If writing isn’t your strength, getting words on the screen can be painful. I’m in that boat. I dread writing. What should normally take someone an hour to write and proofread can take me up to 3-4 hours. And it still comes out with the grammatical mistakes of a third grader. So I asked a few of my copywriter friends to offer up some advice. Here are tips from top copywriters on how to improve writing for your brand.
Whether you’re a great writer or struggling writer, there’s always room for improvement. If you’re writing for your brand, whether it’s personal or for an organization, it’s so important to refine those skills.
So get out your pen and paper (or Evernote on iPhone) and take some notes. These are professional copywriters who know their stuff and do this for a living. And if you don’t even want to deal with writing and prefer to focus your time and energy on other parts of your business, check out their websites for the editing and copywriting services they offer.
1. Learn to “Dump” Write
Most people feel like their copy comes out feeling stiff, awkward, or sounding like “someone else”. The culprit is usually self-editing as you write and relying too heavily on the academic and technical writing skills we’ve been taught throughout life. To turn your copy into something that sounds genuine and conversational, learn to write fast: dump all of your thoughts onto the paper without stopping to edit anything. Try to write as if you were speaking to someone. After you’ve gotten all the raw material out of your head, then you can go back and edit.
2. Speaking in (Copywriting) Tongues
There are three main languages that you must weave together to successfully reach your ideal audience. You must develop your authentic voice, while speaking directly to your client in their language, while also peppering your copy with strong sales language. Intelligently weaving these three language threads together will bring you the right clients who resonate with your brand and need your services.
3. The Human Touch
Online audiences are becoming increasingly suspect of content that has only one purpose: to sell the reader a product or service. People want to buy online, but they want to do so from a company or individual they trust and the most effective way you can communicate that trust is through meaningful content. Let your customers hear from YOU and your customers in a real, genuine and authentic voice: share personal anecdotes and stories about how your products or services create a meaningful impact, never use a blatant “click-bait” title to draw them in, and know your audience. Using terminology that doesn’t resonate with a particular niche will turn a reader off because they do not feel you understand their needs.
4. Ahem, Cough! Create a Clear Voice That Your Audience Loves
When it comes to writing persuasive marketing copy, having a clear and compelling voice can make or break you – and paradoxically, it’s one of the most difficult-to-master aspects of writing. A powerful voice compels people to take action, so don’t be afraid to be unique – copywriting is like a conversation, and people would rather talk to the charismatic extrovert than the stuffy, boring killjoy. When creating your marketing content, define what kind of a personality you want to portray, then use words and sentence structures that reflect that personality. If you want to be perceived as clever, for instance, you might use a lot of puns, inverted cliches, and unconventional sentence structures in your writing. A great voice in your writing can differentiate you from your competitors, stir your audience’s emotions, and prompt people to take action – which is far more effective than bland, voiceless writing.
5. Break the Rules On Social Media
Humanize your brand on social media by breaking a few grammar rules. It will help your audience relate to you better. Use all caps to EMPHASIZE a few words. Throw in a few emojis to express your emotions. 😀 😀 Feel free to exclaim!!
Space (and attention) is limited on social media so break a few rules and convey yourself more effectively.
6. Your “About” Page Shouldn’t Be About You
Potential customers visit your site because they have a problem, and they want to know how you can help them. More often than not, people buy based on emotion, rather than need, so it’s imperative that you use the few seconds that a customer is looking at your website to your full advantage. Your “About” page should convey to the potential customer three things: a.) that you know them – you understand their problem, you know how they’re feeling, and you GET them; b.) that your knowledge of them puts you in a position to provide the perfect solution; and c.) that YOU are the person with whom they want to work. When you have copy that shows your potential clients that you know who they are, they will be much more interested to know you you are.
7. Get a second pair of eyes.
Never underestimate the importance of having someone else look over your content. If you can’t afford to hire an editor or proofreader, at least have a friend or colleague take a look. You’ll spend so much time crafting the perfect sentence that you might just miss some glaring grammar errors. That’s why a second pair of eyes is crucial to writing great content.
I hope you took down some great notes and bookmarked this post. Rather than hear me ramble nonsense about marketing and design, this post actually has sound advice from skilled professionals on the most important aspect of marketing your business – CONTENT.
If you need another set of eyes to proof your brand’s content, or need someone to help take your copy to a whole new level, check out the websites of any of these copywriters.
And now to you. Got a question about writing for your brand? Another tip to write better? Share with us in the comments!