Sell More Through Clear Communication
Written communication is still the prime instrument of influence in the business world. The channels may have changed – these days emails, the internet and even texting are overtaking the use of letters and printed materials – but the skill of using informative, persuasive and memorable words is more important than ever.
Every day we are all bombarded with more information than we can deal with, so in order for your sales and marketing messages to stand out and generate the outcomes you require, they have to be clear, concise and, most important of all, be of value to the reader.
So, every business needs good copy on an on-going basis, whether it is for sales proposals, promotional material, advertisements, press releases, newsletters, speeches or your website. Which items you focus on will depend largely on your nature of business, and ultimately on your customers. It should be less about what you want to send them and more about which items they want to receive. What will they be prepared to read? How do you know? Well, the best way, as with everything, is not to assume, but to ask them.
Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Always Mean You Should
The main problem with copywriting in the small business sector (though regrettably it extends into larger businesses and the public sector, too) is that everyone thinks and believes they can write. Of course, that’s true to a degree, but just because you can string sentences together doesn’t mean that you necessarily have the aptitude to write the sort of copy that’s required for sales and marketing. After all, we can all draw – but that doesn’t mean that most of us are any good at it!
A number of problems occur in business with self-written copy:
- You’re too close to it, so you may have difficulty sorting out the wood from the trees in terms of what you need to say.
- You’re looking at it from your own perspective, which means you tend to focus on what you want to sell rather than what your potential customer wants to buy.
- You tend to give too much detail about the product or the process when what your customer wants to know is what benefits they are going to get.
- You may underrate the importance of certain elements such as spelling, presentation or layout, which may mean that your end result looks unprofessional and amateurish.
- You will probably find that you spend hours or days agonising over what to say and how to structure your copy, which means that that you start to lose sight of what reads well.
Needless to say, the most effective way to counter these problems is to employ a professional. Freelance copywriters are easy to track down and a good one should be able to produce the copy you want quickly and at a reasonable price. It can be well worth the investment when you consider how important their copy is to your sales process.