It’s a real killer if you suspect your perfect prospects are reading your copy and walking away because they don’t understand what you offer.
So why is this such a common problem?
More importantly, how can you reduce the risk of it happening to you?
Well, copywriting is like online dating. You’re relying on words to compete for the attention of an ideal suitor. So the tendency is to describe your most positive traits in a bid to give people an idea of what you’re like.
But instead of helping them visualise what it’s like to choose you, you can end up with copy veiled in a bubble of well-meaning words that actually acts as a barrier between you and your ideal customer.
“We can empower you to move forward in your business and increase potential opportunities through profitable relationships”
This might sound positive, but there are no specific details to show HOW this is done, WHO it’s for and what the RESULTS might be.
And if your readers don’t get this information pretty quickly, they’re going to get all Dionne Warwick on you and Walk On By.
So what can you do instead?
How to make your (dating) marketing copy catch their eye
One of the best ways to catch the attention of your perfect customer, is to give examples of what you’ve done for other perfect customers.
Sounds simple, but the reason it works so well is that it forces you to communicate in a direct manner.
Look at the following examples, in which version do we learn more about the person?
“What’s your personality like?”
“Ooh, I’m pretty adventurous, I love fun, music and enjoy socialising with family and friends”
That looks like pretty much like every other dating advert. And though it sounds positive, it really doesn’t tell a potential suitor if they’re going to get on.
So let’s change the first part:
“What did you do last weekend?
“I went white-water rafting Saturday morning with my dad and then Sunday night played the Saxophone in a Jazz trio…”
Does it tell us a bit more about that person? Of course it does. So, when writing your own copy…
Tell them what you’ve DONE (and do)
Just like the lonely-hearts browser, your customer wants a fast indication that they’ve found a good match without having to go on lots of uncomfortable first dates.
One way to help your customer decide is to provide specific examples for the following areas:
- What you’ve done
- Who you’ve done it for
- What the results were
And in addition to referencing work you have done in the past, also use the present tense to show that your service is current and fresh today.
So for example:
“I’ve helped small business owners improve their networking skills and increase customer leads from events. I currently offer day workshops and 1:1 coaching for individuals and groups.”
Let’s split this up into a few more examples:
1. What you’ve done
Providing prospective customers examples of services you’ve provided helps them visualise working with you.
‘In addition to helping people with their computers when they break down I have also helped small businesses choose the best computer, operating service and software to meet their needs and their budget. (Now to present tense) After a brief phone consultation to find out how you use a computer in your business, I will research options to discuss with you, source the best prices, get everything up and running and then provide ongoing training and support.”
2. Who you’ve worked with
Examples of the different people you work with can also be a useful shortcut to get your ideal customer’s attention.
So instead of saying:
“I can help you with all your computer needs”
You might write:
“I offer services for your personal home computer, students, schools and small businesses, including small shops and offices”
3. What the results were
Oh people do love results of course. We want to be able to see what we’re going to get back after we’ve invested in something, so again, give them a few examples.
Remember, if you’re making any income claims to stay within your relevant advertising authority’s guidelines.
Examples of the results you’ve got for other customers though are pretty compelling:
“Customers love that they don’t have to waste time trawling computer shops to be talked at by sales people uninterested in their needs. After a 30 minute chat, I can provide a list of options within a day, have you set up within a week and usually save you between £500-£1000.”
So there you go, if you’ve been struggling to communicate what it is you do, think about what you’ve done for others and start your copy there.
Remember, actions you’ve taken in the past are always more believable than what you say you will do.
What about you? Have you struggled in the past to communicate clearly what you do? Does it help to draw on past experiences? Let me know in the comments below.