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So you need to write some copy for your creative business…

There’s something that makes people freak out when they have to sit down and do their own copywriting for their creative business. You probably know exactly what I mean: you sit there, cursor blinking accusingly on the blank screen, knowing exactly what you want to say, but the words are stubbornly camping out somewhere else.

Copywriting is the thing in marketing I know most about. I started freelancing sometime around 2011, and still do a bit of it now and then when I’m not busy being a creative business coach.

It’s one of the first things I check on a new coaching client’s website, because it’s one of the most important parts of how you present yourself. Like I always used to say, your website’s your shop front, but your copy is your friendly sales assistant. How many times have you gone into a real shop to buy something, but left because the staff ignored you or couldn’t answer your questions? Or gone into a shop just to browse or casually look at something, but ended up buying because the staff were so awesome and helpful?

There are whole libraries written about marketing copywriting, about the different types of writing, about the art of persuasion and the psychology of buying, about websites vs social media vs sales emails vs online ads vs print.

Today I want to give you a few tips for if you’re stuck, or don’t even know where to begin.

Copywriting is a conversation. A one-sided conversation, but still a conversation.

Chuck out everything you learned in high school English. You’re not writing an essay, you’re having a friendly chat to someone about what you do, and why they should buy from you.

That means you want to write the way people talk. Talk directly to them – call them ‘you’. It’s fine to start sentences with ‘and’ and ‘but’. It’s completely fine to use contractions. And it’s fine – no, essential, to give your writing some personality, and sound like you. It’s even okay to drop a few jokes or even swears…but only if you’re absolutely sure of your audience (if in doubt, don’t).

Show some personality in your copy – you’re a creative business, right? Have some fun. (One of my favourites is goodr sunglasses for its great product descriptions and general sense of fun:

Can’t type the words? Record yourself.

Some people just find it hard to get the words to flow from their brain to their keyboard. If that’s you, get your phone out and hit ‘record’. Imagine that someone’s said in a casual setting ‘what do you do?’ and you’re trying to explain it to them. Or someone in your target market has said, ‘how can you help me?’. Transcribe what you said, and you may well find that it’s miles better than what you’ve been attempting to type.

Your About page is one of the most important pages on your website. Don’t waste it.

So many times I’ve been to an About page that’s said something like, ‘we started this business in 2012 because we saw a gap in the market for our thing, and since then we’ve loved working with our valued customers.’

I have things to say about that.

Your site is not really about you. It’s about your customer. They’ve gone to your About page to learn more about why they should trust you, because they’re looking for more reasons to buy from you.

So tell your story, but spin it around what they want. ‘You’re here because you’re looking for our thing. And you’re looking for someone who knows it inside out and backwards, who can help you with any damn fool question you have, and who can get you started today’.

An example I quite like is Ahhh Bodycare – they know why people buy bodycare products, they tap into our desire for small luxuries, and they also know that their customers care about what’s in them. (I think they’ve buried their pretty-cool origin story a bit too far down the page, but it’s still generally pretty good.)

Your About page is a sales page. Always remember that.

Tell people what you want them to do.

People don’t like to guess. They like to be taken by the hand and guided round. If you’ve got a blog post showcasing a product or a recent project, add a call to action telling them to buy it or contact you.

Calls to action are absolutely essential. You don’t have to be too cute or original with them, either – make it super obvious what they’re supposed to be doing. Don’t give them any reasons to get confused and run away. ‘Buy Now’, ‘Add to Cart, ‘Subscribe Now’ are all nice and clear, as long as you’ve given them a good reason to do that thing.

Feeling inspired?

I hope this has given you pause for thought, and inspired you to look at how you could tighten up your copy. Is there anything with your copywriting that you’re stuck with for your creative business? Let me know and I might do another copywriting post!

And when you’ve done that, you could have a look at some other areas of your creative business with my free checklist, to see if anywhere else in your business needs some love.

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