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Don't let your copywriting bore your customersHave you ever been at a party and found yourself looking for the nearest escape route while the resident bore (and there always is one) bangs on about their latest accomplishments without once trying to actively engage you in the conversation? After all, shouldn’t you be grateful that they’re letting you bask in their reflected glory?!

We’ve all been there.

A lot of websites are like that shameless self-publicist – we either avoid them at all costs or tolerate them for as short a time as possible while looking for the way out.

Yes, people want to know about your company, your credentials and your accomplishments but there’s a time and a place. It’s probably not before you’ve made your introductions. There are other ways to make a great first impression without all the bragging. Let customers get to know you (at least a little bit) first.

 

Say one thing and say it well

Successful business websites are those that understand it’s less about ‘me, me, me’ – i.e. the business owner or even the business – and more about ‘you, you, you’, the customer. They choose their key marketing message, the one thing that will connect with their customers, and they say it well.

Let’s go back to the party analogy. The polar opposite of the social bore is the person who’s successfully working the crowd. This person has a gift for making whomever they’re talking to feel like the only person in the room for the duration of the conversation. They ask questions, actively listen, and stay on topic. Plus, they do it with a smile on their face. They don’t talk to everyone, just the people with whom they’ve made a connection, and they’re happy with that.

Aspire for the copy on your website to be like this popular, confident party guest.

 

“They’re talking to me” – copy that makes your customer feel like the only person in the room

The truth is that although qualifications, awards, and an all-singing, all-dancing list of features make you good at what you do, customers take a lot of this on trust. They assume that you know your stuff – why else would you be in business? What they’re really looking for is a company that understands them and uses their vocabulary; a business that makes them nod their head vigorously and go, “Yes, that’s me! How did you know I feel that way?”

Customers want to feel heard, understood, important. Make them feel as though you’re only speaking to them and you’ll make more progress in a lasting relationship than a list of your achievements ever could.

 

Write copy that puts your customer centre stage

I was on a website earlier this week and was shocked by the content. It’s a reputable company with a recently designed and rewritten site, but the ‘party bore effect’ struck me immediately. Your website copy should put customers firstApproximately 90% of the Home page copy (of which there was A LOT) was devoted to sentences beginning, “We are renowned for this…”, “We are also that…” etc. etc. Finally, a mere paragraph from the end, the company (that largely communicated in buzz words) told me what they could do for me as a potential customer. I had actually been wondering for the past 800 words where the customer fitted in at all! I couldn’t leave that site quickly enough.

Ultimately, people really just want to know that you have what they need. They don’t particularly care how you do it. If someone comes to me for copywriting support, for example, they’ll probably trust that I know what I’m doing. All they want to know is that I’m going to make a difference to their business, not the process that I’ll go through to make that difference. They don’t care how I write, just that I come up with the words they couldn’t, words that will resonate with their customers.

So, ask yourself this question: What does my client really want from me? What do they want to know? How can I make them feel like everything I say was written for them? Because that should be your goal every time you reach out to your customers.

Lose the ‘me, me, me’, take some time to get to know them, and the sweet reality is that’s when customers will want to get to know you.

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Emma Heasman

Emma Heasman has been an in-house and freelance copywriter for the past 13 years and launched The Freelance Copywriter in 2003. Ever passionate about copywriting, she now works with small businesses to help them write copy that speaks to their ideal customers. Connect with Emma on Google+

7 Responses so far.

  1. Pam Clarke says:

    From a fellow The Girls Means Business colleague. Love this article Emma!

  2. Marie says:

    Ah its Tuesday, I always look forward to your blog and a coffee to set me up for the day. Great content as always, thanks Emma

  3. Ruby says:

    Great article Emma, it really gets you thinking 🙂

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