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This week I am sharing another guest post; this time from copywriter Vanessa Jones from Jones the Writer. You can read more about Vanessa at the end of this post.
Copywriting and business writing is markedly different from writing a poem or writing something sweet in your grandmother’s birthday card. It has a specific focus and uses a particular set of skills to increase sales, draw in new customers or clients or set you apart from your competition by demonstrating that you really know what you’re talking about.
We’ve already looked at why content writing (and blogging) is excruciatingly important for your marketing plan, so now we’re going to discuss how you can write really well in all your professional marketing communications (such as your website, blog posts, e-newsletters, social media posts etc, because you’re doing these all regularly… right?)
Writing well to promote your business is crucial to its success. In a digital era of fast-paced communications, you need to get your message “bang on” immediately or clients will drift elsewhere along the fast-paced current of the online communications river.
Below are some starter guidelines for both online and offline writing. Keep these in mind the next time you write something that the public will see.
Use persuasive words
Ideally, you want people to do be doing something, to take action. Even clicking on a link is taking action. Use words as your triggers and cues.
According to Copyblogger, the top five most persuasive words in the English language are:
Correct grammar and spelling enhances your credibility and affords trust in what you are saying, ensuring a smooth read that will not distract readers from absorbing your message.
If you neglect to take care of your proofreading, potential and current clients may wonder where else you neglect attention to detail.
Need someone to run their eye over your copy? Hire a professional proofreader today.
Let it breathe
Put your writing aside for at least twenty four hours – a week if you can afford the time.
Putting distance between you and your writing only improves its quality.
You may learn something new that is pertinent to the topic at hand in that time- especially since it will be the forefront of the mind. And you will easily identify errors and poor structure once you’ve had a chance to have some distance from it.
Write in the second person
Write as if you are directly speaking to one person/client, rather than a group of people or nobody.
Direct what you’re saying by using terms such as “you”, “your” etc, which will not only personalise your message but give the reader the ability to “try on” what you are saying to them and they will be more readily willing to absorb your message – particularly if you are persuading them to invest in your product or service.
Use confidence in your language.
Replace terms such as ‘you may’ with ‘you will’ or ‘why not try’ with ‘invest now’.
Refer to the list of persuasive words above if you get stuck.
If you’re not completely (three hundred and twenty per cent) sold on your product or service and the results that it will deliver, how can you expect a potential customer to be?
Twitter is a charming tool for this as it forces you to convey a message in less than 140 characters. To enhance your brevity, imagine how you would turn any message you are writing into a tweet.
Be clear, get to the point immediately and ensure you cap off your communications with a short summary of what you have written.
Be clear with yourself throughout the process – from the start (or before) of writing until releasing it into the world.
What is the exact purpose of what you are writing?
Be excruciatingly clear with yourself.
Is it to attract another ten clients?
Is it to be recognised in your field of expertise?
Is it to voice your opinion on a current issue?
Write this purpose at the top of your page or on a sticky note where you can see it and keep referring back to it as you write.
Clarity = better results.
If you incorporate all these tips into your business writing and copywriting, you’ll soon see more success than you thought possible!
Vanessa is a talented copywriter, content writer and author based in Adelaide with nearly a decade of copywriting experience. She has worked for marketing agencies, not for profit organisations and as a freelance writer and she LOVES writing.
I can personally vouch for Vanessa’s copywriting skills and a general joy to work with.
Originally published on the Jones the Writer blog, titled “Your business writing is probably crap. Here are six ways to fix it.”