What are your words saying about you?
When you want to make a good impression, your first thought might be “how do I look?” (especially if you’re on yet another video call). It’s the graphics, photography or CGIs that get the attention. After all, a picture can paint a thousand words.
The words themselves are the easy bit. Well, we can all write, can’t we?
Being able to type is not the same as being able to write
For many businesses your product is your advice and expertise, packaged up in the blogs, brochures, press releases and, of course, the reports you write. So when your product is your words, it brings into focus just how important those words are.
Are you known for giving clear, helpful and insightful advice or dull, complicated or unclear advice?
Your clients are busy people. If you want to hold their attention, everything you write should be urgent, unique, ultra-specific or useful. They want to get an insight into your mind – quickly. More words do not equate to more value for money. They’re paying you to give them the right answer. And to give it clearly so that their problem can be solved quickly.
Four ways to bring your words alive
Answer the question
We’ve said it before: your audience has a problem. If they didn’t they wouldn’t need your services. Holding their problem in your mind’s eye will keep your blog post or report or web page on track so you deliver a clear and straightforward message.
Make the complex simple
Working in a service-based industry, we are surrounded by sector-specific language. You probably don’t even notice but your client won’t be as familiar with it – if at all.
Good copy cuts through the jargon. It keeps the reader’s attention by making the complex simple to digest. We might work in a B2B world, but we’re still talking person to person.
Check your tone of voice
Your tone of voice is part of your core brand identity. It communicates your business values and personality. Getting clear on that means that no matter who’s written the advice, it reads like it’s been written by the same person.
Now is the time to revisit your tone of voice and word choices carefully. Make sure your messaging is sensitive to the new reality we live and work in since the pandemic hit. Everything, including the business world, has changed. Uncertainty is the norm.
Step back and reassess things from your client’s new viewpoint, and consider how to respond. Ask yourself, is this approach still appropriate now? Is my tone getting the right message across?
Make it easy to take the next step
Whatever it may be, a clear call to action is essential. Don’t spend so long showing your insight that you forget to set out their next steps. Tell them how to respond to your advice. This is all about being helpful.
A final thought
Your words demonstrate your expertise, insight and, ultimately, your value. So don’t fall into the trap of leaving the writing to the last minute or churning words out without much thought.
Sometimes it takes someone who’s not close to the detail to be able to get your message across clearly. A professional copywriter looks at a task with fresh eyes, rather than doing it “the way it’s always been done”.
Consider hiring a professional to breathe life into your writing. They will make you sound better than your competitors, so you can get on with doing what you do best. That’s where your value lies.
There are two main ways of getting your message to the right people: earned and paid content. Let’s look at how they can work together.
Whatever you’re doing to mark the end of 2020, we can guarantee it’s not what you did last year. How are you sharing your fortune with those less fortunate?
Your call to action is the cherry on top of an excellent piece of marketing content. Don't let your viewer wander off.