If you want your copywriting to hit your prospect right between the eyes, you need to provide specific information about your business.
This information is going to help your copywriter craft the best type of copywriting they can, once armed with knowledge of exactly what your business does, who it serves, and why a prospect should want to do business with you.
When you don’t have a clear understanding of these foundational concepts, then your copywriter isn’t going to know, either. I’ve had a few clients who have fallen into this category so this post is directed at those who are in their “startup” phase or who wish to move their business in a new direction.
Here are the questions you need to answer to create the most effective copywriting:
What does your business do?
This may sound stupidly simplistic but believe me, it’s not. You need to be crystal clear about your business’ surface deliverables and then their deeper deliverables. I’ll explain.
You might create WordPress Themes. That’s a surface deliverable. But the deeper deliverable is providing a person a way to earn a living with a website that will bring them business and an even deeper deliverable is providing them independence and freedom. Or it may provide an easy way to make a website social media smart which satisfies the craving to become seen as a thought leader and the deeper deliverable of wanting to belong.
Whatever it is you do, you need to very clearly define it. Is it a product or a service you provide? You may have a software product but that product isn’t what’s being sold. Instead, it may be what the software provides for the customer, such as marketing automation.
If it’s a service, then what exactly are you promising the prospect? HR consulting that will help a business navigate the new healthcare law? Sales training for the automotive industry?
Write all of this down. When you write it down, you’ll quickly see if it makes sense and is easily understood. Show your business’ definition to others to see if they quickly get it or if it needs an explanation.
If it needs an explanation, you know you have more work to do. After hammering it out a bit, you’ll reach the place where it is crystal clear.
Whom does your business serve?
And the answer to this question is not, “Anyone who can pay me!”
You need a target market or several target markets. Your target market is the peg and your copywriting, the hat. You need something to hang your marketing on, whether it’s single professional men between the ages of 25-35 or stay-at-home mothers who are into saving the planet.
It is highly recommended to develop a buyer persona for your business. The more specific you can get about your prospect, the better. Perhaps this is a new idea for you, but it will help your copywriter immensely when you know exactly who it is you’re trying to reach with your business offering.
Jill Konrath, a sales strategist, explained the vital importance of creating a buyer matrix (aka “buyer persona”), in her book, SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business With Today’s Frazzled Customers.
She mentioned visiting a conference where Phillips, the electronics giant, presented a session on how they came up with their bestselling products. They had created a proto-typical family and created personas for each one. When they discussed a new product idea, they’d ask, “Would Karl like this? Or “What are the biggest annoyances in Kristina’s life?”
That’s why developing a buyer persona is so important. It helps you get inside the head of your prospect, to understand their life challenges, and opens big opportunities for your business to come in and save the day.
Why should a prospect want to do business with you?
This is where you have to sit down, look at your competition, and develop your value propositions for your products or services and your differentiators.
Here’s the deal: people hate change. If they have a product or service that works fairly well for them, they’re not going to change unless you have a compelling reason why they should.
The compelling part of the copy is up to your copywriter, but she needs some hard, cold facts about what makes your business unique. Why would a prospect use your service or product instead of your competitor’s?
Is it faster? Less expensive? Does it save more money? Does it deliver information in a more attractive format? Do you give a special guarantee that your competitor’s don’t provide?
These type of questions and more will help you identify your unique selling proposition (USP). Your copywriter needs this to be able to create the type of copy that will appeal to your target market.
In today’s highly competitive economy, it’s not enough to highlight your features and benefits. You have to find a way to stand out from your competition with a product or service that goes beyond typical expectations.
A supermarket that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week is not unusual. But a supermarket who offers childcare from 6 PM – 9 PM at night would be.
Remember, your prospect is very busy and change to them means more work and likely more headaches. It means pain, which is something they don’t want. Find a USP that delivers pleasure and makes your product or service so irresistible or unique that they can’t help but investigate.
Develop these three areas of your business’ identifiers and you’ll have a solid base of knowledge to share with your copywriter. That way, your copywriter will be able to hit it out of the ballpark faster and you’ll be happier. And ultimately, your prospects will be grateful.