me know. I’m pretty good at back-scratching, and I know some experts.
Multiply Your Talents,
I need YOUR HELP!
If you’re a member of SECO – can you tell me why you joined SECO? What made you invest instead of just join another free group? WHY HERE? WHY NOW? What made you click the “sign me up” button?
^^^^^ We need this for our new copy.