Many of the entrepreneurs and business owners I talk to are genuinely great at what they do. But writing about their work so others instantly feel that value too and want to experience it—like now—is an uphill marathon. In heels.
Cracking the story that sells has them stumped.
It’s beyond frustrating and baffling. It’s also scary. I get it. Because no matter how stellar your business, words are the lynchpin between leads and clients so psyched to get started, they pay in full upfront.
In this scenario I’ve learned it’s typically not one thing that needs to be done differently—it’s a series of things.
Here are three that may be getting in your way of copy that converts like crazy.
1. You’re writing for everyone.
It’s tempting to think that the wider your net, the more clients you’ll catch. But the reverse is actually true. By writing for everyone, you reach no one.
How do you know when you’re doing this?
Look for vague or bland language—and where you’re reluctant to commit to a specific viewpoint in your copy, or tackle a precise problem your clients have. It will feel general. It’ll lack that emotive punch that has people nodding and thinking ‘yeah, that’s me.’ Instead, they’ll be thinking ‘meh’ because your prospects aren’t seeing themselves, what they need and importantly, the words they use to talk about it, in your copy.
So they figure you’re not the fit for them.
If this describes you, clarity on your ideal client is your best move. Get under the skin of your clients and get to know them in detail. What do they really care about? How they want to be communicated with? (They may be struggling with ‘finding the right words’ rather than ‘positioning their expertise strategically’ for example.) And while it may feel ‘unprofessional’ to use their words instead of yours, trust me when I say they’ll love you for it.
This sharp specificity will get you attention, then connection—and ultimately, sales.
If you’re sweating because narrowing your focus feels exactly like squeezing out potential revenue, you’re not alone.
Look at it this way: By using the exact messages and language your dream prospects resonate with, many more of them will find you irresistible because you’re making it easy for them to recognize and choose you. The only audience you’re culling is the tire-kicker.
2. Your copy is all about you.
Ever been on a bad date where the other person raved endlessly about themselves? Bad copy is that for prospects: A total turn-off.
If you want a second date—or a sale—think romance and resonance, not heavy-handed. As humans, a couple of things happen when we’re exposed to the hard sell: We don’t warm to the person (because self-absorbed doesn’t say you have my best interests at heart) and we find it hard to trust them (because if you have to really convince me that what you do is awesome, maybe it’s not).
In writing, the hard sell looks like leading with ‘we do x’ and ‘our product has y.’ You’ll find yourself describing all the features of your company, process and services. And while they are no doubt incredible—benefits, not bells and whistles—are what help prospects understand how you can help them and what persuade them to buy.
People also need to feel you get them and their problems, more than they need to hear the facts about how it all goes down. Emotion trumps logic when it comes to sales. (Counterintuitive as it seems!)
Here’s what this means for you: Before writing something new, brainstorm what’s in it for them. List all the features of what you’re offering, and the benefits of each feature for your clients. Find a case study story to wrap it in—a client you helped overcome the same challenge and achieve killer results, for example. Then begin your copy with these results, and how they changed the client’s business and life, before describing how you helped them get there.
This equals major eye contact. Prospects will want your number.
3. You’re invisible.
You’re blogging, tweeting and showing up ‘everywhere’ on social media—yet getting nowhere with sales. You’ve got a great product and a compelling brand that brings to life what makes you different and desirable. But the leads you’re getting are mostly through in-person meetings, and you know that’s not sustainable or scalable.
It’s like you don’t exist—which makes you think maybe what you do isn’t genius after all.
You don’t suck. You just need a communication strategy.
This is the roadmap that outlines exactly how to reach the right people where they are, get them engaged and convert them to clients. It’s how you take the brilliant brand you’ve become out into the world and get people connected with it—so you’re generating revenue from it.
At its core, a killer comms strategy involves connecting your content, communication platforms and follow-up strategically so you’re funneling people into—and through—your product/service packages. So instead of ad-hoc social posting and hoping for the best, your strategy includes building a series of sales funnels. Like promoting your free webinar via a Facebook ad, then using the webinar to generate leads for your front-end paid offer and your email list.
But the best brands are going beyond that immediate bottom-line impact. They’re also thinking long-term brand presence and authority. That’s what the right PR can get you—and why your comms strategy should also cover how and where to pitch guest articles and get ideal media interested in interviewing you as a thought leader.
What about you? If you see yourself in all this, know the finish line isn’t as far away as you think. You just got three steps closer to more clients.
Let us know what you feel inspired to do more of, or differently now.