This is a guest post from author and copywriter Mike Shreeve of MikeShreeve.com.
Copywriting is fundamental to business – whether online or off.
Being able to communicate, persuade and connect with others through the written and spoken word is a skill that is worth mastering.
Here are 4 things that you can start to include right now in your own copywriting to get immediate results:
In the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, author Robert Cialdini cites a series of landmark studies in which subjects were shown to respond to kindness with an almost automated response of returning the favor.
This might seem obvious, and even a little trite to be spending research funds on, but the studies proved that no act of kindness goes unseen.
To write copy without taking advantage of this rule, would be to miss out on a massive tool for increasing effectiveness of the words that you write.
But how do we simulate giving in our writing?
We add value.
When you craft content for your blog, you should be adding value in each post.
That one is obvious.
But we can also add value in our sales materials.
What would happen if you were to tell your prospect a little bit about yourself in your letter? What if you even gave them 5 really great tips before you went for the pitch? What if, at the bottom of the letter you had a web address where your prospect could go to receive a free gift?
These are all ways that you can add value to the reader, therefore sparking the psychological trigger of reciprocation.
I recently spent the past ten weeks in a very interesting counseling/teaching program. The main emphasis of the program was sustainability and health. It was fun – but not really related to copywriting, so I found myself trying to relate the topics being discussed to my work as a copywriter.
Here is what I found:
The key to great communication is empathy.
Empathy is listening without judgment.
This is powerful stuff.
Before you sit down to craft the words for your next press release, or squeeze page or memo even – in order for you to create something that will reach your reader, you need to hear what they have to say FIRST.
How can we do this?
If you are writing a sales page trying to sell dog food, you want to know what dog food buyers care about. You want to know what keeps them up at night. You want to know what they think about other dog food companies.
The best way to find this knowledge in a quick and easy manner would be to simply go to Google.com and type in:
“Dog Owner Forum”
Or something similar.
If you spent 1 solid hour reading through the forum threads, you would be able to craft a more effective piece of copy than 99% most professional copywriters.
Because you would have created a sales letter starting from the position of empathy.
Readers can tell, and when they think you are genuine – they buy.
AuthorityYour copy is no place to be timid.
Authority sells, and for good reason.
Would you want your plumber to perform heart surgery?
Because he isn’t the authority on the subject.
The same goes for whatever industry/niche you operate in. Your readers see you in the same light.
Do you know what the opposite of authority is?
Confusion. Lack of clarity. Unknown purpose.
When you incorporate authority into your prose, you give your reader a sense of safety, a sense of direction and you build a sense of trust.
Just like I am doing in this post now.
The easiest way to write with authority is to simply speak in truths.
Speak in your truths.
Talk about what you know, even if it isn’t much. Remember, there is always someone with more knowledge than you, and if that is the case, then there is always someone with less knowledge than you that could potentially look to you for guidance.
The unrestrained tongue is a success killer.
It kills potentially successful relationships, and it kills potentially successful business transactions.
When writing your copy you have the advantage of being able to write rough drafts, edit and get second opinions before you shoot it off to the masses.
Take advantage of this amazing opportunity afforded you. It can mean the difference between success and failure.
Copy should be short. Impactful. Straightforward.
We aren’t writing poetry (though I happen to be somewhat of an amateur poetry junkie myself), we aren’t writing fiction. We are writing copy, and copy is about communicating a message swiftly.
The best thing you can do for yourself as a writer of copy is to write a rough draft, then come back and get rid of everything that isn’t 100% absolutely necessary.
Now, when I say “everything” I mean “everything”.
Writing Copy Is Fun
Ultimately, writing copy should be fun.
It is about you and your story.
Follow these very simple tips and you will be able to craft high quality copy for whatever it is you need to communicate.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Mike Shreeve is a copywriter, best-selling author and entrepreneur. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and son and LOVES to connect with fellow business owners. He can be found on Twitter @smmykal.