Choosing the right words to describe what you do can make or break whether you get interest, enquiries or sales.
Recently I told the following story to the smart people who are signed up to the Write With Influence newsletter list.
This is why you have to stay and find out more
In other words, a visitor needs to know your super power after just a few lines of content. It got me thinking about a friend of mine who runs a superb online business matching high-quality bridal suppliers to brides-to-be.
She has a huge community of brides-to-be that actively want to hear from different wedding suppliers, but she was struggling to get suppliers on board.
“I keep telling suppliers I’ve got all this great data about brides-to-be, but they’re just not as excited as I thought they would be…”
Can you see the word holding her back?
(Feel free to pronounce this ‘day-ta’ as I would or ‘dah-ta’ as my US friends do, everyone is welcome here at Harrisonamy)
Unless you’re an engineer, or computer programmer, there’s nothing really hot or alluring about the word ‘data.’ It’s dry, flat and doesn’t really say “don’t you want to find out more?!”
“Mate!” I told her “You’re not offering them data, that’s not your super power”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re offering so much more:
- Relationships with potential customers
- Access to active, keen buyers who are looking for wedding suppliers
- The ability to communicate directly with a community of their ideal target market”
As a result, when reaching out to suppliers, she started to use words like:
“relationships, connections, community of brides-to-be”
And she stopped using the word ‘data.’
A ten-fold increase in the response she got from suppliers who now actively want access to her super-power of being able to connect them to targeted, potential buyers.
The words you use can make or break whether or not people want to find out more about your super power. And as I always say, you deserve to be heard.
So, to help, here are 3 steps you can take to move from the “what?” to the “so what?!”
Step one: what are you really selling?
Many businesses struggle to articulate what it is they’re really selling when they write their marketing content. It’s easy to describe the details of a service, but how do you get your reader to really pay attention to what it is you offer?
How many times have you met a perfect customer, told them what you do and only get a polite smile, rather than an enthusiastic:
Tell me more!
Quite often this happens because while we might look at our services and intrinsically know their value, your customer might need a little more help making the connection.
For example, my friend thought she was offering data, but while she knew how valuable that was to suppliers, suppliers needed to hear it in the language that described what they wanted.
They don’t want ‘data’ they want access to brides.
Think about your customer, are you describing something they already know they want?
- If you’re a web designer, you’re not really selling web site design, you’re selling a professional business image and increased online conversions.
- If you’re a copywriter, you’re not really selling white papers and articles, you’re selling exposure to new markets and lead generation as people share and engage with well-written content.
- If you deliver flowers, you don’t really sell chrysanthemums, you sell a brightened room and an uplifted mood.
So first things first, sit down, grab your pen and paper and ask yourself:
What am I really selling?
Step two: What else gets similar results?
I love a good festival, whether it’s music or comedy and Brighton where i currently live has plenty.
I’ll tell you what I don’t love however.
They never give you the information you need to make a decision about what you’d like to watch. All you get is a bit of a blurb about the artist, maybe an award they’ve won, but you know what would help them stand out from the rest of all the other features? This:
If you like [X] you’ll love [artist]. Or
A bit like [X] with an electric sound. Or
Like a combination of [X] and [Y] comedians but delivered by a Dutch girl on roller-skates
Basically, what I’m looking for is a hook.
Something that is a point of reference to tell me what I can expect. Here’s why this is so important in writing your copy:
- If your service is completely new people might be nervous of it or not know what to expect
- If your service isn’t new, people may assume that they know what you do (and miss the value)
Here’s an example: my friend with the bridal business also has these beautiful boxes of high-end samples that brides-to-be can purchase to get ideas for their upcoming weddings.
One of the tagline that she used which drove a lot of traffic and interest to the boxes was:
Like a wedding-fayre delivered directly to your door
Because how else could brides get hold of these samples? By either paying to attend a wedding fair and traipsing around endless stalls, or spending hours of research on individual suppliers. Most brides know the cost of time and money to attend a wedding fayre and so the box immediately increased in value and relevance.
So, what’s your hook? What’s something that your customer would recognise (and value)?
Let’s say you run Facebook advertising campaigns and you know you can get a high number of targeted traffic and exposure to your customers. What might get similar results? For example:
- A billboard advert in Times Square?
- A feature on a late night talk show?
- A full page advert in a national newspaper?
Obviously you can’t mislead your audience, you have to be able to promise similar results, but looking for these ‘hooks’ can be a fun and creative way to come up with marketing content that really sticks out.
Step three: How is what you have better?
Okay, so now you have a list of a few things that get similar results to what you offer, now how is what you have better than those things?
The same exposure for your business as a billboard on Times Square (for the price of a daily newspaper)
All the goodies of a high-end wedding fayre (without having to leave your house)
Is what you offer:
- More affordable?
- Easier to access?
- Easier to use?
This is where your value really gets a boost in just the choice of a few right words.
Basically, with the above three steps you’re saying in your marketing content:
This is what I have [that you already know you want]
It’s similar to this thing [that you know has value]
But it’s better because [reason]
It’s a super simple formula, but within a few minutes, you can play around with the 3 sections and in no time at all come up with the right words to instantly boost the value of your offer!
Let me know how you get on in the comments below. I’d love to hear your boosted value!
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Lauren Tharp says
Loved the “data” example. 🙂 I’ve boosted several clients’ profits by making similar tweaks to their web copy. Love it!
Amy Harrison says
Thanks Lauren! That’s just one of the things I love about copywriting and words, when you get the right ones (in the right order) it opens so many doors. I’ll bet your clients were thrilled! 🙂