“Okay, tell me:
- What it is.
- Who it’s for.
- The problem it solves.
- And the results people will get.”
“Right, it’s an empowering, global movement for innovators and change makers. These are people who are frustrated by the world and want to make a difference. This will let them make that difference.”
This is a part-fictionalised conversation. The fictional part is that not all of those pieces were strung together by one person, but I have seen and heard all of these individual pieces used in copywriting to try and sell a product.
- What is it? – An empowering movement
- Who is it for? – Innovators and change makers
- What is the problem? – Frustrated at the world
- What are the results of the product – Making a difference
These things sound good, and interesting, and you might find that at dinner parties people respond with oohs and aahs and ‘that’s just what we need in the world.’
The problem is, when you leave the room, there’s probably more than one person who confesses:
‘I just don’t know what it is, but their heart seems in the right place.’
I’ve seen this happen in web copy, on sales pages and I’ve seen first hand people too polite to say that they just didn’t ‘get it.’ As a result, the business owner continues with this messaging only to confuse and alienate her audience.
I have nothing against words like ‘change-maker’ (I’ll admit it’s not one of my favourites. My favourite word is actually tumbleweed…) or innovator, but to make it work in your copy, you have to be very clear what YOU mean by that word.
What is a change-maker? Is it someone who donates $100mn to charity? Or someone who volunteers at an after school club? I changed my socks this morning, do I count?
The same with an innovator, is that someone who develops the next iPhone or someone who can open a wine bottle with a piece of string?
Why labels alone don’t work
These labels are too generic.
When you summarise what you do, or write a headline to attract ‘change-makers’ no-one’s really certain if it’s for them or not.
These words alone don’t immediately speak to your target market.
Look at the following headline:
Calling all Innovators and Change-Makers for an Empowering Movement to Make a Difference
Do you know for certain who it’s for? What it is and why you should be interested?
Want to be cool AND clear? How to make the labels work
I love working 1:1 with copywriting clients and talking to them about their businesses when they’re not trying to pick the right words.
That’s when the copywriting gold comes out.
Whenever a hear a term that could be ambiguous, I simply ask them to give me an example. What does it mean? What does it look like in the customer’s life?
Suddenly, we might find out that our ‘change-makers’ are small business owners expanding from the start-up phase. Our business owner sees them as change makers because they’re an important group to influence the future economy.
Perhaps the ’empowering movement’ is a 3 month group mentoring program to help them create systems for marketing and efficiency. With these in place, they’re be positioned to grow as they desire.
Their ‘frustration with the world’ might actually be a frustration in seeing big businesses ruling the market place, and wishing they had more influence as a small business owner.
And ‘making a difference’ might mean serving 20 more clients that year meaning they have a positive influence on 20 people while increasing their revenue.
What do your examples look like?
What about you? Can you provide quick examples that answer:
- What is your product?
- Who is it for?
- What is their problem?
- What results do you provide?
If so, you can still use the cool labels to get attention at dinner parties, but it’s these quick examples that are going to get people saying:
That sounds just like me!
What about you? Do you use similar labels to describe your customers? How do you explain it in your copy so you don’t confuse prospects? Let me know in the comments!