Following on from Helen’s blog post last month about ROAM (Readers, Objective, Action, iMpression) and writing for business, I would like to expand a little on what it takes to get readers to take action.
Words win customers
Imagine sitting down to read some promising online content and you start to nod off, bored with the lack of vivacity in the corporate waffle you are being offered. Chances are you won’t buy what they’re selling. Am I right?
As a business owner you are concerned with selling your product or service. In order to be able to do this effectively you’ll need words. Good words. Because words win readers, and readers are potential customers only if you can interest and tempt them. Your words should make readers feel something, and make them act on those feelings. Use the wrong words and you will put off your readers from becoming customers.
The wrong words
If you put too little effort in, or if it’s clear that you have no skill with words (in which case what else do you have no skill in, your business perhaps?) then your best customers are going to walk. Perhaps they’ll walk to a business who talks a good talk, who won’t come across as pushy and who can appeal to the reader’s emotions (without them actually realising it). These are the businesses who are more likely to gain readers, and therefore customers.
You love your business, you don’t necessarily love words
OK, so you may be able to put words on the screen. Indeed, you may be as poetic as Bob Dylan, but can you write to sell?
You might know your business inside out and back to front, but do you know how to sell your beloved business using only words? (and no, superlatives like ‘fantastic’ and ‘amazing’ do not cut it). It’s not as easy as you might think. It takes a lot of practice.
What your words should do
To be effective in gaining interest from potential clients your words need to do the following;
- Hit your target audience – if you try to appeal to everyone then no-one will read, let alone respond or buy
- Engage on an emotional level – it is appealing to the emotions of potential customers that gets the sales, not lists of benefits or products
- Perfectly capture your company, its principles and its ethos
- Make the words exciting and engaging, even for the driest subject
- Be aware of trends to keep your content fresh
If you can do all of these things, then I apologise for wasting your time. If not, please understand that good sales rely on good copy, and good copy requires skill. It is not simply a matter of putting words on a screen. These days, with so many companies in your field competing for eye time on the web, your copy must stand out. Make sure you are – or have at your disposal – the right person to create that copy.
Photo credit: Stefan Zdzialek, Kuba sleeping on keyboard