7 copywriting tips to engage leads and build authority
When Apple’s copywriters were planning the headlines for the first iPod in 2001, they could have written, “The world’s first portable digital media player,” and called it done. But they didn’t. They wrote, “1,000 songs in your pocket.” The differences between these two headlines go beyond the words used. The second version was wildly successful because it painted a picture of what people really wanted: more music while on the go.
Well-written website content can be a powerful sales tool that builds authority with leads by clearly explaining how you can solve their problems or give them what they want most. My goal is for the following seven tips to help you write copy that builds your firm’s credibility and turns window shoppers into eager buyers.
Tip #1: Decide if you’re going to niche or specialize
Before you write any copy, you must ask yourself, “Who is my audience?” The power of good copy comes from the clarity of talking to one type of person. There are two ways to clarify your audience: becoming a specialist or building a niche. There’s a lot of attention given to building a niche practice these days, and it’s certainly a great way to build your firm. But you can also choose to be a specialist and become known for solving one problem.
When you build your firm around a niche or specialization, the copy on your website can speak directly to the pain points of your target market. This allows you to speak to them on an emotional level, which is preferred since we buy on emotion and justify with logic. You should also focus on showing how you solve a problem better or more efficiently than anyone in that industry.
Tip #2: Turn every website visitor into a buyer or believer
Sometimes, lead generation involves building trust and credibility before people are ready to buy from you. According to Gartner, roughly 83% of the current B2B buyer journey consists of buyers researching their needs and solution requirements, exploring possible vendors, and learning about the problem to be solved–without ever talking to a salesperson.
Because people are spending more time on independent research and may take time to make a buying decision, it’s vital that you learn to group the people who visit your website into two categories:
- Buyers: Sometimes, people visit your website and immediately request information on how to begin working with you. For buyers, good copy will demonstrate your familiarity with their problem, as well as your expertise in fixing it. This will increase the likelihood that they’ll reach out to you for pricing and a discovery call.
- Believers: This group doesn’t need your service, but will visit your website simply to learn more about what you do. For believers, good copywriting should convey that you are a credible, trustworthy choice that they should use when the time comes or recommend to friends and family. The goal here isn’t to drive a purchase, but to build memorability.
Tip #3: Avoid “we” and “me” language, and focus on them
Remember the saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care?” This holds true for your website content. The content on a typical accounting website focuses on the firm story, staff, and awards or achievements. But people don’t care about that, at least not when they’re first visiting your website. Instead, write content that describes the problem you solve, for whom you solve it, and how you solve it. This way, people can find out if you can help them and how you’ll do it. Once you’ve convinced them that you can help them, you can start building your firm’s credibility by listing your firm’s achievements.
Tip #4: Build a bridge from their problem to their paradise
The concisely worded headline on Basecamp’s homepage uses two sentences to tell us that Basecamp can take us from chaotic disorganization to unified collaboration. You can use this same framework on your website to show people how you will take them from where they are right now to where they want to be.
The Before-After framework is adapted from the Before-After-Bridge copywriting formula, in which you describe a problem, paint a paradise without the problem, and show how your service helps them get there.
Tip #5: Prove your promises with testimonials and case studies
“We have become so accustomed to hearing everyone claim that his product is the best in the world, or the cheapest, that we take all such statements with a grain of salt,” observed Robert Collier, the late copywriting legend and author of the iconic The Robert Collier Letter Book. People read reviews before doing business because they want proof that a business will deliver what it promises them. According to BrightLocal’s 2022 Local Consumer Review Survey, 77 percent of consumers now pay attention to reviews, up from 60 percent in 2020. After you’ve clarified your offer and positioning, provide testimonials or reviews from clients who you’ve helped succeed. Their words will sell your service better than yours ever will.
#Tip 6: Don’t use industry jargon
What does SSL mean to you? If you’re in website design, SSL refers to the technology layer that keeps sensitive details safe on websites. In engineering, however, SSL refers to the top surface level of a structural slab. Many B2B professionals assume that including insider terms or jargon in their website content will demonstrate their knowledge and expertise. But, if your audience isn’t familiar with it, you’ll end up confusing them and driving them from your website.
Tip #7: Emphasize clarity over cleverness
Do you know how to tell a new copywriter from a veteran? A new copywriter will spend their time racking their brain for something clever. On the other hand, a veteran will clarify what they need to communicate, then sprinkle in humor or wordplay afterward. It’s perfectly fine to be humorous and clever throughout your content because it can build your brand’s personality and authenticity. However, don’t sacrifice clarity for a sexy headline that will confuse people.
Good copy brings clarity
The beauty of copywriting is that it forces you to clarify what you do and for whom you do it. Although it can be challenging to write great copy that properly conveys the value that you can bring to your target audience, it’s not impossible. By avoiding the copywriting mistakes I’ve mentioned and clearly articulating your offer, you can create website content for your firm’s website that motivates people to choose you.