In today’s episode, I’m going to help you write copy that converts.
This is something that I know a lot of people struggle with. It can be really difficult to understand how exactly to word things, what types of phrases to use, or how to really connect with your audience in writing in a way that’s going to help them make a decision to buy from you.
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We’re going to dive deep into this in today’s episode, and I’ve got five juicy tips for you.
Let’s dive in!
Firstly, I want to say that copy and writing for your business is a skill. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a non-negotiable skill that we need to develop as entrepreneurs and business owners.
Of course you can absolutely outsource copywriting and engage experts. But in this age of swipe files, people using specific terms and phrases and structures to their writing and outsourcing their copy to the experts, it’s easy to get lost in what I would say is a sea of sameness.
It seems to me that the longer I’m in the online business world, the more I see the same things being repeated over and over again.
Whilst you might feel that engaging an expert to write your copy for you is a way for you to not have to learn how to write for your business and not have to learn how to speak for your business, in most cases, copywriters are going to work best when you’ve already developed a voice.
They work best when you already have clarity and confidence in the way that you speak to your audience and the way that you get your message across.
Being a great writer or speaker for your business is a skill that ultimately is going to serve you so well because there’s so much to be said and written.
You COULD hire a copywriter to help write a sales page and some email sequences for you…
But then what about:
- All those social media posts?
- When you’re asked to give a presentation or you’re invited to be a speaker?
- That webinar you’re going to be running?
- Your regular blog posts and content?
- The copy that goes on to the rest of your website?
- When someone asks you to submit an article to their website?
- When someone sends you an email and asks you some questions about your program?
If you’re constantly outsourcing writing for your business and you’re not developing that skill for yourself, then you are going to fall short in so many different spaces.
Writing for your business, as far as I’m concerned, is a non-negotiable baseline skill.
It is something that takes practice, it is something that takes a bit of nuance and understanding what works and what doesn’t, and like any skill, it’s going to take time for you to develop and it will get easier as time goes.
The longer you spend avoiding learning how to write for your business, the longer you’re going to be holding yourself back from being a great writer for your business and getting your copy to do its job (which is to attract and convert your ideal clients and deliver on the outcomes that you promise).
Here are my five key tips for getting your copy really singing and getting it to convert people into paying clients:
1. Find your voice through practice
I would say out of speaking and writing, my preference is speaking.
I have made it a very specific focus of mine to practice writing in my business and using my strengths in speaking to improve my writing.
Something that I’ve done to improve my writing is I’ve recorded podcast episodes or recorded videos and turned them into written content.
When I wrote my first book, I actually recorded it as 12 webinars and then got the transcripts of that and edited that into my book.
A lot of the time when I get stuck with writing, I will also meet with a team member or a business bestie just to talk out what I’m trying to write in my business.
If I’m writing an email sequence and I’m really struggling with what I want to say, I’ll:
- Grab one of my team members and talk it through with them
- Talk it out with Honest Dave (my partner)
- Get in touch with a business bestie
- Take it to a masterminding session with my business mastermind
I know I’m a talker. As an extrovert, I think with my mouth. I totally understand that.
But that doesn’t mean I completely avoid writing!
I just use my strengths in speaking to help me build my skills in writing.
I know a lot of other people whose strength is in writing. But they’ve also trained themselves to write in a very formal or very cold manner. They want to become more conversational in their writing.
You don’t become more conversational in your writing just by deciding to be more conversational in your writing and then all of a sudden it magically works.
It takes practice.
I don’t see it as a fruitless labour every time I sit down to write something in my business, or I set out to write:
- A new sales page
- An email sequence
- New content
I see that as an amazing opportunity for me to practice my writing, refine my messaging, and refine the way that I engage and connect with my audience in writing.
It’s so wonderful as an opportunity for that refinement and that practice.
Even for myself as a skilled speaker and someone who loves speaking, if I go back and look at some of my early YouTube videos, I was so stilted, so formal and so breathy when I was speaking in those early videos.
Even in early podcast episodes! There was no way I would record a podcast episode in one take the way that I do for all of my podcast episodes now.
It’s taken some practice in being okay with um’s and ahhh‘s and pauses. It has taken some practice in learning how to sequence the way that I speak and bring concepts together. It’s taken some practice in how I set myself up for podcast episodes with key dot points and knowing what things I need to write down and what things I can just say off the cuff.
That has all taken practice.
Every single one of those speaking and writing opportunities has helped me find my voice. They’ve helped me to get clear on what I want to say and get clear on how I need to explain things to make sure that they’re of service and helpful to my audience.
That practice comes from so many different spaces.
I practice finding my voice through:
- Short-form content
- Longer-form content
- Writing and speaking in small, warm, more connected audiences
- Writing and speaking in larger format spaces
I want you to start looking at every opportunity that you get or can create for yourself to speak and write for your business as an opportunity to practice and an opportunity to find your voice.
If you just take one tip from this podcast episode, let that one be it.
I’m going to give you some other tips as well, but ultimately, as soon as you see this as a skill and you see every opportunity to speak and write as an opportunity to practice and refine, you’re going to build that, and then your copy and your spoken content is going to convert way better.
2. Keep it conversational
Humans want to hear from humans.
It’s one of the reasons why my podcasts now are one take podcasts and I don’t edit out the pauses and the um’s and the ah‘s.
It’s so much more conversational!
In fact, a lot of people comment that they love listening to my podcast because I stop and take breaths. They love listening to my content because they can hear (or sometimes see if they watch on video) that the cogs are turning as I’m pulling things together. It feels so much more human and so much more connecting.
One of the things that I have definitely had to practice (in both my copy and in spoken form in my podcast) is staying conversational.
It’s very easy for us to fall back into old corporate habits or old beliefs around how formal and “professional” we need to be in order to be able to speak and write in our business.
It takes some unlearning for those of us who’ve been in corporate in particular.
The more that you can keep it conversational and the more that you can practice speaking in your natural voice, the more connecting that content and copy is going to be, and the more it’s going to convert.
You might think that in order for people to buy from you, they need to have confidence that you’re super professional and you’re super eloquent and use really big words.
Ultimately, we want to buy from other human beings.
The number one driver of conversion is connection.
If your words are disconnecting, then they’re not necessarily working towards that conversion.
If you want to write copy that converts, make it conversational and make it human.
Alternatively, if you want to write copy that boosts your ego and makes you feel fancy, then keep it really cold, corporate, wordy, eloquent, super refined and polished and never use a contraction again.
If you’re reading this podcast episode, then you were probably attracted to it because it said copy that converts, NOT copy that makes you feel fancy.
If you want copy that converts, my tip is to keep it conversational and human.
3. Consider the context of the copy
This is part of the reason why I don’t recommend that people hire copywriters until they have practised and built their confidence and their value proposition in their messaging.
Your copy is going to go into different spaces and speak to different audiences.
Those different audiences require different approaches to your copy.
If you think about all of the people who are in your business universe vortex right now, there are going to be some people who are closer to the centre of your business. They know you, they trust you, they’ve learned from you before, they’ve heard some of your content before, they’re really keen on your work, and they understand you.
When you speak to that audience, you can talk to them and speak to them in a much more familiar way. You can speak a little bit more advanced in some of the content that you’re presenting, and you can get straight to the heart of the matter because you know that you’re all on the same page.
When you’re writing copy for an audience that’s just fresh to you – let’s say a Facebook ad that’s going out to a cold audience – then your copy needs to take into consideration the fact that that audience is colder.
When an audience is colder, they might not feel as familiar with you. They might need to see a little more in terms of the process that you’re teaching. You need to build their confidence that you are an expert or someone who has something of value for them.
When you’re speaking to your hottest audience, you can just go straight into your topic. But if they’re a cold audience, you may have to give a bit more context of your topic BEFORE giving the information that you want to give.
Your copy needs to be appropriate to the context in which you serve up that copy.
There is no ONE sexy job title or tagline that will work for your hottest and your coldest audiences at once.
If you keep trying to find copy that speaks to everyone, it will end up resonating with no one.
When it comes to your core message in your business, there’s not one sentence or even a paragraph.
Your core message is an ecosystem.
That ecosystem is made up of layers.
Have a look at what:
- People think is the problem and the solution
- They’re hungry for
- The content that people in your niche are actively seeking, clicking on and really excited to read
- The lightbulb moment you need to facilitate for those people is so that they understand or are open to hearing about the deeper transformation that you facilitate
- It is that your audience needs in order to experience that transformation
That messaging ecosystem has two jobs:
1. It creates copy that has context.
2. It moves your coldest audience through to being warmed up and ready to hear about the transformation that you facilitate faster.
That messaging ecosystem is an active model of your copy so that you know what to share and where, and what to share with whom, in a way that’s going to maximise conversion.
Instead of viewing your messaging or your copy as sexy taglines, or the right sexy way to say something, or a one-size-fits-all sentence that explains your work to anyone and everyone, look at your messaging and your copy as being part of that ecosystem.
We know people need to have multiple touchpoints with us before they’re ready to take action, so make those multiple touchpoints do their jobs.
4. Don’t speak down to people
When you’re writing copy for me as your ideal client, don’t write it as the expert who’s above me or in front of me. Don’t act like you’ve figured it out and you’ve got everything perfect and you’re speaking down to me.
That is something that I see a lot in copy. It’s not resonant. It doesn’t excite or invite or ignite me.
Copy that speaks down to your audience is actually a toxic marketing strategy. It’s making people feel less than.
It also can bring up a lot for people in terms of that fear or that worry that they’ve fallen behind because there’s something they don’t know.
I want you to stop and consider: Is that really how I want to make people feel?
For most women or non-binary folks that I work with, that is not the model of messaging or the impact that they want to have with their marketing. BUT that’s the only style of copy that they’ve been taught.
They’ve only been taught the type of content where you’re speaking down to people as though they should have figured it out by now.
All of that type of copy is actually telling people that they’re wrong.
If you think about that type of copy as you being above someone, the alternative that I want you to imagine is that you see someone who’s struggling with something, and you sit on the floor with them and meet them where they’re at.
When you write your copy from that perspective, it is so much more engaging, it is so much more empowering, and it’s also way better at converting people into paying clients.
I think the reason why it converts so well (especially if you sell to women and non-binary folk) is that it comes from a space of understanding. You’re not lecturing or speaking down to them, you’re holding their hand through it.
That’s a very different vibe. It also doesn’t require that person to subvert themselves to you.
They don’t have to defer any kind of power or authority to you when you are peers.
I want you to think about this in terms of all marketing, businesses, providers and clients that you see out there.
The type of business that I operate in and the type of model of business that I am generating and creating is one that doesn’t require me to be above anyone else.
Just because I’m good at social media, marketing, messaging and copy, doesn’t in any way, shape or form make me better than anyone else. In fact, most of my clients are way better than me.
They’re way bigger experts in their field, or they are way more experienced in life, or they’ve just done more things with their lives.
None of that makes anyone better than or less than.
I don’t have to be better than anyone in order to be successful.
I really enjoy that model of business.
When I’m working with someone, it’s not because I’m better than them, it’s because I have a skill to offer them – I have something I can help them to do.
We are in a peer to peer relationship. I am a whole human being, and they are a whole human being. I am not broken and need fixing in any way, and they are not broken or need fixing in any way.
We are in a peer-to-peer relationship.
When I craft my copy, I craft my copy from that perspective.
Rather than making people feel less than and speaking down to them, I write my copy through the perspective of seeing that they’re struggling, knowing that I’ve struggled with that before, and going and sitting down on the floor with them. I speak to them from that space.
If you can visualise that, I think it really does create high connection, high conversion in your copy.
You may even notice the difference now that I’ve said that. If you have a look at the way that I create podcasts, the way that I write my emails and what I write on my sales pages, you might start to notice some of these subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences between my ads and what you see from others, or in my emails and what you see from others, or my sales pages and what you see from others.
I think that the number one thing that creates that difference is this peer-to-peer relationship rather than an above and below relationship.
5. Ramp up your confidence
This is for the women and non-binary folk in particular. I’ve never had to give this advice to a straight white man before (and I’ve worked with some straight white men).
There are so many sales pages, emails, offers and posts on social media that I see and I feel like you’re apologising to me for getting in my way.
I feel like you have the most amazing, juicy piece of stone fruit that you have to offer me, and I’m so hungry for stone fruit and I really want that juicy piece of stone fruit, yet you’re apologising for giving it to me.
Stop tempering the way that you speak about your work.
I know that there are some people out there who oversell what they can do and over-promise on what they can deliver. But 99.9999% of my audience on this podcast are not like that.
I want you to just review your copy through this lens: Am I speaking about it with the confidence of a straight white man? Or am I apologising for my presence? Am I underselling what I’ve got here?
I want you to just find ways that you can ramp up the confidence with which you write copy, especially when you’re writing about your work.
Look for where you’re saying words like ‘just’, ‘may’, ‘might’ or ‘maybe’.
Look for where you say ‘thank you’. I signed up for someone’s webinar the other day, and the welcome email that I got from them was thanking me for my interest in their webinar.
Shouldn’t I be thanking you?!
You’re going to run a live workshop or webinar on a topic I’m really excited for. Why are you thanking ME?
I just want you to have a look at those things.
Even where people sign up and buy something from you. Do you congratulate them for making a great decision and buying from you? Or do you thank them for buying from you?
I’m all for a great thank you. But if it’s everywhere and if it’s all starting to feel like we’re doing you a favour by signing up for things and buying from you, then I think that’s something that needs to be reviewed.
We don’t give you money as a favour.
We don’t sign up for your freebies as a favour or because we feel sorry for you. We’re signing up for your stuff and we are giving you money because we’re excited for what you’re going to give us in return.
The sooner you start to see that and shift your perspective on it, the more confidence that infuses your copy and the more magnetic you become.
I just want you to do a little review of your copy. Go and look at the last few things you’ve posted on your socials. Go and look at the last few emails that you sent out to your mailing list. Does it feel confident, excited and empowered about what you’ve got to offer coming from a sense of deep worthiness? Or does it feel a little apologetic?
If it’s feeling a little apologetic, how can you ramp up your confidence within that copy?
They are my five hot tips to write copy that converts:
1. Find your voice through practice
2. Keep it conversational and human
3. Look at your messaging as an ecosystem rather than a once-off powerful catchphrase
4. Don’t speak down to people – get on the floor with them and treat them as peers
5. Ramp up your confidence
I hope you’ve found this really helpful.
I think this is a starting point for a really great conversation, so come on over to the Heart-Centred Soul-Driven Entreprenseurs Facebook community.
At any time you can do this with any of my podcast episodes! Just use #podcastaha, let me know which episode you’ve been reading (this one is 285) and let’s continue the conversation there.
You might want to share an aha, ask a follow up question or start a conversation with people about what’s been covered in today’s podcast episode. I love seeing what you have to say!
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.