Ahhh…copywriting, copywriting, copywriting.
There are A LOT of things to write every single day within your business, isn’t there? And raise your hand if you didn’t even realize just how much writing you would be doing when you first started out.
*looks around and sees every single business owner evverrrr raising their hand*
Phew – it’s a lot, we know!
If copywriting is scary or paralyzing or ineffective for you or simply just takes you what feels like the entire week to write two Instagram posts, first – you’re not alone and second, you’re in the right place – we’re here to help make any piece of content you need to write a bit easier today.
Luckily, we’ve got our very own Allie Morris Nute, owner of Verb House Creative and Stock House, to spill some of her brilliant copywriting secrets.
Read on for her 6 copywriting tips that are rooted in radical empathy and will actually help you connect with and convert your audience time and again.
Okay, Allie take it away! 👇🏼
6 COPYWRITING TIPS TO MAKE WRITING ALL. THE. THINGS. SO MUCH EASIER
1. USE FUN & AUTHENTIC HOOKS TO GRAB THEIR ATTENTION
We’ve all done it… Open Instagram and scroll scroll scroll, not even reading a single sentence.
Until there’s one single post that instantly grabs our eyeballs and makes us stop the ferocious scroll. Chances are, there was something compelling in those first five or six words that immediately caught your eye, your brain, AND your emotions.
This is what we call a HOOK in the copywriting world – something that gets their attention and hooks ’em into reading or viewing more.
With hundreds of emails hitting your inbox daily and hundreds more social media posts across ALL different channels crossing your path, as a business owner, you’ve GOT to get their attention at first chance.
You don’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) fake or sleazy or too in-your-face salesy, but the first couple of sentences (aka your HOOK) do need to be compelling enough to stop their scroll, or get them to open the email, or have them click the link.
2. REPEAT THE SAME MESSAGE… AGAIN AND AGAIN
We like to assume that every one of our followers, email list subscribers, customers and clients are seeing every single thing we create and put out into this world.
That sure would be nice (a dream, actually!), but honey bunny, that’s just not how it works.
Chances are these days even your own mama isn’t seeing every single thing you create and post.
So… SAY IT AGAIN! LOUD AND CLEAR, SAY THE SAME THING AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell. But this is important!
I know you feel repetitive and annoying when you are consistently (and in your mind, constantly) saying the same thing, but besides the fact that not everyone is seeing it the first time or even second time around, we NEED to hear the same message multiple times before it even begins to register in our minds and hearts.
The experts behind the age old-but-highly-accurate Marketing Rule of Seven declare that on average a customer needs to see and hear the same message seven different times before they’ll purchase.
Deploy the same consistent message across all platforms all the time.
Mix up HOW you say it, but don’t mix up WHAT you’re saying too often.
Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, and repeat.
Pssst – the Marketing Rule of Seven was brought about before social media and algorithms, so we bet the modern-day Marketing Rule of ____ is in the teens, if not twenties. If you want some more inside scoop on the elusive and
sometimes always frustrating Instagram algorithms, check out this blog post from Later. But regardless if you think you crack an algorithm or not – repeat, repeat, repeat that messaging!
3. BE A HUMAN
People want to hear from their fellow big feeling, creative, brilliant, hilarious, witty, encouraging, entertaining humans.
Not a robot who is cold, emotionless, and about as engaging as updating your iPhone.
One reason writing can be so difficult is that the minute we know we need to write something, it’s as if we try to put on a different persona.
We subconsciously think we need to be smarter or more professional or use different language than we would in real life.
You mean you shouldn’t end a paragraph saying: “you know what I mean, boo?”
Nonsense! You absolutely should end a paragraph (social media post, email, blog post, the sentence on your website, etc.) using the real-world, real-life language you would use in conversation with your BFF or work bestie.
There’s a reason you don’t read IKEA directions for fun and instead read novels and blog posts and well-written op-ed pieces. Okay, well, there’s actually a lot of reasons, but one is because those IKEA directions were written by and made for a robot, basically (who else could put IKEA furniture together easily beside a robot, after all?).
Use the same language you use in verbal conversation. Write like the rad, brilliant, badass human you are.
pssst – a great test to see if you sound human or robotic is to read your copy out loud, maybe even to another fellow human to see what they think. If it sounds and feels like it’s lacking emotion and energy, try saying the same thing you’re trying to write about in a conversation with a friend. Notice and make note of the differences. Revise your copy as need be – voila!
4. ACTIVE VS. PASSIVE VOICE
Okay, not to take you back to grade school, but this one is a great reminder when writing any piece of copy.
Simply write from an active voice versus a passive voice.
Writing in an active voice can be such a subtle tweak, but one that can make a huge difference, especially when it comes to your customer connecting with your copy.
For example, you could write: “This course has changed lives,” which is technically fine.
But when you take it into the active tense and instead write: “This course changes lives,” you immediately invite the reader into the active change. They subconsciously will feel more connected and engaged with the story unfolding before them (the one you’re writing, eh em).
Again, such a subtle difference, but bringing your writing into the present also brings your products, your customers, your services, your entire business into the present, most active state – and we always want that.
If you need a refresher on what exactly is the passive and active voice (don’t we all!), and when it’s best to use which, here’s a great post breaking it down for you.
5. SELL THE DESTINATION, NOT THE PLANE
This one is a common phrase that us behind the scenes marketers like to remind ourselves, and now you, of all the time: It’s the destination, not the airplane, that matters.
In all of your copywriting and marketing materials, sell the destination, not the airplane.
AKA, sell the value, not the features.
It’s easy to get caught up in listing all the benefits, features, etc., when what people really ultimately care about is the value they receive from your business and products.
You create a sustainable line of art prints that are letterpress printed in your charming, light-filled studio on an 1820 letterpress with natural, soy-based ink.
That’s great. It really and truly is.
But what your customer cares about is how that beautiful art print, the one that somehow completely encompasses all of her favorite nature-inspired colors, will look hanging in her bedroom. Or how she’ll remember the days she spent playing on the beach when she was a little girl every time she walks by the print in her home. Or how her fiance surprised her with the perfect beach picnic and proposal on vacation, how the setting sun colored the sky a perfect creamy orange and they couldn’t stop giggling and smiling… She’ll be taken right back to that moment time and again – all because of that art print that is letterpress printed in your charming, light-filled studio on an 1820 letterpress with natural, soy-based ink.
See what I mean? Speak to what THEY care about most (eh em, which also takes us into my #6 tip below).
Sell the beautiful trip and the beautiful beach and the beautiful memory. Not the heavy metal airplane that transported them there.
6. WHAT DO THEY NEED TO HEAR?
Empathy. It changes everything.
When you approach every aspect of your business from a place of radical empathy – especially your copywriting – everything becomes easier.
Connecting and converting, when approached with empathy, through your writing and marketing becomes so much easier because you’re creating FOR your customer.
You’re thinking about your customer first. Not yourself, but your customer.
What does she need to hear this morning? Does she need a heartfelt affirmation that things will be okay, or does she need to hear about the 12 actionable steps to 10k?
There’s a time and a place for all types of copy – if you can approach each piece from a place of empathy, where you’re truly thinking about your customer and what she needs and wants to hear in that message – whether it’s a simple quote or it’s a sales invite – voila… Connection (and, in turn, conversion).
This may seem simple, but thinking of your customer first will push you to write copy and content that actually provides value for your customers.
Empathy first. Always. That’s our motto.
Here's to copy that connects and converts!
I hope this helps you approach your copywriting projects with a renewed sense of confidence and energy. I promise writing can be so much gosh darn fun! Come back to this article the next time you have something to write. Employ these tips and let me know how it goes!
Here’s to writing up a storm!
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