It’s now or never! 5 reasons to revisit your web copy right now to avoid drastic consequences for your business.
dOk, I get it, spending your valuable time on copywriting may not be on top of your priority list right now. For starters, there is the corona crisis that threw your business upside down - the uncertainty of the future, many unexpected issues to solve, and working from home (with or without kids). Besides, copywriting is often seen as a daunting and preferably avoided task. But it certainly shouldn’t be. As a good web copywriting is the prime source of your revenue. It sets your business apart. It attracts the right kind of customers that are willing to buy or hire. It builds a long-term loyal relationship between your brand and your customers (it makes them returning customers). And finally, it establishes your authority in the branch. What else is there to wish for?
If this is the place where you go: “I know, I know. But I don’t have time for…” Allow me to interrupt. Here are the five reasons you should invest your time and effort in writing your web copy right now.
Reason No. 1
There is no offline. Gone. Poof. Disappeared. So the only place we can do business is online. In the pre-corona era, one could have done durable with a lousy web copy focusing on the IRL clients acquisition and maintenance. But now, this option does not exist. And having a web copy that is less than great will sink your business (say hello to Titanic). Your website is more than a business card. It’s your major channel of DOING business.
Reason No. 2
Yes, there are million things to worry about. But whether we like it or not, life has slowed down, so has the business. And we have some extra time on our hands. So, this is the perfect opportunity to invest some hours and a couple of drops of sweat and tears into your copywriting. Revisit your website, sales page, and LI profile. Optimize your headlines, CTA’s and niche keywords. You’ll be surprised to see the number of new clients you get after stepping up your copywriting game.
Reason No. 3
The covid-19 may have positively impacted your business. And you came up with a new product/ service. Fantastic. Now, it is time for the world to discover what you have to offer. But if your copy is booooooring, no one will get to the discovery part. Instead, your potential customer will turn to her Insta feed on the second sentence. Through a good web copy, you can create the awareness, educate, ignite the desire, stimulate the action, and achieve the results. In fact, good copywriting is also important when working on your newsletters, press-releases, and sales proposals. A well-written proposal will easily upsell.
Reason No. 4
Oh, the sweet power of words. A few short words can change your life (think about “I love you” or “I never want to see you again”.) I leave love to novels. But commercial or political copy is not less impactful. Remember Obama’s “Yes, we can” or Adidas’ “Impossible is nothing” or Pepsi’s “The choice of a new generation.” These tiny sentences are known around the world. Some have inspired us, some have set us in motion, some have made us want to be part of the group. Your copy too has power. If it’s a good one – it engages; if it’s a bad one – it makes customers go. When you find the right words, a fitting tone of voice and create a fine structure you can make a remarkable impact on your (potential) customers.
Reason No 5
Nah, I’ll do it another day. Very well. That may be your answer. But by putting your web copy aside you’ll miss your window of opportunity. This is not the business as we used to know. And it will never be. The world, the business is changing in front of our eyes. And they are changing for good. So, it’s up to you whether you get on the bandwagon or staying left behind in the settling dust.
What do you choose?
If you choose to join, I hope you are inspired enough to let your fingers fly on the keyboard. However, if you are struggling to find the right words you can:
In the online world, where we all live right now, there are three things only that form impression - the words and images you use and your reviews (I touch on the latter another time). Through them, your customers get to know, trust and like you. And when this happens, your customer will buy from you or hire you repeatedly.
The first impression matters. And with our attention span becoming less than the one of a goldfish, you need to make a heck of a great first impression within a few seconds.
1. To ensure that your copy and visual content are synchronised. The images shouldn’t distract from your words but support them instead. I see visual content as a roadmap for the written content: illustrate the point, support the argument, and guide towards the desired action/outcome.
2. To know whom you are addressing. It’s impossible to be liked by everyone, to please everyone and to sell to everyone. Let’s face it. Accept it. And move on. It is a good thing when people think from the first glance:” Nope, not my kinda gal.” It’s perfect. I wouldn’t like to work with clients who don’t get me or don’t trust my expertise. I'm sure you neither.
3. To structure your content and make it user friendly. If you are not Leo Tolstoy, don’t try to write like him. The world doesn’t need the second “War and Peace.” Make your content is scanable. Headers, sub-headers, quotes, lists and sidebars work great optimizing the journey of your reader through your copy. Break complex sentences and alternate long sentences with the short ones. Use powerful action words (verbs mostly). And don't forget your CTA's (Call to Action).
4. To make it about your customer. We, human beings, are interested in ourselves. Every piece of your copy should be based on the desires, goals, needs or problems of your customers. When writing, ask yourself: "What will she/he get out of my copy? Out of my service/product?" Use the word 'you'; it is an effective tool to make your copy more personal and persuasive.
5. To remember: words have power. They unite, they tore apart, they make us love or hate, they bring smiles upon our faces and let tears run down our cheeks. Use that power cautiously. But bring it into your texts to sparkle interest, joy and enthusiasm.
If you want to learn more about crafting copy that impacts and engages, subscribe to my newsletter or check my 1:1 copywriting training session.
Enough repeating that the times are weird. This is what I told myselfat a couple of weeks ago. I don’t want to use the current situation as an excuse for my procrastination. Yes, it’s hard to stay focused and calm. Yes, the kids are roaming the house 24/7. Yes, I don’t have my regular working days. But I do have a choice. A choice of trying to make the best out of the quarantine time or lie down and be miserable. Well, when I put it like this, there is no need to choose at all. I don’t want to be miserable. Period.
So, here are my tips to keep focus and beat procrastination:
1. Plan in advance. Go through your tasks the evening before and outline your to-do-list for the next day. Blocking slots is a good option, too. X min for answering emails, X hrs for the project, X min for a Zoom call, etc. You can go wild and assign a colour to each block.
2. Use Toggl to keep track of the time spent on a task/project.
3. Tackle a couple of easy tasks and go over to the BIG FAT annoying job you ought to do. Completing a few simple things first will boost your energy, productivity and satisfaction. But do not leave THE task for after the lunch. Make sure to start working on it before noon.
4. Lower your expectations. It is not possible to complete in 4hrs what you used to finish in 8hrs of your workday. You will catch up in its due course.
5. Find a work buddy. Having someone keeping tabs on you works as a massive motivator. Agree with a friend or a colleague to touch base every so often to keep track of your progress.
6. Don’t forget to have breaks and creative pauses when your brain can rest from your regular work tasks.
7. Take action. Having something half done is better than having nothing at all.
Do you find that you tend to procrastinate now more than you used to?
My Instagram feed is packed with tips on what to do with the free time we suddenly got on our hands. Well, let me tell you this. I am a working mom. I got a pre-schooler and a toddler cruising my home office 24/7 as the school and the daycare are closed. Plus the household. Plus no more regular working days as once again the kids are at home. So, the little free time I had was gone the moment we all went into the quarantine.
What does it have to do with knowing your audience? Well, quite a lot. It’s all about knowing your customer and what her problem is. Would I sign up right now to an origami workshop or purchase a gardening e-book? No way! I have no time for these. On the other hand, if you give me some ideas for the kids’ activities while mama’s working - you’ll get me listening. Would I gladly opt-in and pay for the online dance classes for my pre-schooler? Absolutely. Would I choose to enroll into a workshop 'balancing your work and family'? Yes, where shall I sign up. I think you got me. When offering the right solution to the problem of your customer, you won't need to sell hard. Your customer will gladly exchange her/his money for getting the problem fixed.
Next week, I talk about how to get a step closer in understanding who your customer is. To learn more right now you can register to my 1:1 copywriting training and get insights into defining your customer, choosing the right tone of voice and clear messaging, crafting a powerful copy and so much more. Link in the bio.
Share, who is your perfect customer? And what is his/her biggest struggle is?
In my previous post, I wrote about how to develop if not grow your business during the Corona virus outbreak.
Today, I want to talk about what could be the next step for many entrepreneurs. What can we do right now while staying home?
1. Learn. Now is the time to start gearing up for the future. Improve your skills in whatever field you consider necessary. If you don't want to invest much, Coursera and Masterclass providing solid courses for a fair price.
In case you want to get better with your writing, here are a few options.
2. Start creating your online product - be it a freebie, a masterclass, a workshop, a course or a private consultation. What to consider:
Other fish in the sea. If you happen to come across exactly the same product, you'd like to offer. Don't despair or give up a there is no such thing as 'exactly' the same product. We all have different voices and a different set of skills, experiences and knowledge to offer.
Timing. Understandably, we all want to get into the online products asap. However, sooner doesn't mean better. I don't expact a decrease in interest to the online products any time soon (read decennia). So it may be wise to wait a bit and spend that time on something significantly valuable for your customer.
Resources: Melyssa Griffin offers plenty of 'to the point' webinars and courses to get your creative juices going.
What's your next business move? Comment below.
Written by A. van Eck-Samarina
In the Japanese language, the word 'crisis' consists of the characters (kanjis) 'danger' and 'opportunity.' Shall we follow the example of the wise Japanese and try seizing opportunities when things get pretty bad?
Are there anything pros we can get out of the Corona outbreak and quarantine when it comes to our businesses? Sure, there are.
1. Go online, focus on your funnels and content.
If you can't offer your product or services online, it's time to build a solid base of followers and like-minded buddies - in other words, community. Transfer your expertise into a video or a blog. Share your knowledge, experience, and even hobbies.
Can you create a webinar, masterclass, course or an e-book that'll boost your income and customer engagement? If yes, now it is just about the time.
Think about email marketing. Do you use any? What can you improve? How?
FYI: "The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%." - Belina Weaver. Belinda has created an awesome challenge that'll start on Monday, March 23rd. I'm in.
2. Share. In these uncertain days, we all can use a boost of basically anything. Brilliant, if you sell an online service or product. But it would be fantastic if you can share something for free. Offering free content:
a) attracts potential customers;
b) builds your credibility and proves your expertise;
c) gives you a valid input into your customer's needs;
d) ignites engagement;
e) boosts your brand's visibility;
f) provides you with a sweet opportunity to test-drive a product that you would potentially be able to sell in the future;
g) brings satisfaction, as doing good always makes us feel great.
3. Work on your business. Often, we simply lack time for our own business. Up to the ears in projects, we may randomly post on social media. C'est tout. But that's not enough. Now, when the projects slow down and the clients (insert a sad 'ah' here) a lying low, it's a great time to give your own business and content priority. Mastermind your next step. Where does your focus lie on? What channels can you use? Is there a strategy in place? Copyblogger.com has tons of useful information on content strategy.
As for me, I'm working on my email funnel, an e-book and a lot of learning/ skills development.
And a big teaser - there's a free goodie coming your way, soon, very soon, my dears.
Subscribe to my newsletter to stay tuned.
We all need a helping hand in creating our written content. Here are my top 6 apps and software when writing (emails, newsletters, blog posts, invitations, presentations, to-do lists, secret protocols, your kids’ essays, love letters – you name it.)
Oh-so-fine is this app. Not only does it check your spelling and punctuation (hello missing comma!). But it provides you with some seriously on point suggestions to improve your copy based on the goal and the audience of the latter. No longer can I imagine my existence without this tool.
Tip: download the Grammarly keyboard on your phone. It’ll check any Insta post or Whatsapp message you write.
2. The Hemingway Editor
The app is, in a sense, similar to Grammarly. However, it focuses on simplifying your writing. By using the app, you create sharp and clearly written content.
3. LSI in lsigraph.com
LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords became highly important for a copy aiming to score well in Google. Lsigraph.com is a free LSI keywords generator. It’s easy to work in a program providing the results that Google loves.
This is a fantastic online dictionary, which always comes in hand when looking for the correct translation placed in the context of a professional jargon or a particular niche.
5. The Saurus synonyms
I thought everyone was in love with this website. But surprisingly it is not yet world adored. The Saurus offers a great variety of synonymous, making your writing interesting compelling, gripping and captivating.
Looking for visual material to illustrate your post/invitation/presentation/newsletter? Canva offers a massive stock of free images. You’re welcome.
Written by A. van Eck-Samarina
After all, we know small things always turn out to be the most important ones. So here it is (drum rolls, please) - by creating the following types of content, you'll noticeably INCREASE your audience's engagement and your sales!
1. Share a secret. Ok, you're reading this sentence right now, so you got hooked on my secret bait. People are curious by their nature. Telling a secret always gets their attention.
2. Show how to overcome a problem. Often, life is a struggle. People want to know that a) They are not alone, and others are dealing with the same problem (connection). b) Get some handy tips/insider's info on how to solve their problems.
3.Trigger emotions (surprise your audience, make them laugh or cry). Our emotions fuel our actions. As well, we tend to remember an emotional experience better than a neutral one. Bring joy, and people will come back to follow you/ hire you or buy from you.
4. Ask questions/conduct polls. How doesn't like to be heard? We, people, love to talk and share our opinion. And that's fantastic! As there is nothing more fascinating in this world than listening to people and their unique stories. Lend your ear to your audience. And they'll thank you.
5. Tell a story. Our life is a thread of stories, big and small. They are mesmerizing, scary, hilariously funny, philosophical, amusing, lovely, merry, shocking, eyebrows-rising, and so much more. Telling a story can help you engage your audience, take their attention, and motivate their actions.
What type of content do you tend to respond to?
Written by A. van Eck-Samarina
With Coronavirus gloriously robust and statements about the only possible survivors - freelance writers (thank you, Sam Adams) - it is the time to revisit my 'Working From Home' playbook.
So, what are the musts, stay-aways, and don't-even-dare-to-think-abouts?
1) Lock the fridge. Seriously, if you don't want to find yourself gasping while trying to zip your pants (I've been there!) lock the freakin' fridge. And throw the key away.
2) Scrolling through Instagram or Twitter and shopping online does not classify as 'staying updated on Coronavirus' and preparing for a lock-up (I tried to lull my husband into believing this explanation, didn't work out).
"The terrifying thing about an outbreak that requires people not to leave their homes ... is it means the only ones to survive will be freelance writers." - Sam Adams
3) Don't pretend you are running a laundry business. I get it. I, for once, would like to see the elusive bottom of my laundry basket. But going overboard with the laundry won't make you feel better and definitely won't get you far on your assignment (I've checked).
4) Don't forget about the proper breaks. And with these, I don't mean two hours naps and Netflix marathon. But a quality lunch or a nice 15min walk can do miracles (ah, I know, Netflix sounds waaaaaay more appealing than a stroll around the block. I'm with you on Netflix;)
5) Treat yourself with delicious snacks. Imagine you have in-house Starbucks or whatever is your favorite coffee place. Stock on good coffee, fabulous snacks, and creamy dark chocolate (my guilty pleasure). And working from home doesn't sound that miserable after all.
6) Talk to yourself out loud. Nobody listens anyway. No judgments, no lunatic diagnoses, no cocking eyebrows. Hell, sing, dance, recite "The Forsyte Saga" and definitely talk to yourself out loud. It's so much fun, and you sure are an incredible orator.
Jokes aside (however, what but the humor will lift us in these uncertain times?), wherever you work, please, stay safe and take care of yourself.
Do you enjoy working from home? Share below.
Written by A. van Eck-Samarina
Yes, your web copy needs a problem statement and - most importantly - a problem solution. Why? Well, the ultimate goal of every (commercial) copy is to sell. And solving your client’s abhorred problem is the most effective way to get your product/service sold.
What does a problem statement do? It
1) Attracts the ‘right’ customers.
i.e. genuinely interested people, thus you won’t waste your time and money in vain.
2) Creates a connection with your (potential) customer.
It builds the ‘oh, they get me’ bond.
3) Triggers interest and desire.
They know what my problem is, they might solve it; thus I may be able to sleep soundlessly through the night again!
4) Guides your customer through your web copy and encourages to take suggested actions. That lead to the customer’s desired outcome.
e.g. your product is sold, the customer’s problem is solved. He may enjoy his good night sleep once again. Everyone’s happy.
5) Lands new opportunities.
Attract businesses who want to collaborate. Besides, if your customer is happy, he may return or advise your product to a friend.
When it comes to a web copy, many make the same mistake by diving directly into a description of the product/service. Example: “Our toothpaste is the new word in dental care. It ensures gentle but active whitening while its delicious taste will make you seriously excited about brushing your teeth. Already in 5 days, you’ll see the results.” We have a few sentences full of adjectives and promises. In the age of scepticism, who will believe this copy? And what if the customer doesn’t want to get her teeth whitened but is concerned about her tooth decay? Chances are slim that such a copy will produce any valuable outcome.
Example of how a problem statement can bring in a new client
Let’s say your potential client is an IT manager and experiences problems with a new software implementation. He goes online and looks up third parties that may help. All the websites are full of the IT jargon gibberish. The client leaves. But then he comes across your website. Where his problem is described in a human easy-to-follow language and where a solution to his IT nightmare is finally offered. Well, you bet he’ll be asking your free consultation straight away.
A problem statement is crucial to the success of any sales copy. In other words, if you want to sell successfully, make sure your copy contains a problem statement and its solution.
Not sure where to start? Drop me a line here, we'll work out some ideas.