When Your Copy is All Wrong

Post Categories: Copy | Marketing

Red pencil tip with circled red X.

How do you know when your copy is wrong for you or your business? There are a few indicators that can tell you right away when the words you use for your business are simply all wrong. In this post, I’ll share some of the ways to know if copy is not the right fit for you, from obvious to subtle.

This post follows the order I suggest to test your copy, starting with you and moving to how to check that copy with others.


It Just Feels “All Wrong”

My favorite way to decide if copy is or isn’t right for a client is to ask them how it feels to them. Writing copy takes a lot of research, editing, testing, and fine-tuning, but the best way to know if it is right (or wrong!) is to do an old-fashioned gut check.

Why the gut check? Because as the owner of a small business you know your ideal clients better than anyone else. You work with them more often than anyone else, even your copywriter, so you’ll be the second-best resource on what copy will work for them. (The best resource will be your ideal clients.) So, check with your gut to see if it feels right, close, wrong, or all wrong.


It Lands Wrong with Most People

Now that you’ve done your gut check, let’s talk your copy out for a test drive.

I suggest sharing your new copy with other people whether in your introduction or when someone asks you who you work with for your business (which by the way, should be in your introduction). Then, watch how they react to your wording. Do they “get it” right away, knowing exactly what you do and recommending someone who would be a good prospect? If not, your copy may be in the close, wrong, or all wrong categories.

If you’ve realized that your copy isn’t hitting quite the right understanding, note how long you need to answer questions or share more information before the other person understands what you do. Does it take two or three questions? Five to ten questions? Do they never truly understand what you do? Take note of how this conversation goes to see how much work you need to do on your copy.


It Lands Wrong with Your People

If you find that your introduction does not land well with most people, it is time to try it out on your people. If your copy lands well with them but not with the general population, it may be a sign that you can adjust it as you learn more from your ideal clients. 

When you are talking to your specific ideal clients and your introduction sounds right or close to right, you have a good piece of copy that is ready to move out of the testing stage for now. Sometimes the right copy will sound wrong to the wrong people but right to your people. Your copy, after all, is mostly written for your people. 


Use It and Adjust It

It can be simple to stay in the safe confines of the testing phase of writing copy – in which you may truly be adjusting it for ever. Some people would prefer to stay in the writing or testing phase indefinitely. I strongly recommend moving out of it as soon as you can and into the next phase of business building. 

You may wonder why I would recommend why I recommend moving out of the writing and testing phases since I help small businesses with their copy. It is simple – you will get clients from sharing your copy that truly resonates with them. You won’t get clients if you spend all of your energy on writing and testing your copy. It is as simple as that – write the copy, test the copy, edit the copy (as needed), then move on. You’ll get the best feedback on your copy by using it to build your business. As you get to know your ideal clients better then you can integrate what you learn from them into your copy. I recommend tuning up your copy every three to six months. 

If your copy is a great foundation to build your business, bookmark this post for your next tune-up in three to six months: Building on Your Good Copy. 


Download The Copy Guide to Start Writing Now

This is for you if you’ve tried creating your website copy for your website, yet you’re not quite sure how to make your pages truly connect with your ideal clients so they’re ready to buy from you now.

Whether you’re creating your site from scratch or editing your current copy,  The Copy Guide will show you where to start with copy that gets the attention of your ideal clients from the get-go.

You’ll learn what details go on each page for maximum impact, how to source the specific words that work for your ideal clients, how to structure your blog so you’re keeping your prospects engaged, resulting in them getting to know, like, and trust you more (which leads to sales!), and when you have enough copy to make site updates.

Only grab this Guide if you’re ready to create the copy that builds up your business and pulls in more of your ideal clients.

Small Business Website Copy Update Guide cover

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