If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’ve probably found yourself in the position of writing web and marketing copy for your business. And it can be really hard! So Branding For The People wants to help make it a little easier.
Writing for your own business presents a unique challenge in that you both KNOW your business better than anyone—but because you know it so well, you can be your own worst editor. You might leave out important details, thinking they’re common sense. Jargon you understand clearly might confuse your audience. And sometimes, when your livelihood and focus is selling, it can be tough to translate that into content people will actually read.
For the sake of this article, we’ll focus mostly on web and blog copy, but these tips apply to most of your marketing writing needs.
Here are five pointers to help you craft the most compelling marketing copy for your own business.
Simpler is better.
Dense, complex prose might help demonstrate that you’re an expert in your field. But if people are coming to your blog or website for information they can use and understand, a thick wall of text is going to leave them feeling alienated. You can try an “explain it to me like I’m five” approach to your topic. How would you tell your niece or nephew what you do for work? Would they get it? You can always add more info, but starting simple is your best bet.
Focus & find your zen.
In the same way that simpler is better, focused is always better than scattered. While drafting, it’s easy to think “ah, they’re going to need to understand x so I can explain y”. You’re just trying to be as thorough and helpful as possible! But shooting in lots of different directions will lose your reader fast.
Make us care.
We hear a lot about storytelling in copywriting for a reason: because people want to arrive at a conclusion themselves. They want to feel they’ve considered a purchase, and they want to feel like they’ve taken a journey others have had success with. Pummeling with facts will make people feel like they’re being sold to. But if they walk away from your page really feeling something, even the seed of something, they’ll be back.
Keep it short.
We talked about simplifying. Keeping it short is different. Your audience is most likely skimming and probably on a smartphone. They might be waiting for an appointment, and close the page when they’re called in. Giving quick, punchy, skimmable information helps your reader absorb your message in the limited time you have with them.
Don’t bury the lede.
Burying the lede is a journalism expression that means you give less important information to begin with, and hide your primary message until further in. This was not best practice in print journalism, and it’s even worse in web writing. Instead of just annoying your audience, you run the risk of them missing the point completely.