Copywriting for a sole trader (entrepreneur, or whatever you want to call yourself) can be tricky.
Online promotion takes a lot of content in multiple formats, but it also has to be done right.
Filling cyberspace with meaningless twaddle isn’t going to get you anywhere, so how do you start?
What type of copy is going to get you noticed?
How do you know what your customers want?
Here’s a post I wrote a few years ago that tackles these exact issues:
Promoting your business online needs a lot of content.
Your website copy, blogs or articles must be relevant, interesting and useful to your readers otherwise they will be no more that just a collection of words.
When you’re a sole trader it’s very easy to fall into the trap of writing about yourself.
Hang on a moment…
Oh, hi Joe (Joe’s a self employed plumber), how’s it going?
What? Yeah, fine. What do you mean trap? Of course I’m gonna write about myself. I am my business and people want to know about me.
Are you sure about that Joe?
Are you taking the p***?
Hang on, there’s no need to be like that. Look at it from your customers’ perspective for a moment.
Yeah, they want to know about me, who I am and what I do, obviously.
No, they don’t. They want to know what you can do for them.
No it’s not. Look, the fact that you’ve been in business for 10 years, you drive a blue van and your favourite pizza topping is ham and pineapple is of no interest to your customers. They want to know how quickly you can get to them, and the type of work that you do.
Yes, really. If they’re searching online for a plumber it’s generally because they have a leak, need a new bathroom installing or something else along those lines. In other words, they have a problem to which they need to find a solution – you. That’s why your web copy, articles and blogs all have to be focused on what you can do for them.
OK, you may have a point.
There’s no maybe about it Joe. If you want your content to be read and you want people to come to your site and think ‘hey, Joe’s the guy for me, he offers the service I need and can come out to me quickly’ then you have to write it for them. If you just fill it with loads of information about you and only you, you’re not giving them what they want.
Joe…hey Joe, where’ve gone?
Just looking at my web copy again…don’t suppose you want to write it for me?
Writing for your readers
Separating yourself from you business and writing about it as though you were a customer is difficult.
You have to place yourself in the shoes of your readers and think about what’s important to them.
This is the basis for the benefits of your product or service – the things that add value to your customers. Keeping them at the heart of everything you write will keep you on track.
One final word – to make sure you don’t deviate, make sure you use ‘you’ instead of ‘we’ on your website, even on your About Us page.
Here are 3 takeways to remember when writing your content:
- Always write for your reader not yourself
- Use a lot of ‘you’
- Write conversationally to boost engagement
The power of copywriting
Although that post is a few years old now, it’s still as valid as the day it was written.
Your readers aren’t interested in you. They want to know how you’re going to make their life better. That’s why you should always focus on them.
It’s not the easiest thing to achieve which is why there are plenty of copywriters on hand to help you (just like me).
If in doubt get in a professional. The investment will be worth it.
Sally Ormond is a professional copywriter who helps her clients engage with their customers. Call her on +44(0) 1449 779605 if you’re serious about your business.