Good writing is enjoyable and attractive. But "copy" sells. So how do you make the leap? What's the magic formula?
A lot of people have the "gift for gab." They're able to sit down and write engaging words that spark the imagination, uplift the spirit, and make listeners feel great. Sometimes, in a store, that warm, fuzzy feeling will seduce a customer into making a purchase. But that's accidental. Language like that isn't copy. It's delightful, but isn't targeted to sell. What makes the difference?
It's All About the Customer
Copywriting isn't a case of sounding generally appealing and exuding a lovely personality. That will win friends but won't necessarily build a customer base. To sell, and to continue growing on the foundation of earlier sales, you need to genuinely connect with your customers' particular style, way of life, product needs, buying habits and personal characteristics. As we discussed in another post about marketing strategies that fit your business, there isn't a one-size-fits-all writing style that works for all businesses.
Many business owners who aren't also writers find it very difficult to write ordinary descriptions, much less create focused copy that is intelligently and effectively designed to sell. So how can you manage to write a good product listing or bio without either taking classes or hiring a professional? In some cases, those options will work for you and would be good alternatives. But if you're trying to go it alone, here are few tips that might help:
Avoiding the Hard Sell
Of course there are many "hard sell" tactics that work purely on the basis of manipulating consumers' emotions, and can successfully sell with having to remain authentic. Note that even in those cases, a business needs to understand its high-potential customers in order to drive them toward making a purchase. But overall, I can't recommend those methodologies—even in cases where they might work. In my opinion, not everything that works is worthwhile doing. I prefer to respect the customer and to rely on honest, direct engagement rather than subtle or overt manipulation.
Barbara Clavan provides copywriting, coaching and consulting services to high-growth businesses, high-profile individuals and creative entrepreneurs.
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