Working day in and day out with entrepreneurs, helping them tweak and optimize their copy for better results can be…. eye-opening. 🙂
After being behind-the-scenes of close to 1000 businesses at this point, I can honestly say:
I think I’ve seen it all!
And, in “seeing it all,” I’ve also identified on the top things that most business owners who use self-written content and copy are doing WRONG.
To be clear, I’m a HUGE advocate of self-written copy. I think it’s the most authentic way to ensure your voice comes through to your audience.
And I’ll also say that I typically don’t like to use the word “wrong,” because I think it can make things sound super scary and discouraging.
But the honest truth is this: You CAN do this wrong. But I don’t want that for you!
Because when someone lands on your website or landing page, or scrolls over to your account on social media: you get ONE CHANCE to make a first impression.
So here’s what NOT to do…
- Be overly vague.
This sounds so simple and yet you’d be surprised how vague people are with their copy! You want, as much as possible, to be specific about every detail you can possibly be specific about. Don’t gloss over your story, or your customer’s thoughts or feelings, or the outcome your offer can deliver. When you’re specific, you might not connect with everyone. But when you’re vague you’re guaranteed to miss the mark.
- Try to be clever or funny.
There’s nothing “wrong” with being clever or funny. But all too often I see brands TRY to be funny when they’re not naturally funny IRL. OR they try to be clever at the cost of being clear and straightforward. You do not want to be one of these brands. Be yourself and be clear about your message.
- Make promises you can’t keep.
Buyers can smell inauthenticity a mile away. While the FTC is still working on making online business and internet marketing companies compliant with certain best practices, you can still remain an honest and forthcoming business owner by not inflating the results of your offer with ridiculous claims. Long-term business success is about under-promising and over-delivering, not the reverse.
- Use long paragraphs of text.
For the love of all that is holy, please make sure you break up your paragraphs with subheads, bullets, single lines of text, anything to make the text more “scannable.” In our short-attention-span culture, your viewers and visitors will run away screaming from anything that looks “HARD” to read.
- Get too flowery.
You might very well help people experience “blissful waves of fortuitous culture” as a result of your work. But if you’re flowery, no one knows WTF you mean! Remember that simple words are always the best to use. They make reading faster, more visually delightful – and ensure that regardless of their reading grade level, your website visitor can easily get through your copy and register what you’re saying without pulling out their Merriam Websters’.
Remember: keep it clear, concise, compliant, clean, and crisp.
You got this!
Create like you mean it,