A lot of heart-centred solopreneurs don’t write how they speak and it’s a common copywriting mistake I see a lot of people making. A lot of clients will ask me to do a copy audit of something they’ve written.
It might be a home page or sales page or maybe an email, and they’ll want me to wordsmith or give my first impression feedback from a marketing perspective, as well as the view of their ideal clients.
But one of the mistakes I often see is they don’t write how they speak. This is an issue because they’re not using the language that their client is using to describe the problem they want to fix.
You can watch today’s Copy Talk or read the transcript below ?
In a lot of audits, I do for clients (I’m guilty of it, too), I see people using too much jargon. As an example, I was talking to a girl recently who sent me her home page to audit. She’s a new coach and a brilliant woman with fantastic ideas who wants to get her message out in the world. She’s working with organizations and entrepreneurs who want to make a difference and are into social change and environmental initiatives.
So what’s the problem?
Some of the language she was using to attract leaders in these organizations was things like, “I’ll help you own your truth” and “uncover your shadows.”
I asked her, is this how the leaders in these organizations are describing their problem? Her answer, no.
I see phrases like that being used a lot in coaching, and while it sounds nice, many of these terms are overused, and often our clients don’t understand what it means.
Recently, I was auditing a sales page for a parent educator, who’s launching an e-course. She has a ton of expertise—she helps highly sensitive children (and parents) regulate their nervous system so they can manage meltdowns and intense emotions in a calm, respectful way. Her headline went something like this, “Teach Your Child to Regulate their Nervous System in 5 weeks”. Not exactly, but it was something to that effect.
As I was reviewing her sales page, I said, is this how your ideal clients are speaking? For instance, if she’s confiding in a friend and crying over tea about how she’s having a hard time with her sensitive four-year-old’s uncontrollable outbursts, would she say, “if only I could regulate her nervous system all will be well.”
It’s not entirely impossible, but it’s unlikely that she’s using that language to describe her frustration and the problem she’s facing.
The problem is that Colleen is educated in this area, and as a nurse with over 20 years experience, understandably it’s easy to forget that your ideal clients aren’t using the same language (and more often than not, don’t have that language at all).
So how might her clients be describing their problem? What language might they be using? Of course, the best way to find out is to speak to your ideal clients, but since I’m someone who was already in the market for a course like hers, I came up with a few ideas that she could implement in her copy right away.
When I think about my own highly-sensitive 4-year-old expressing BIG emotions and acting aggressively towards her younger brother, I’d probably confide in a friend like this, “I hate that I yell when she acts out, it doesn’t work and timeouts don’t either. I feel like my reaction makes things worse for both of us and I worry that it will damage her self-esteem. I want to teach her how to manage her big emotions in a healthy way but it’s hard when I’m triggered myself.”
That’s the kind of language you need to be using when it comes to writing engaging heart-centred copy.
Here’s an exercise
Scan a piece of copy that you’ve written. It can be your home page, sales page or services page. Then ask yourself, is this how my ideal clients are speaking? If they’re speaking to their spouse and they’re frustrated about a problem they’re having, is this how they’re going to explain their problem? If they’re talking to their best friend over chips and salsa, is that how they’ll complain about the issue they want to solve?
The majority of us use too much jargon in our copy, and that loses our audience. The reality is, once you’ve lost them, you’ve lost them. You’ve only got a few seconds to engage your dream clients when they do land on your web page so it’s got to be clear and relevant for your ideal clients to keep them reading. Your job and your website’s job is to let the right people know—your kindred-hearted clients that they’re in the right place when they do find you. You want them to read your copy and think, “this is exactly what I’ve been looking for”.
If I haven’t said it enough, the key is you want to write how your ideal clients are speaking and if you don’t know how that is, then you’ve got to do some work to find out. The bottom line is, if you don’t know who you’re speaking to, then it’s going to be hard to write crystal clear copy that your dream clients can relate to. ?