Well, if I’m honest, a bit of both. When I first attempted to persuade my two year old to try out a creche, apparently this would be a word that conjured up negative thoughts about being left by Mummy in a room. Attempt number two saw me relabelling the same place the ‘toyroom’. Suddenly, I couldn’t see her for dust. It became an exciting, positive and desired proposition. And that’s the key – the proposition. A room with toys – what’s not to like?
The fact is that all sales copy is simply Creche vs. Toyroom. Turning a mundane description into a proposition that people want to buy. And ideally doing it as creatively and engagingly as possible.
A rather shy, modest client recently told me after I rebranded his company and wrote his marketing copy, that he was ‘uncomfortable being so immodest’. He actually found it embarrassing seeing his work lauded in such promotional terms. For sole traders, start ups, individual consultants and small businesses this is often the problem. Many of us are simply uncomfortable blowing our own trumpet. So we just state what it is we do, and expect customers to come running.
But given the phenomenal level of choice and information now available to consumers, no business owner can afford to be so complacent. If you aren’t shouting your differentials from the rooftops, only your competitors will be heard. If you aren’t including key words in your online content, your competitors’ names will appear on listings first. If you aren’t keeping your website updated with interesting, useful content, your customers will see no reason to revisit.
So the first stage is to understand your proposition. What does your business offer that is different to the competition? What problem do you solve for your clients or customers? What is your one core USP? You may already have a firm idea of what this is. If you don’t, one way or another, a good writer will be able to extract this from you through questioning techniques and researching your business, industry and competition.
Then comes the tricky bit. Bringing the proposition to life. Consolidating everything you want to tell customers in a simple, memorable, positive message. Making your offer so enticing that customers will make enquiries and ultimately spend money with you.
So don’t be afraid to make a promise to customers or boast about your services or products. This is not manipulation, but simply what is needed to make your words mean business.
This is a guest blog post by Elizabeth Hibbert from Word Salon.
Elizabeth can be contacted for copywriting services via us at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at email@example.com