What is copywriting? It’s about shaping words into relevant content for a defined audience for commercial gain.
With that thought in mind here is the second part of my 3-part copywriting tips series. (You can read the first part here: 31 Hot Copywriting Tips To Grow Your Business. Part 1 of 3)
So, here are some more hot tips:
10. Overcome Mental Blocks
This one might seem a bit obscure. After all, it’s not a how-to nuts and bolts kinda tip. But my experience has been that if we have mental blockages, forward movement will be difficult.
Whilst there are many types of mental issues associated with writing good copy, the most common problem that writers face is lack of belief. They are often plagued with self-doubt thereby impeding them from doing their best work. The key is to find your true voice and let it shine (oh no – metaphors!).
It’s important to put your best foot forward (another one :)) and do your best work. Lose the inhibitions and to hell with the consequences.
11). Tell a Story
In my post titled How to Influence and Persuade With Powerful Story Telling, I said this: “From time immemorial people have been captivated by stories. Why? Because stories inspire, challenge, provoke and give comfort. Starting as infants, we become immersed in stories. But as we mature and become adults stories still infuse our thinking.
Stories appear in different forms and inhabit different areas of our lives:
- Work-based stories
- The story of brands
- Family stories
- Nation building stories
- Morality Stories
To name a few. Before I get into how you can use stories to grow your business, let’s firstly take a look at early stories, way back when Adam was a boy. Or was it earlier? Well, apparently the first stories were told by Neanderthals.” End of Extract Notice how my article about stories told a story? A cool way to get your point across – no doubt about it.
As humans, we’re hard-wired to love stories. From fairytales as a kid, through to movies and books in our adult lives, stories work. In the business context, storytelling makes ideas stick. Relatable stories transform businesses into brands and customers into loyal, repeat clients.
Storytelling is how a brand becomes memorable. And stories don’t always require a lot of words. By way of example, Apple famously uses succinct storytelling to market their products. Sometimes they use a few carefully chosen words to convey the essence of Apple. This minimalistic approach to copy infuses the design of their ads, packaging, and products.
For Apple, less is more. No matter which way you do it, the objective should be to move your reader along a pathway that is interesting, fascinating, and valuable (for example, you help them solve a problem).
12). Spell Check
I hate typos, especially spelling mistakes. That’s why I use spell checking software. Some people say it doesn’t matter, but amongst discerning content consumers, it is incredibly annoying. Lazy too. Sounds obvious, but how many people proofread their copy? And how many do it well? Detail IS important.
Like anything else, to master copywriting you have to master the detail. Small things matter. If your readers see a lack of attention to detail they’ll mark you down. In an instant, you’ve downgraded your brand. From that point, the chances of them reading more of your content are low. Your hopes of them ever becoming a fan has gone, like a puff of smoke.
Tips to Eliminate Errors
- Use a Reliable Spell Checker. Including an old fashioned dictionary.
- Create Different Forms of Your Content. Copy and paste the content into Word, EverNote or GDocs. Look at it again – I bet you’ll find a few things you missed earlier.
- Print the Content. Then read it again.
- Location Change. Move from one location or setting to another. This technique often works for me – try it.
- Rest and Revisit. Let your content ‘breathe’ for a while. When you return, you’ll probably see more errors.
13. Use Sub Heads
Insert a sub-heading to introduce each section. Your goal should be to entice people to read the next section. A good subheading will do that for you. Here is an example.
Your subheads need to be benefit-laden and enticing. Get to the point, no waffle or vague language. Aim to score a bullseye every time. Finally, make sure the sub-heading is bold to give it more impact.
14. Use Plenty of Images
Another way to break up the text is through the use of attractive images. You’ve seen how popular pic-based platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are. So create plenty of visual interest by inserting pics in your copy. But remember this: in most situations, images will not make the sale for you. Only good copy in combination with a hot offer will do that.
15. Pick a Fight
This strategy is gutsy because it requires courage to use it. But it can be a super effective way to enhance your posture. Apple computers had a lot of success with this approach when they chose to pick a fight with the enemy – Microsoft in particular, and PC’s in general. Perhaps you remember the tv ads from Apple. The dull guy on the left was the Microsoft archetype, whereas the one on the right was the cool, hip Apple guy.
The Apple campaign was an excellent example of picking a fight without being overly aggressive. Indeed, humor was the primary weapon, and it worked brilliantly. Your task is to identify the bad guy in your marketplace. By the way, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a company or product.
The enemy could be old beliefs, behaviors, and circumstances. For instance, if you are selling cleaning products shower scum is the enemy for cleanliness focussed folks. Presumably, your product represents the perfect path to enlightenment.
16). Use Testimonials
Testimonials are the lifeblood of good sales copy. The bad news is that a lot of testimonials lack impact. They’re dreary, to say the least. Here is an example of a testimonial story I wrote for a roofing business:
Previously my client only featured the raw testimonial. By using this technique you elevate the humble testimonial to another level. A pic of the client should also be included where possible.
17. Understand the Way People Think
Call it human psychology, call it what you want. The bottom line is that if you don’t get into your prospect’s head, you’re toast. I’ve been studying people since I was a teenager. A looong time ago. Why? I wanted to know what made people tick. I had no plan to use the newly found skill and make money from it. It was simply something that interested me. Nothing more. The good news is that several years later I parlayed my innate knowledge of people into money.
18. Use Cultural Symbols As Reference Points
Sometimes I’ll write a business related post or sales letter and make mention of popular or famous people. Think movie stars and entertainers. Then I’ll segue from the featured artist to make a business point. Linking one with the other requires a degree of skill but with practice, you can perfect it. By featuring pop culture icons and others you will powerfully connect with the reader.
19. Expand People’s VIsion
I love this one. It is mighty powerful. Whether you market a product or a service you should embrace this technique. Give people more than mere facts, figures, features, and benefits. See yourself as being in the vision expansion game. Your goal is to take people to a place they’ve never been to before.
Do it well, and customers will often spend more money with you. Can you use words to convey your vision to people? Absolutely. But the tricky part is to do it in a way that doesn’t seem to be self-serving. Ask yourself this simple question: “what is the ultimate experience customers will enjoy with my product/service?”
From there you can create a messaging strategy that will hit the spot for your target market. Get it right and you’ll be well on the way to moving your business to the next level.