When you’re running a business and have a million things to do, writing copy for your business is often overlooked. You know you need it, but everything else seems to be more urgent, or more likely to start bringing in the money.
Many new businesses (and even established ones) whack up copy that will ‘do for now’, and resolve to do something about it when they have time.
The trouble is, they never have time.
Having great copy for your business is vital for its success. It tells people who you are, what you do, and why they should work with you or buy from you. It allows people to come to know, like and trust you, establishes your expertise, raises your profile, and ensures customers find you to begin with.
Great copy is the backbone of any wildly successful business.
But it’s a lot to think about. You’re never quite sure what you need, how to write it, exactly what it’s supposed to achieve or how it will do it.
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The Elements Of Copy For Your Business
There are a lot of components to business copy, from the sales copy that sells your products, to the information explaining who you are and what you do, and the content that builds your audience and draws people to you. Add to that product and service names and descriptions, email marketing, social media posts, and the way you verbally describe your business and you have a glimpse of what you need to create to ensure your business has rock solid copy.
It’s a lot.
It’s a little overwhelming.
To help you out, here’s a breakdown of the main elements of your business copy, what they do, how they work, and some tips on crafting them. Before you get started, make sure you have completely nailed two things: your brand identity and voice, and your ideal client.
About Me Page…
Here’s the thing… You don’t need an ‘About Me’ page.
You need several.
Your website should contain complete details of your business as well as your biography, but that is a lot of information. You don’t want it front and centre, and you don’t want it all in the same place.
Have a dedicated ‘About Me’ page that includes everything there is to know about your business. You can go to town on this, or you can keep it quite simple and straightforward. Exactly how long it is will depend on you and the complexity of your business model. The most important thing to remember is that absolutely everything in the main section of your About Me page needs to be 100% relevant to your business, brand, and purpose. Don’t talk about all your experience, only the experience that is directly related to your work.
This is an excellent opportunity to include your business journey: how did you come to be doing this particular thing, why is it so important to you, what makes you uniquely qualified to do this one thing better than everyone else?
Always write your About Me page first. It will help you refine your brand message. Ensure you have an absolutely rock solid brand identity, voice and message before you write anything else.
The Seemingly Irrelevant
Include a nice short section at the end of six to eight completely irrelevant but intriguing facts about you personally. This is the place to tell people things that aren’t relevant to your business but are interesting facts. For example, mine include the fact I have a Fire Hand and enjoy getting my tarot read.
Pro Tip: There is an excellent narrative archetype known as The Hero’s Journey that can help you craft a powerful business journey for your brand.
Just because visitors to your site don’t want all the details right away, doesn’t mean they don’t need to know something. A CliffsNotes version of your full bio should appear on your homepage and in other relevant locations, such as sales pages, the end of blog posts, and any content that will be appearing off your site (i.e. queries, guest posts, adverts, PR pieces etc.). But even here, you need variety. Some locations will require you to be ridiculously brief (like your Twitter bio), others will give you the freedom to be a little more detailed.
All of your descriptions should be based on the core information given on your About Me page, but depending on where you’re sharing them and how long they are, you will want to focus on different things. Break it down and chunk it out to ensure you also have the perfect copy for the various places you will need to talk about yourself and your business.
Elevator Pitch Bio
This is the super-short, pithy way you introduce yourself and tell people what you do. Imagine you step into an elevator, and someone asks what you do. You have the time it takes to get to the next floor to tell them, in such a way they are interested enough to ask for your card.
You may never actually be in that scenario, but it’s a good barometer for how long this should be. Aim for a single sentence that’s succinct and svelte. Use two sentences at the most, and only if they’re very short! Get the most important elements in there: how do you help people? What need do you fulfil?
I help entrepreneurs and small businesses market themselves with kick-ass content and copy.
Tagline (<140 Characters)
The rise of Twitter has finally put a number on exactly how long your company tag line should be: 140 characters or less. Your tagline is the most useful element of all your descriptive copy. It will appear in the main metadata of your whole website, one every social media platform you use, and so much more. You can use it on your newsletters, product packaging, business cards, adverts, multimedia marketing materials (from pens and mugs to t-shirts and mouse mats).
Nailing your tagline is seriously tough.
It has to be perfect. But when it comes to our business babies we always have so much to say. Condensing it into 140 characters or less is damn near impossible, but it’s seriously important.
You won’t have space to do everything you want to do. You just won’t. Don’t try to be intriguing and mysterious and amusing and empathetic all at the same time. You don’t have space. Pick the tone that is most crucial to your brand and ideal client. Make it memorable, but keep it as simple as possible.
Here’s mine: The kick-ass copywriting service every ambitious female entrepreneur needs to grow a dedicated tribe addicted to their passion and products.
It’s useful to have another abridged version of your bio ready to go. This should be longer than your elevator pitch, but still no more than a few sentences. Focus on your ideal client’s main pain points and how your products and services solve them.
This is your opportunity to paint a beautiful picture. Go back to those pain points, flesh them out, demonstrate that you completely understand where your ideal client is coming from, and what their pain points are. Draw a vivid, visceral picture of the reason they need you, then a bright, shining image of what their lives will look like after they have whatever you’re selling.
Pro Tip: When crafting your elevator pitch and tagline, say them out loud and test each out on real people. Rope in a few friends or family members, shake their hand and deliver your one liner. Listen to their feedback. If you can try it on people who don’t already know what you do, all the better!
Your blog is the core of your content marketing strategy. It will raise the profile of your business, establish your expertise, build the know, like and trust factor with your audience and introduce them to the details of your products and services.
It’s your chance to create something of value that will ensure people find you, and fall in love with you.
The key to blogging is consistency. Decide how frequently you will blog, and stick to it. The more often you can post the better, and you should aim for at least one post a week. That being said, quality always trumps quantity, so if you only have time for one post a month, make it a corker.
Choose a specific day and time to post that is going to have the most impact with your audience. You can go with the data in your analytics about what days and times get the most response from your audience, or you can do with a time that is statistically proven to be the most effective (this is currently Tuesdays at 10 am).
Pro Tip: If you struggle to find time to blog, really hate blogging, or are unsure of what or how to write outsource your blog to a professional who can take care of it for you. I offer a free blog post to all new prospects to give them a taste of what my content marketing services can do for their business. Grab yours here…
Product descriptions are the nuts and bolts of copy for your business if you have a product-based business model. They are a lot like your business descriptions. You need one that’s complete and detailed, but you also need one that’s shorter and more easily digested and one that is laser focused and utterly succinct. Use language your clients would use. Stay on brand and true to your message.
The key questions to ask before you start writing are:
What problem/pain point does this solve?
What desire does this fulfil?
How will this make someone’s life better/easier/more meaningful?
What feeling/emotion will owning this bring?
What aspect of this product will my ideal client care about most (i.e. physical appearance, technical specifications, value etc.)
Once you’ve answered, all these questions write a description that focuses on covering those points. You may find they are not all relevant to your particular product, but if they are you should include them.
For example, people buy jewellery for its appearance and the feeling that comes with it. You should emphasise these elements by describing the materials used, colours, shapes, and any other relevant properties of those materials (e.g. the fact copper is used to treat arthritis, or amethyst is believed to cure headaches). On the other hand, people buy technology because it makes their lives easier. Depending on your ideal client, they may care more about the exact technical specifications and genius of the product, or they may simply care that it is easy to use and very effective. If it’s the former, you should focus on the specs and keep the physical description brief. If it’s the latter, you should emphasise how effortless and useful it is.
Test your descriptions out by sharing them with people who would be genuinely interested in your products. Facebook groups are great for getting feedback on descriptions if you’re at all unsure you’re getting it right.
Pro Tip: For every product you have, create the following: a tag line (<10 words); a one paragraph summary (<150 words); a detailed description.
There’s a marked difference between a creating copy for your business in the form of product description and a in the form of sales page. The former is relatively short and accompanies products, while the latter is considerably longer and accompanies services, and products that are very high end (like a luxury car or Rolex) or of a complex nature (like an eCourse).
Think of a sales page as a slow seduction.
The core questions you need to ask are the same as for a product description, but you need to emphasise a few additional factors, including who you are and why your/your business is the best person to come to for this particular thing. Draw on the work you did writing your About Me page for this, but tweak it to focus on the elements that are most relevant to the specific thing you are selling. Leave the rest out.
A sales page is also formatted differently. Frame the information you need to put across in the form of questions or statements your ideal clients will immediately relate to. Make them feel you are describing them and their exact situation. You will also want to design your page to be a little more viewer-friendly. The amount of information you need to convey is usually a lot more extensive. Make sure you do the following:
- Break it up as much as possible.
- Include plenty of space around it to give your readers’ eyes a rest.
- Make use of headers, banners, and tables.
- Ensure you have the price very clearly visible.
- Provide buttons enabling people to instantly purchase or take the desired action (for example you may need to drive people to a discovery call in order to ultimately convince them).
Pro Tip: Include social proof on sales pages and product descriptions wherever possible. They can be discreet on product descriptions, coming at the bottom of the page or only appearing if you click on a link to reveal them. On sales pages, however, they should be prominent and preferably include photographs of the reviewers. Don’t be shy about quoting clients, asking for testimonials, and seeking recommendations from other professionals.
Always be true to yourself and your brand vision/message in everything you write (even if you have a copywriter crafting your words for you!). If you’re looking for a little help with the copy for your business, look no further. The Write Copy Girl offers comprehensive blogging, content marketing and sales copy services…