The entrepreneur?s life is a busy one. Whether you?re running a full-scale business or you?re just trying to get your first product off the ground, you have a lot to think about and a lot to do. Product development. Distribution. Sourcing. Order fulfillment. Setting up a website. These are just a few of the issues that occupy the mind of the modern business owner.
Oh yeah, and then there?s the small matter of getting people to buy your product, which of course requires you to know how to write copy that sells. You could hire a copywriter to handle this for you, but you probably don?t have that luxury if you?re running a small to medium business.
What?s an insanely busy entrepreneur to do?
Psst…here?s a secret: You can write good copy even if it feels like you?re already working 26 hours per day, and even if the last thing you wrote was a horribly misspelled crayon letter to your grade-school love. Here are some of the keys to effective marketing copywriting.
Write with a specific person in mind
You know what you?re selling, and you should know who?s most likely to buy your product. Before you begin writing, think about that person. A generic description doesn?t cut it here. You want to think about a specific person who lives, breathes, and purchases. If you sell lawn-care products, think about your neighbor who trims his grass with scissors. If you sell kitchen accessories, think about the amateur chef in your family or friend group.
Take some time to clearly envision this person and get in their mindset. You should be able to imagine the type of work they do, the people they socialize with, the things they do for fun. Once you get a clear picture of this ideal customer?s persona, you can really speak to their hopes, needs, and/or fears. And when you truly speak to those elements of your customer?s identity, you?re all but guaranteed to make the sale.
Think about what would get you to purchase
You are just as important a source of good copy as your ideal customer is. So take some time to get into your own mind and reflect. And no, you don?t have to sit under a waterfall humming with your legs crossed and eyes closed to do it.
The key here is to think about non-essential purchases you?ve made. Why did you buy? Think beyond the surface reasons; consider the deeper hopes or fears you appeased by making these purchases. Sure, maybe you bought the filet mignon and shrimp because you knew it would be delicious. But it probably also gave you the comfort of knowing you?re worthy of the finer things. Once you understand your own motivations for purchasing, you?ll find it much easier to find words that convince your prospect to buy. Speaking of which…
Use powerful words
Duh, right? This may sound like a no-brainer, but what exactly are those powerful words? Fortunately, we have some well-conducted research to tell us! It?s all about context.
Context words ? words conveying insight, time, space, and/or motion ? have been proven to create ?emotional engagement? in readers. And emotional engagement can lead readers to take an action, such as buying your product. These context words are especially useful in writing headlines. For example, the headline ?How to Boost Your Productivity in Just 30 Minutes? contains words conveying insight (?How to?), motion (?Boost?), and time (?30 Minutes?).
Be clear, concise, and authentic
Or to put it another way, use short sentences with plain words. Write as if you?re speaking directly to your customer in person. This is how you sell without sounding ?salesy.?
The best way to find your proper tone is to just start writing, plain and simple. Don?t worry about finding the perfect words. Don?t try to be overly clever. Don?t spend hours searching the web trying to find a piece of advice to guide every sentence. Now is the time to let the words fly. If you?re passionate about your product and know your customer, your words will be effective. Once you?ve got those words committed to paper, you?ve completed the most difficult step. Now it?s time to edit.
Give yourself some time so you can edit properly
We all know editing is a hugely important part of writing. But many people don?t realize the key to editing is to give yourself time. Ideally, you want to give yourself a day or two ? half a day at the very least ? before you go back over your written piece (assuming it?s more than a few paragraphs, which most of your important sales messages should be).
This is because you want to approach your piece with fresh eyes, i.e., the eyes of your potential customer. Read through and see if it would convince you to buy the product. See if it holds your attention. If it doesn?t, make some changes (remember the power words) and try again. Have someone else read over your piece, if possible. This is the best way to take your sales message from ?good? to ?convincing.?
Of course these tips are just the beginning of great copywriting, but they provide a great start for a busy entrepreneur. The important thing to remember is that nobody is a perfect copywriter. It?s a constant process of learning and doing and even experimenting to see what works best for your business specifically.
There are a lot of resources out there to teach you how to write copy that sells. This is just a quick guide, but it should have you well on your way. We encourage to keep learning, because great copy is among the most powerful tools an entrepreneur can have in their arsenal!
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.