WomensNet News

May 19th 2011

Why Learning to Write Copy Can Make or Break Your Business

by M. Belmont
WNN Staff Editor

You are what you write.  How you write can inspire people to want to know you better and buy your products and services.

In the parlance of marketing, writing to motivate your readers to take action is called “copywriting.”  And as a women business owner, you can’t afford to ignore the copy on your website.

According to Maria Veloso in her book, Web Copy that Sells, good copywriting is crucial to your business.  Veloso says that 60-65% of buying decisions are made as people read in the first few sentences on your website.  Yep, your copy matters.

WebCopyThatSells

So here are Seven Simple Steps any women entrepreneur can use to boost website sales:.

1.    Tell your story. Most folks think that writing great copy takes great writing skills.  Actually, it’s a lot simpler than that.  Writing great copy starts with telling a story.  People want to know who you are… why you started your business… and how you can help them.  They want to connect with you as a person.  Remember – people don’t do business with companies.  People do business with other people.  Tell them your story – in plain, simple English – and tell them how you can help them.  That’s at the heart of compelling copy.

2.    Tell it with emotion.  Every great story is laced with emotion.  Emotion is the part that paints a picture in someone’s heart.  If you were going to sell cookies, you could tell folks that you use flour, sugar and chocolate chips.  But telling them that you use the same ingredients your grandma used when you were a kid – pure cane sugar, sifted flower and real Nestle’s chocolate chips.  Wow… I’m 9 years old again and in my grandma’s kitchen waiting for the cookies to come-out-the-oven!

3.    Define the problem.  Every potential customer is coming to you with a problem to solve. Even if you sell cookies.  Some people can’t make them come out exactly like grandma’s.  Some folks might not have the time to bake.  Some folks want cookies for a special occasion and want to bring a “wow” factor.  Whatever the motivating factor, people are coming to your business to solve a problem.  You fit a need and a niche in their mind.  Find out what that is and let it come out in your copy.

4.    Discuss why this problem hasn’t been resolved already.  “Bake cookies the way grandma used to bake?  Who’s got time to do that?  Nobody in today’s busy workplace.”  That’s a way to empathize with your client or customer.  No matter what your business is, you can empathize with your client’s problems.  It’s ok for the problem to exist – because you have the answer that will help them.
5.    Tell them how to solve the problem.  Here you provide a solution.  Do this in a clear, brief way.  In the case of baking homemade cookies, I did a quick Google search and came up with cookiesfromscratch.com.  I can’t vouch for their cookies, but their website copy is pretty good. So the way to get the taste of homemade cookies without all the work?  Call Laura at cookiesfromscratch.com.  She didn’t quite follow our tips, but if she had, she might have written something like, “Do you want to send an old friend a taste from yesteryear?  How about a tin of our famous oatmeal butterscotch homemade cookies!”
6.    Clearly state what is different about your product or service.  This is where you unveil your USP. Your “Unique Selling Proposition.”  With homemade cookies, the UPS is simple.  You make homemade cookies – not the crumbly cheap mass processed variety.  “We make every batch from scratch!”  Another USP could be that you deliver them right to your customer’s door.  Or your cookies are so good, you can give them as a gift – to your grandmother!  You get the idea.  Whatever makes you unique vs. your competition is your USP.

7.    Make a clear call to action.  Simply put, you need to tell your readers what they should do next.  This is there call to action.  “Call right now to get your shipment of made from scratch cookies.  In the time it takes to melt a stick of butter, you could have a tin of homemade cookies being shipped right to your door.”  Remember – you have to ASK your customer or client to take advantage of your service or product.  It sound simple enough, but most copy folks write leaves out this crucial final step.

What you communicate in writing defines who you are – especially in our web-based world.  Copywriting is writing that grabs people’s hearts.  It starts with a good story.  And ends with a call to action.

As a women entrepreneur, you want to make sure that your customers become your followers – your biggest fans.  And you want to inspire them to buy your product or service time and time again.  (Bonus: Your customers will inspire others to do the same!)

Try to put these copywriting ideas into practice as soon as you can.  Using this these simple tips can prove to make a big difference for you.