Your secret formula for writing better copy.
I’ve spent more time than I care to admit staring at a blank page. I write a sentence, and then delete it. Some days it’s downright painful. I suppose that is part of the gig, but here’s a formula that has helped me get past writer’s block time and again. If you follow it, your content will be clear and helpful.
- Identify what your customer wants. Your product or service is a means to an end. What is the end-result they hope to achieve?
- What problem is keeping them from getting what they want? The temptation is to talk about a hundred problems, don’t do that. Pick a specific problem that your product or service can help them overcome. That problem is the hook, so talk about it a lot and then some more.
- Empathize with them. Have you been in their shoes? We trust people who are similar to us, so build on that common ground. Have you seen how difficult their problem is? Show them that you care and that you want them to succeed.
- If you’ve helped other people through a similar problem, then mention that. Your goal is to instill confidence that you can help them solve their problem. You can use stats, testimonials, certifications, or something similar.
- Give them a plan to achieve success. You would be surprised how well this helps your customers walk through the fog. People hate being confused, and your customer’s brain will subconsciously use that confusion (subtle or not) as an excuse to not move forward with you. Spell it out. Step 1. Step 2. Step 3.
- Remind them of what’s at stake. Paint a picture of success and failure. The reason movies are worth watching is because there is something at stake. Can you imagine watching The Terminator without the imminent doom of a post-apocalyptic world? Or Star Wars with no Empire / First Order?
- Call them to action. If you have a product or service that will help your customer get what they want, then you owe it to them to be direct and ask for the sale. No one wants a lingering problem.
If the goal of the content you’re writing is to establish trust or help freely, that’s fine, call them to action anyway. Words have a strange power over us, and oftentimes, we won’t take the next step unless we’re told to.
Here’s the big idea:
Your marketing should be telling a story, but the story is not about you. It’s about your customer; they are the main character in the story. Talk about their problem, show some empathy, give them a plan, remind them what’s a stake, and call them to action.
If you follow that formula, then your content will be persuasive and engaging instead of pointless and drab.
Now, write something and comment with a link so that I can see how well you did!