One of the Biggest Mistakes Businesses Make When Writing About Their Work Is -
writing about their work.
Wait. What? Yes, you read that right. Bear with me, and I'll explain.
Too many businesses make the mistake of focusing on themselves and how great their product or service is (and it may be the best out there!) They list all the features and benefits and then ask people to buy.
So, you're probably asking, "Then what the heck am I supposed to write about?"
Good question! Let's find out.
Why Are You Writing?
You might say, “To talk about my business, my [product/service], and convince people to buy it.”
Fair enough. However,
If you're writing just to tell people about your product or service, you're missing the point.
If you stop after enumerating all the features & benefits it offers, you’re missing the point.
Even if you have loads of testimonials saying how great you are, you’re still missing the point.
So, what is the point? For that, we have to dig a little deeper.
You’re writing to:
let your potential clients/customers know you exist
give the reader information that will help them decide if you’re right for them
reach more of the right people so you can help them
offer value to your current and potential customers or clients
build a relationship between you and them
show a bit of who you are, your personality, just enough to make that connection
engender trust by writing consistent quality copy
establish yourself as an authority in your field, someone they will look to for answers, like when they’re ready to buy.
And yes, the bottom line in any business is to engage your readers and drive them back to your website where they will now be more likely to buy your service or product. But in order to engage someone, you must know your customer.
Who Are You Writing To?
Or, because I know there are Grammar Police out there, and just so you’ll know I do remember my 8th grade English lesson not to end a sentence with a preposition, pretend I wrote: “To Whom Are You Writing?” Although that was a run-on sentence...
Granted, you don’t need to know a whole lot about the person who buys a basic commodity that pretty much everyone uses, like batteries or lightbulbs. We’ll come back to batteries and lightbulbs later.
But hopefully, you’re not writing to everyone. We all know that now well-worn maxim, “If you’re writing to everyone, you’re not writing to anyone.” You’re only writing to, and for the benefit of, the person your service or product is designed to serve, commonly referred to as your “ideal client.” Not your target audience, that’s too vague, a hit or miss effort.
Do you have a person in mind when you write about your work, your offer? Do you know his or her desires, needs, and fears?
She doesn’t want to buy a pair of jeans. She wants to look and feel great about herself in a new pair of jeans.
He doesn’t want toothpaste. He wants a whiter, brighter smile so he’ll feel confident when he smiles.
Now we’re getting to the heart of the matter.
What Does He or She Really Care About?
This goes beyond knowing someone’s surface pain points. We need to go even deeper into Why people really buy.
They want to know that you can solve their problem. You need to address their deeper need while giving them what they want.
Sally wants to feel confident in that new pair of jeans so she feels attractive to her husband again.
Michael wants to feel confident with that whiter, brighter smile so he’ll feel confident every time he smiles at his new lady.
Remember the batteries and lightbulbs I mentioned earlier?
Talk about how the products are green, easier on the environment, easier on the conscience, are just as good, and last just as long.
Or the importance of not discovering dead batteries in that flashlight you just grabbed when the power went out during the night?
Or how a lightbulb throwing a softer light can help make for a more romantic evening? Or that a brighter light will ease the strain on the eyes when reading?
I could go on, but you get the idea.
What’s Your Real Message?
Your real message is that you have something to offer them that can make their lives significantly better in some way, and that includes helping them feel better about themselves.
THIS is your real message, so be sure to tell it. And tell it your way, in your voice, authentically.
And yes, of course, you want to tell people about your business and talk about features and benefits, but don’t leave it there.
There’s more to say.
So, think about why your business exists in the first place, whether it’s a new one or you’ve been at it a while. Take the time to reconnect with your passion, figure out how you’re improving someone’s life, and then tell your message so they see value and possibilities.
There’s so much more to writing good copy, but if you avoid this one mistake - writing about your work rather than your client - many other mistakes can be overlooked. At least until you can work on those. It’s a process.
Until next time,