This post was brought to you by my dear past client (and massively talented copywriter for photographers), Miss Erica of The Write Lens. She’s going to break down (in a very entertaining fashion) how to write personality-packed site copy that converts! Trust her – she’s written a website or two! 😉
For online businesses, your website serves as your storefront. It’s your vanilla-scented, monstera-filled, cozy little shop on Main Street. It’s your towering skyscraper with your name in lights on top. And it’s the place your clients come to encounter you, interact with your offer, and make a final decision to stay or go.
So, what if we started treating our websites the same way we would a physical space?
By writing sincere, emotional, true-to-you content for your website, you can fill your website with the personal touches that make the space your own. You can give your ideal client an unforgettable experience. And that experience is a massive piece of the puzzle that takes them from lookie-loo to lifelong fan! But how do we do it? Well, I’m thrilled you asked! Step right this way…
Let’s explore the five steps of transforming your “meh,” just-like-all-the-other-businesses website into something remarkable.
GET TO KNOW YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
Before you begin writing content for your website, the first step is to identify who you’re writing to. Often, business owners make the mistake of trying to shout loud, spread their message wide, and hope someone cares. But who likes being made to feel like just one of many? Instead, effective website content should feel as personalized and intimate as an email directed to a single client. It should be filled with references they understand, jokes that will make them laugh, and solutions to their unique problems.
But you can only write content this personalized if you know who you’re speaking to!
So, before diving into the writing part, grab your journal and start turning the foggy smoke of an ideal client in your head into a real person. How old are they? Where are they from? What music do they blast in the car on the way to work out? How do they work out? Who do they work out with? How do they relax after a hard day of work? What’s their job, anyway?
Then, consider your ideal client’s values: religious, political, social, emotional…anything that motivates the way they make decisions. Ask yourself what is really stressing your client out and how you can either empathize with or fix it. And finally, dive into what your ideal client already believes about the service you offer. How do they feel about it? Have they had a negative experience before? How can you blow them away with what you offer?
Once you determine who you’re speaking to, you need to nail down what you’re going to be speaking about. And that brings us to…
DETERMINE YOUR UNIQUE VALUE
Most clients aren’t just going to book the first business they come across. Unless they are a massive fan of you already through another social media platform, a potential client will likely look through many, many other websites offering the same things you do.
Unless, of course, you can offer something others don’t!
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “But Ericaaaa! I’m not that unique! I really AM just like all the other businesses!”
Shh! No! Bad! I know it may feel that way sometimes, but I promise you it’s not true. There is something in what you do — whether it be your ideal clients, your offers, your experience, or your unique perspective on the service you offer — that is special. There’s something you do that only you can do, and the next step in this adventure is to determine what that is.
Grab your trusty journal once again, and write down words clients have used to describe you — both in person and in reviews. Pay extra attention to the words coming up over and over again. Think about what clients will miss out on if they don’t work with you. Consider some of the things you do that flow from a past experience in your life. For example, maybe you’re a photographer who’s perfected the art of direction because you felt awkward in front of the camera during your senior photo session. Or maybe you’re a coach who does an extreme research deep-dive before your first client call because you hate having to explain yourself to others and you don’t want to make others explain themselves to you. It can be anything!
And don’t be afraid to ask past clients for help! Ask them what they expected before working with you and how you surprised them during the process. Then, embrace what they share as the unique value you bring!
Only after determining who you’re speaking to and what you’re speaking about are you ready to begin writing emotional, engaging, and effective web content! So, let’s start talking words.
BUILD A LIST OF BRAND ADJECTIVES
Well…actually, there’s one last thing I recommend before writing. *car screech* I know, I know, I said we could write now, and you can if you just want to get started! But there’s one more optional step that will make the writing part easier. Oh, come on. It won’t take long!
Just pull out your thesaurus (or tip tap type your way to Google) and build a list of brand adjectives for your business.
This might seem a little tedious and unnecessary, but trust me! As someone who writes websites all day every day, having a list of words to pull from when you’re feeling stuck is the surest way out of writer’s block. Think of the words you use often, and then find more interesting options that still feel genuine.
For example, maybe you consider your style “light and airy.” Instead of using that same tired phrase nine bazillion times on your website, make a list of words to use in its place, like elegant, delicate, serene, radiant, tranquil, luminous, and nostalgic. Try all kinds of words on for size. Keep the ones that feel good to you, and lose the ones that don’t!
Disclaimer: please, please please beware of Thesaurus Mouth. This is when a person can tell you just took every basic word on your website and tried to find a fancy replacement in the thesaurus. You know, like how that obnoxious guy from high school argues on Facebook. It’s super transparent and awkward, so approach this step with caution, and make the next step your friend!
WRITE LIKE YOU SPEAK, THEN READ YOUR CONTENT OUT LOUD
Once you know who you’re writing to, what you’re writing about, and have a list of words to light your way, it’s FINALLY time to start writing! Aaaaand here’s where your palms start sweating and your mind goes blank. But don’t panic! There’s a super simple way to overcome the nerves of telling your story on a website: imagine you’re explaining your business to a friend. Or better yet, imagine you’re sitting in a coffee shop during a consultation with that ideal client you already identified! What would you tell them?
Now, write that down!
Greet them at the top of your homepage the way you’d greet them in the first few minutes of the consultation. Share a bit about yourself and what you do on your about me page the way you would during that first meeting. Describe your client experience and the services you provide the way you would when you were trying to help a client decide whether or not to book. And if writing it all down is what is causing your hangup, pull out your phone and record yourself talking about those things. Then, transcribe what you say and edit from there!
And when you’re all done, read your content out loud to make sure it flows smoothly and sounds like you!
You are an essential piece of the services you provide, so don’t be afraid to let your natural personality shine through on your website. I guarantee the confidence and warmth that only authenticity can provide will work wonders on your site! But the adventure shouldn’t end here.
DON’T LET IT END WITH YOUR WEBSITE!
The client experience might begin on your website, but it sure doesn’t end there!
Once you’ve written web content that clicks, extend that personality and purpose into every piece of written content you use in your business. Reimagine your client guides, email templates, welcome notes, and blog posts. And once all of your content is shining with a unified, clarified voice, watch as your business rockets to heights you never imagined alongside clients you adore.
Writing personality-packed written content for your website isn’t easy, but it’s one of the essential steps in creating a website that converts. I know it’s tough, but I promise it’s worth every second. And if you know your written content needs a refresh, but you still feel stuck, hop over to my shop filled with templates to help you get started! New resources are arriving there weekly, so check back often to catch the new goodies! And ‘til then, happy writing!
Hey, friend! Cassie popping back in to say that when you’re done checking out all the magic on Erica’s shop, come back and click here to read part two of this series (coming 5/5/21)… “(Strategically Optimized) Site Copy That Converts”