Great copy can open doors for your business, enticing new clients to work with you and inviting acquaintances to refer prospects your way. Every business owner needs great copy for their introductions, taglines, and sales pages. But if you’re just starting your business or pivoting to a new ideal client, how do you quickly get to the great copy you know you need?
In this post, I’ll share how to move with intention from the phrases you use to describe your business today to the great copy.
Before we jump in, I’ll be up-front about the strategies I use to create the copy (and marketing!) that truly works for small businesses: it is an evolving process that the business owner needs to be involved in every step of the way. You’ll need to do work at every step but it will always be worth it.
Here’s how to get started toward the great copy that works for you, regardless of the copy you have today. You’ll follow this procesS:
- Identifying your ideal clients
- Listening to your ideal clients
- Tracking their specific words and phrases
- Testing out your new copy
Identify Your Ideal Clients
Take a few minutes, or longer, to write down the specific people who you want to work with as clients for your business. You may feel like you know your ideal clients very well already, but taking the time to write it all down can show you where your knowledge gaps are: whether you don’t truly know how they feel or what they want for results (versus what you know they need as a result), get as specific as you can about your ideal clients.
Although some marketing people suggest nitty-gritty details about who they are and what they do, I feel that process takes the exercise often goes a bit too far. What you’ll truly want to get specific on is what 80% to 90% of them fall into for describing who they are, what they struggle with, and what they want for a solution to that struggle. You’ll also only want to include details relevant to their pain points or the results they want. (No need to focus on the cars they drive, blood type, or their number of children unless that’s related to their pain points and desired results.)
A starter list of details may include how they identify themselves:
- Professional title (teacher, accountant, sports coach)
- Personal title (parent, spouse, daughter, brother)
- Hobbies (surfer, skier, runner)
Their pain points, aka what they’re experiencing or feeling right now that is related to their issue/ struggle/problem:
- Stress points in their day-to-day life
- Challenges they face weekly or monthly
- How the stress and challenges feel to them
- What they think about when they’re in the moment of this stress or challenge
The solution/solutions they want for results and how it will impact them:
- How they imagine their lives after this issue has passed
- How they imagine their lives will impact others when they’ve moved past this issue/challenge/stress
When you have this list of specific details, you’re ready to move on to listening to your ideal clients.
Listen to Your Ideal Clients
This can sound incredibly simple but stick with me. The best first step you can take toward great copy is listening to the specific words and phrases your ideal clients use to describe themselves, their pain points, and the solutions they want to alleviate the pain.
You’re the expert on your ideal clients so you may have listed all of this information when you wrote down your specific details but the important part of this step is writing it exactly how your ideal clients say it – use their words, not yours. The difference can make a significant impact on how well you attract prospects since hearing their words come from you instantly cements you as someone who truly understands them.
As you listen to them, take notes on what stands out to you about what they share. Do you hear your ideal clients using the same words or phrases to describe what they’re experiencing or what they want for a solution to their pain? You’ll need to note and track all of it.
If you hear your ideal clients saying the same thing over and over, you’ll know that it needs to be part of your great copy. Make a note every time you hear an ideal client repeat the same language as another ideal client. When your tracking hits five or more repeated uses of the same word or phrase, it is time to update your copy.
If you find that you’ve heard 10 or more ideal clients use the same words, find the time to work the new details into your website’s front page and how you introduce your business.
Test Your New Copy
When you’ve updated your copy with your new details, test it out. You won’t need to be as precise about tracking responses to this as you were with tracking how often you hear new details, but you’ll certainly want to take note of how your new copy lands. Test your copy by sharing it with five to ten people and watching their responses.
If you find that your updated details inspire a positive response, then you’re on the right path with keeping your copy fresh and relevant to your ideal clients!
If you find that your updated details illicit blank or confused looks, they’re probably not quite right.
Always keep in mind who is giving you feedback. If you see a blank look while talking with someone who won’t understand what you do even in the simplest terms, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to rework your copy. If that same blank look comes from someone you know is an ideal client, then you have some listening to do.