When you’re launching a business, the budget is probably tight.
It’s tough to differentiate between a wise investment and a wasteful rabbit hole, but one thing you should not skimp on is writing.
As you launch your company, you’re probably jumping into a crowded field. Good copywriting will give you a distinct voice among the competition and, most important, help you convert more customers.
Here are 18 tips to write copy that convinces, influences and converts:
1. Write conversationally. Communicate with people as you would over coffee. Eliminate industry geek speak. Delete jargon and insider phrases that might cause confusion. If you use technical terms, define them.
Write with a casual tone, and emphasize clarity over trying to sound smart.
2. Learn how to write a great headline. David Ogilvy knew that people tend to read headlines—and often not much else.
Ogilvy was working mostly with print ads, but headlines are still crucial for web content, blogs, landing pages and other marketing collateral. Treat every headline as if it’s the only bit of your story people will read—because it often is.
Don’t treat headlines as an afterthought. Take time to craft teasers that entice, inspire, jar and excite.
3. Become a master with emotion. People tend to buy based on emotion.
If you can invoke fear, greed, happiness and other emotions into your copywriting, you’ll create more sales. It’s that simple.
Make people understand how your product or service will make them feel.
4. Offer social proof. The second you have happy early adopters and customers, seek permission to place testimonials on your website.
You can hawk your own wares until you’re blue in the face, but neutral third parties always carry more marketing weight. Ask for LinkedIn recommendations, promote Facebook flattery, and solicit praise from your biggest fans.
5. Tell a compelling story. What differentiates your company from the competition?
Even if you lack a fascinating backstory, use your “About” page to elaborate on your personal credentials, passions and interests. Tell stories instead of conveying information.
People remember a great story more easily than they’ll remember a data point. Always incorporate the human element in your writing, and prioritize content that lends itself to compelling storytelling.
6. Back up your claims. Hot takes and personal opinions won’t sway skeptical consumers. Use data, stats and facts to bolster your claims.
Cite reputable resources, piggyback off academic research or mine your own data to boost credibility and write more persuasively.
7. Maintain focus. Everything you write should have one central idea behind it. Don’t meander or try to cover too much in one piece. After you finish writing something, go back and edit out the filler.
Keep your copy focused on your main idea. If you have something strong that doesn’t support your main idea, save it for another blog post or marketing piece. Write with a specific call to action in mind.
8. Use visuals. Most readers will give your copy a few short seconds before they determine whether to continue. Use striking visuals with descriptive captions to lure them in.
Break up blocks of text by inserting pictures, GIFs, videos, infographics and other visually appealing elements to keep readers engaged. Also use bullet points, lists and subheads to make for swift reading.
9. Keep your copy clean. Typos can be a company killer.
Writing that’s rife with mistakes speaks to your credibility—or lack thereof. You don’t have to be perfect, but you should be consistent. There are ways you can improve. Use your word processor spell check, or a third-party program. Have someone look at your copy before you publish it. Hire a copy editor. All these things can help.
10. Write a strong “About Us” page. This is arguably your most important piece of marketing. Before making a purchase decision, your reader wants to know, “Why you?” Your “About” page is the place to create a compelling case of why you’re the right person for the job.
Use that page to establish credibility, likability and trust.