Writing Compelling Copy

 

Photo on Flickr by akqp

So often when you read a sales pitch, something seems not quite right. It makes all the right promises: you will be a valued customer, the work will be delivered on time, the right value for the price etc, but something is missing. This something can be the difference between your decision of whether to offer the job or not.

 

It’s not about you.

The sales pitch has been all about the company that you are researching. This is what we can do for you, this is how we operate, this is how we are. As a business owner, however, you are looking for something more.

It should be about me.

If I am a company owner taking the time to research other companies, then I am looking to outsource skills that I don’t currently possess. I am looking for other people that I can work with that I know will solve my problems and be able to answer my queries. I want someone that is professional enough to take my work and get it done efficiently and without problems. I want someone that is sufficiently customer-focused to make their pitch about me.

Your Copy Should Offer Solutions

When you have written your copy, then take a careful look over it. Does it tell the reader all about you? Are you focusing on your solutions, your abilities and skills and your excellent time-keeping skills?

That’s great – but so does every other website out there. They all offer the same great experiences, similar strengths and talents and great eye-catching graphics. What will set you apart is the your ability to focus on your customer. Talk about the kinds of problems that might motivate a potential client to research your website and then solve them. Demonstrate that you are able to connect with business users and focus on them.

Demonstrate Your Strengths

Are they looking for a web designer who is able to use social media effectively? Make sure that your Facebook page and Twitter ID are prominently displayed on your front page along with recent tweets and posts.

Is your customer researching luxury holidays? Fill the website with glorious photos and satisfied customer reviews. Use your compelling copy to place the customer there in the resort, their feet up under a huge umbrella by the pool.

Perhaps the client is looking for a graphic designer who specialises in logos and branding. Include examples, a wide sample of your work and emphasise the customised aspect of your projects. No two are the same and satisfied customers are delighted that the work reflects their company so well.

There are many examples of how you can write compelling copy for your website in order to offer your customers more than just a run-of-the-mill experience. Focus on your customers and use your copy not just to fill a page, but to increase your conversions and enable your website to demonstrate exactly why clients should be hiring you.

Photo Credit: Photo on Flickr by akqb

Sarah Charmley is a compelling copywriter who will be happy to discuss your project with you so that you can set up a compelling website of your own. You can contact her for a free quote here.

 

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How to Design a Successful Leaflet

 

Although the success of the internet means that people tend to look online for the products they need, there is still a place for the traditional offline means of marketing including brochures and leaflets. You can tie in the colour and format of the leaflet to your company brand: you can be creative with them and use images and graphics to create a colourful, exciting product that will inform your customers about your latest features and savings. It pays to redesign leaflets fairly regularly to keep them current and up to date.

What should a successful leaflet contain? You need your company brand and logo clearly printed. You need to choose a clear, easy to read font and keep the writing simple and effective. Your message should explain clearly what you are offering, and the graphics and images should relate to the information on the leaflet. Use bright clear photos to illustrate your leaflet, ensuring that you are not using images which are subject to copyright.

Try for unusual or eye-catching designs. Use colour to suggest moods and emotions. Make sure that you have a professionally designed logo so that it can be printed correctly and will come out looking perfect rather than pixellated.

Finally, remember to include your company details so that they are easy to read and can be easily found. There is nothing worse than scanning a leaflet for the details you want only to find them missing or in such a small type that you need a magnifying glass to read them. Your company contact details, including address, telephone number, email and website are the most important part of the leaflet, so make sure that they are included.

Designing a leaflet to promote your company still has a place in the marketing strategies of today. Designed and proof-read carefully, regularly updated and distributed among clients and potential customers, they can help to keep your customers thinking about your company and approaching you when they need your products.

 

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Should You Employ a Cheap Copywriter?

 

Photo on Flickr by Mike (Inbet_1979)

There is much more to being a copywriter than just sitting down and dashing off 500 words on a Word document. Most of the work that comes in to me requires careful research, first, fact checking and then writing a first draft. This will usually need some revision and editing to ensure that it flows correctly and that there are no daft spelling mistakes (or typos). Then there is often a final read-through before sending it off to the client.

 

I like my work to be as perfect as I can make it before my clients see it. I take pride in my work and enjoy seeing it up on websites. I offer a professional service and I expect to be paid a proper wage for my work which has to cover sick days, holidays and all other expenses.

Now picture someone that you have found on a job bidding website. They have put in a low bid in order that you will take notice of them. They may not be from your country, although sometimes they are. They rely on lots of small jobs in order to make a living which means that they are producing a high volume of work in a short space of time. They may not have time to research properly and do not expect to fact-check. They rely on their word-processing editing tools to spot spelling mistakes and grammar errors. They may well read it through again before sending it to their client, but they will miss errors because once one piece of work is done, then they are thinking about the next one. They are constantly writing, constantly sending in work because they cannot afford to do anything else.

These people may be good writers, but without the time to edit properly, you might never know it. Writing is hard work when you are writing constantly, you have to look after your muscles and posture and you can get aches and pains like everyone else. It must be like a sweat shop to sit at a computer screen day after day, hardly making enough to get by.

Then there is the quality of the work produced. With Google trying to crack down on useless content, the days of keyword-stuffed garbage are numbered. The search engine will penalise websites that it suspects of using SEO tactics such as adding simple articles containing no information but keywords. It is better to build up your SEO using a blog and articles which are relevant to your niche and contain useful information.

So, should you use a cheap copywriter? Obviously I am a little bit biased here, but I would suggest that you get what you pay for. If you are looking for cheap rubbish, then move along, nothing to see here. If you are looking for well-written articles which will add genuine value to your website, then hire a professional copywriter.

Photo Credit: Photo on Flickr by Mike (Inbet_1979)

Sarah Charmley is a professional copywriter who enjoys researching and writing on all subjects. You can contact her here to discuss your copywriting project.

 

  • Content writing for the Web (marketersdaily.com)
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What to do with a Scam Email

Photo on Flickr by ePublicist

It is thankfully rare now, but I used to regularly get emails from Nigerian gentlemen asking me to help them get funds out of their country and promising a big wedge of cash to do it. Of course I would need to forward my bank details and an amount of money to enable them to release the funds, but I would be very rich once the transactions were complete. Or would I?

Such scams have gone into folklore and are so well-known that their very arrival can herald great hilarity. It can make your day to read the fictitious account of an ex-ruler and his struggles to escape with his trust funds intact.  Most people would recognise it as a scam and ignore it with a smile of ‘can’t fool me’.

The problem is that the scammers are getting more and more clever. How about an email from your bank, warning that your account is about to be closed unless you log in and re-enter your details? How about one from Ebay warning that your account has been hacked and that you need to log in now using a link in the email? You might get a tempting job offer which promises lots of money in return for very little work or you may get a phone call telling you that you have won a holiday, but there are lots of hoops to jump through first.

There are three main rules to follow when dealing with suspicious emails:

 

 

 

Only enter card details on a secure website which usually has a picture of a padlock by the url. It is best to use a credit card then you will be better covered by insurance rather than your debit card. Sometimes people respond to ‘work from home’ ads, only to find that the work consists of finding other poor suckers to ‘work from home’. Ignore chain mail letters and use your spam filter to deal with false pharmacological emails. It is not worth ordering drugs from the internet as there is no guarantee that you are getting what you have paid for.

You would not buy something from a stranger who stopped you on the street: this is the same principle. Be wary of inputting your details into websites, question strange emails and make sure that you initiate all actions rather than react to them.

One thing: the idea for this article was inspired by a comment on a forum that rather made me laugh. Apparently the UK Government has urged people who have received spam emails to forward them on to the National Fraud Authority. However there is a problem: the techies who set up the website, set up strong spam filters and emails were being rejected as spam!

Photo Credit: Photo on Flickr by ePublicist

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