If you’re listening to this episode, and you’re not confident in your writing skills, that’s okay! I struggle with copywriting too. I am the first to admit I need help with that area in my business. I am one of those people who has a really hard time communicating clearly the thoughts in my brain. Usually just comes out as gobbly gook. BUT I know that as a business owner you need to know the basics, so here goes.
Let’s get something out of the way first. Copywriting is just a fancy word for words that sell. This could be anything from your social media captions, the words on your website, to rack cards you hand out to doctor’s offices.
Start with your ideal client
In my opinion, copywriting starts with your ideal client. If you’re wondering what that is, it’s basically who would you just die to work with as a client.
For example, I just worked with someone who loves attending home births. So her ideal client is a second time mother who knows what they want and is having a home birth.
Another example is my business – I love working with doulas, so my ideal client is actually broken up into three different ideal client avatars to reach doulas wherever they’re at on their business journey.
Knowing your ideal client inside and out makes copywriting so much easier – take it from someone who dreads writing the words on her website and figured out a better way that is actually enjoyable! *Ahem ME*
I have an exercise that can help you nail down your ideal client, but you can also think of someone who represents your ideal client in real life. This could be yourself a couple years ago, a previous client that you worked with, or a personal friend who matches your ideal client avatar.
I have found that it’s even easier to speak directly to your ideal client through your website if you actually talk to them. Ask them questions like:
- What are you struggling with right now?
- What things keep you up at night?
- What are you worried or stressed about when it comes to [birth, postpartum, whatever field you’re in]?
- If money was no object, what dream solution would take all of that pain away?
- How would you feel if you didn’t have those worries or anxieties or fears anymore?
Asking questions like this will hopefully lead you to some words that your ideal client uses naturally to describe their problem.
All of this research and asking questions and nailing down your ideal client is basically just putting you in the right mindset to write your website copy.
Getting in the right mindset means thinking of your ideal client while writing, and basically mirroring having a conversation with them.
If you treat your website copy as almost like a conversation with your ideal client, it can lend a very natural way of speaking that translates on your website as friendly and understanding.
Review Site Goals & Strategy
Next up is reviewing your site goals and your site strategy. If you have already downloaded my Doula Website Roadmap freebie, then this work is already done. If you haven’t downloaded that yet, click this link to download it.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to keep my head straight while writing copy. Like I said, I am most definitely not a copywriter, but I do find myself filling that role frequently for clients and for myself. A way I like to keep things straight is to physically list out all of the pages on the website and write a quick goal for each page. I’m a visual person. I usually refer back to my site journey or site roadmap for this step (going back to site strategy here).
For example, on the about page my goal for the copy on that page is to position myself as an expert and give people the information they need to know, while also writing in a way that connects to the ideal client and their problem. Always try to bring it back to your ideal client.
Write your Tagline
A pretty important part of the copy on your website and to your business is your brand tagline. A tagline is pretty much a shortened version of your mission statement. Something that is easy for people to understand and recognize immediately what you do and who you serve. Think about when you meet someone on an elevator, and they ask what you do. What’s a quick way to say (between floors) what you do? It’s even a shortened version than that.
For example, my tagline is: I help doulas turn their calling into a thriving business through business advice and strategic design.
Can you tell who I serve and how I help them from that statement? I serve doulas, and I help them through business advice and strategic design.
This tagline usually goes above the fold. If you’ve listened to any of my episodes so far, you’re familiar with this term. Above the fold refers to how a newspaper puts its most important headlines above the physical fold, aka the top half of the paper that people see when they’re looking to buy it.
Having a really clear tagline helps your website pass the grunt test. In the words of my favorite copywriter Megan Taylor, your above the fold header should be so simple that a caveman could understand it. Hence, the grunt test.
A quick tagline recipe is:
- Who you serve
- How you help them
- Possibly where you serve (if location is important, as it is with doulas who serve only local clients)
Your tagline should be Punchy, memorable, something that makes her ideal client say HECK YES when they read it.
Identify your Call to Actions (CTA’s)
A quick note on CTA’s… otherwise known as called actions. A call to action is a written directive used in marketing. This is basically the buttons on your website, or anywhere else where you are telling your ideal client to do something.
Examples include: Learn More, Click Here, Get Started, etc. *my personal favorite for doulas is Let’s Doula This.
It’s important to use language on your call to actions that feels natural and is relatable to your ideal client. Sometimes making that personal connection when they are considering whether or not to buy or to click is what pushes them over the edge to inquiring for your doula services.
I’ve seen some call to actions on buttons like: GET IT GIRL or I NEED THIS. These kinds of call to actions on buttons really step into the mind of your ideal client. Really good copy is when your ideal client is reading the words on your website and is thinking, “Oh my gosh that’s me. She’s pulling the thoughts right out of my head.” This is yet another reason to talk directly with your ideal client if you are stumped when writing the words on your website.
The Secret Sauce to Copywriting
Like I said, I’m not a copywriter, so this next bit is not an official copywriting industry secret sauce recipe here. This “secret sauce” is something that I see over and over again while learning about copy.
When writing the copy on your website, focus on your ideal client. I’ve mentioned that before, but to dive a little deeper – focus on the transformation you provide, not how you provide it.
If you dive into the logistics of working with you before you’ve sold them, they aren’t ready to hear that and are overwhelmed. I’m super guilty of diving into the details of working with me and confusing potential clients with too much information before they’re ready.
Trust me, talking about the transformation makes it easy to land clients.
Your ideal client needs to realize the value you provide them first – the transformation / dream solution / paradise you can help them achieve. And the secret sauce will help you with that.
I’m talking about Pit, Path, Paradise. You can view my very basic illustration of this below if you are a visual person like me.
First, you need to focus on the pit. What is your ideal client struggling with? What are some of their pain points? Ask yourself what are their fears, what’s keeping them up at night, what are they worried about? What “pit” are they looking to get out of right now? These questions should sound familiar because we just went over them a minute ago.
It’s really important to identify where your ideal clients are at. By addressing their pain points you are speaking directly to them, and they will start to trust you because you are demonstrating you understand them really well.
The second piece to the copyrighting puzzle is path. What’s the path that they are going to take to get to their paradise? This is actually something you don’t want to talk about until after you’ve visualized their paradise for them.
When you think of paradise, what do you think of? I think of angelic singing, birds chirping, green meadows and fields of wildflowers. It’s different for everyone, but knowing what your ideal client’s paradise is can make a huge difference in your copywriting.
If you show them or paint the picture of their dream paradise and tell them that you can help them get there, you’ve sold them.
While they’re reading, they should be thinking, “yes. YES. Oh my gosh yes I need that. YESSSS!”
The Secret Sauce Formula
First talk about the pit or the problems your ideal client is struggling with, then paint the picture of their dream solution or paradise. After you prime them by demonstrating that you know them extremely well with these two bits of info, you can talk about how you’re going to take them there, otherwise known as the path.
I’ve got a great section in my Doula Website Roadmap all about this – download that here.
First, step into your ideal client shoes. Review your ideal client avatar, or create one.
Second, review or create your site strategy and site goals.
Third, write your tagline.
And fourth, follow the secret sauce recipe of pit, paradise, then path.
I know writing the words on your website might be overwhelming when looking at it as one big project. That’s why I created my Doula Website Roadmap – it breaks your website down into manageable bites. Download it and get crackalackin! 😁