Your copywriting (i.e., the content you use to promote your business) must be as original as you.
There is only one you; it’s what makes you stand out from everyone else. Therefore, your copy must also be different.
The problem is, when starting out on the web, the first thing you do is Google your competitors to see what they’re doing. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the problem is, as you read their content, you become blinkered as to what your copy should be like.
Gradually, you become brainwashed into believing there is a standard way to write about your business within your industry without realising it.
Let’s get one thing straight; in terms of copywriting, there should never be an industry norm. You are you and do things your way. They are they and do things their way (make sense?). That’s why you should never copy the style of any other website.
Creating copywriting that’s true to you
The first step in creating authentic copywriting is to stop reading other people’s stuff.
Then, think about how you speak. It’s unlikely you stick rigidly to the (archaic) grammar rules when conversing with your customers. Your written communications (i.e., your website copy, brochures, case studies, white papers, etc.) must reflect how you usually speak. That way, they become accessible to everyone.
Talking of writing the way you speak, steer clear of jargon and marketing-speak. It doesn’t make you sound knowledgeable; it has the opposite effect. Always stick to plain English.
Do things your way
So far, I’ve just been talking about your content, but you also need to be yourself when it comes to your website design.
Be brave. Forget about what every other company is doing. Think about what you want to do and would best represent your business.
If you Google solicitors, accountants, or insurance companies (sorry guys, but you do tend to all look the same), you will get a series of near-identical websites. The copy, colour palette and content all follow similar lines. How can anyone distinguish one company from another?
You must be different. Again, as with your copywriting, it means ignoring the industry norm. If someone tells you that that is what customers expect, they’re lying. It’s good to be different. It makes you stand out. It shows you have something to say.
Authentic copywriting will get you noticed
There are millions of websites out there, all competing for customers. If you look and sound like all the rest, you’ll get passed by.
Only those brave enough to be true to themselves and stand out will survive.
Don’t be bullied into a design template or boring copywriting. Make sure you work with people who are individuals themselves and that have the skills to highlight what makes you, you.
Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting, doesn’t follow the crowd. If you’re serious about making a splash with your content, call her on +44(0)1449 779605.