For years I did copywriting the slow and ineffective way. One secret changed everything
I used to slave away writing the same bland copy that most copywriters did.
It wasn’t deliberate. I thought I was being creative and working the way it “should be done”. It didn’t help that most of my colleagues in our small in-house team did the same. Really, we were a mix of ignorant and also ego driven.
That all changed when I heard the secret to creating faster and more effective copy from Jo Wiebe.
Write copy using your customers words, not your own
Instead of scanning dictionaries and thesauruses for the perfect word, all we need is to listen to our customers and repeat back their words to them.
This is more effective than using our own words as we gain the benefit of seeing what matters most to our audience, getting that expressed in their own tone of voice and benefitting from the “monkeys with typewriters eventually creating Shakespeare” effect.
It also saves us time racking our brain and staring at a blank page as we can use their own words as a starting point.
But don’t worry. When you use your customer’s words, you still have to add your own expertise. You need to edit and refine what they said, you need to curate and select what you should include and sometimes you just need to write something else. But you do so with a massive head start.
So how do you steal their words? Here are three easy steps.
#1. Go to where your audience hangs out
This is easy for some niches than others. You need to find the locations your audience hangs out and preferably where they discuss your topic.
Some common locations include
- Twitter (or other social media platforms)
- Review sites (Amazon, G2)
- In person gatherings (When there isn’t a global pandemic!)
The best copy comes when people speak naturally.
When people think they need to give a good quote, they become unnatural. Searching for your company or product name, looking for problems, questions and achievements can all help you find great words and phrases to use in your copy.
You can also ask questions but these should help kick off a discussion rather than draw out quotes.
#3. Save sticky copy in a safe place
Once you’ve found some sticky language, you need to save it for later. This could be in a notebook, a text file, or, as I do, a personal knowledge management app to help find it later.
Whatever system works for you will do, but make sure you can find it later when you come to writing.
Using your customer’s words instead of your own can feel like cheating or can hurt our egos, but we can (and should) still add our own unique voice while writing more effective copy, faster.
This post was created with Typeshare