Whether you’re writing an ‘about us’ page for your website or a follow-up letter for your sales team to send to prospective clients, if you want your audience to feel connected to you, it’s important to get your message across in a clear, concise and engaging manner.
Why? Because here’s the harsh truth:
1. People are busy
2. They don’t want to read boring copy
3. If you present them with boring copy, they’re more than likely going to take their time and money to one of your competitors (once they wake up, that is).
The good news? We’ve got your back. Here are some tips to sharpen your copywriting skills:
REMOVE FILLER WORDS
Before you look at jazzing up your copy, it’s important to strip it back to basics by removing filler words.
Like we’ve said before, ‘just’ is one of those filler words we use out of habit – remove it. Here are some other culprits you may find lurking in your copy:
· In my opinion
· I feel that
· Sort of
· A lot
· Most likely
· It’s important to note
Let’s look at an example:
Although it’s important to note you probably don’t realise you’re using them, in my opinion it’s quite a good idea to remove a lot of these words! They can slightly confuse your reader.
Although you probably don’t realise you’re using them, it’s a good idea to remove these words! They can confuse your reader.
Ah, that’s better (OK, it’s still not a great sentence but you get the drift!).
Unless you’re writing an extremely formal document, PLEASE embrace contractions! If you were having a chat with a prospective client in person, which of the below would you use?
“My name is Joe Bloggs and I am really passionate about life coaching – it is something I have always wanted to do. If you are keen to know more, do not hesitate to ask.”
“My name’s Joe Bloggs and I’m really passionate about life coaching – it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. If you’re keen to know more, don’t hesitate to ask.”
You’d use the second one (the one with contractions!) because it sounds more natural and conversational. Remember you’re writing for your reader. So, when writing copy for your website, social media pages and almost every other piece of content, try reading each sentence aloud to make sure everything’s flowing as it should.
If your audience can easily understand what you’re saying, and feel as though they’re having an interesting conversation with you, they’re more likely to fall in love with your brand.
One word of caution…
Be careful with the use of ‘you’re’ and ‘your.’ These are two very different words – ‘you’re’ is the contraction of ‘you are’ and ‘your’ is the possessive case of ‘you.’ It’s not a good look to get them mixed up!
BREAK THE RULES
Short sentences, broken sentences and starting sentences with ‘And’ or ‘But’ – these are things your teacher may have told you off for doing back in school, but in the world of sexy sales copy, these writing techniques can be very effective.
Apple is a classic example of a brand that breaks the rules (and nails it):
Brilliant. In every way.
All new. For a better you.
Writing conversational, concise and convincing copy is all about experimentation – what works for one brand may not work for another. Our advice? Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries, break the rules, or (as we like to say), go against the tide. If writing isn’t your thing, you can always give us a call! We’d love to help you out.