During your initial briefing meeting with your copywriter, you discussed your website copy.
You spoke eloquently about your company and why you do what you do. You went to great pains to point out you saw your company as a ‘disrupter’ to your industry.
The service you provide is new and more efficient and cost-effective than what the ‘traditional’ companies offer.
Therefore, you want people to see you as being different, approachable, and vibrant.
With all this great information to hand, your copywriter heads back to her office to get started.
First, she takes a look at other companies within your industry to see what they’re saying. As she suspected, they’re mundane, all written in the third person, without any engagement whatsoever. They all talk at the reader instead of showing the reader how they will benefit.
This confirms what she thought; your company is different, a ‘disrupter’ and therefore this needs to come across through your web copy.
She begins by developing the right tone. Based on a natural style (i.e. conversational rather than starchy business talk), she carefully starts to choose a vocabulary that’s youthful, energetic, and vibrant.
Your offering is then translated into this language extensively using the second person to draw the reader in.
Gradually, the content develops. Once a draft is ready (and it won’t be the first that she wrote), it is sent over to you for your feedback.
Make sure you understand what you’ve asked for
Your copywriter is confident she’s provided what you asked for, so she’s somewhat bewildered at your feedback.
It’s not right. You’ve been looking at your competitors’ websites, and they all write in the third person, so surely you should too, right?
The tone is not right either. It’s too casual and chatty. None of the other sites in your industry writes like that.
Confused? So is the copywriter.
Let’s look at the evidence.
From the initial meeting, you told her:
- You are a ‘disrupter’ in your industry and want to differentiate yourselves from your competitors
- You want people to see you as approachable and vibrant
- You’re offering something new and that needs to be made clear from the start
And yet you want to be the same as everyone else?
You’ve also said it’s too salesy.
OK, let’s look at that.
You said you didn’t want an over the top sales site. That’s fine because the service you’re offering isn’t something your customers will buy through your website directly. However, you’ve already said your concept is different from the traditional way of doing things. Therefore, you have to convince (i.e. sell) that concept to your reader.
There’s no getting away from it. In business, you are there to sell. That doesn’t mean you need colourful ‘Buy Now’ buttons plastered all over your website, but it does mean you have to sell your concept.
The other comment you made was that you wanted the web copy to be like your customer proposal letters. The problem with that idea is that they are two very different animals.
Your website is there to advertise your business, show the world what you do and why they should use you (back to that selling aspect again). Your proposal (and other communications) will be more formal because they are business documents.
Trust in your copywriter – she knows what she’s doing
Taking someone else’s advice when it comes to your business is difficult.
You know every inch of what you do. You’re an expert in it, which is why it’s your business.
However, you’re not an expert in copywriting, which is why you called in a professional to help you.
Imagine how frustrating it would be if your clients turned around and told you how to do your job?
If you’re going to use a professional for a job (whether it’s copywriting, kitchen fitting, building) trust their judgement. They know what they’re talking about.
It’s scary; I get that but have faith in their advice and abilities.
Sally Ormondhas been writing copy for her international clients for over a decade. Trust in her judgement and call +44(0) 1449 779605.
Briar CopywritingLtd if a professional freelance copywriting business based in Suffolk, UK.