What does Ikea have to do with your business? A lot, actually.
Walking through the aisles at Ikea feels like you took a step inside of a glossy magazine. Everything looks so high-end and super classy.
The lamps, tables and even that pointless paperweight are stunning and you’re reaching out your wallet to buy it all up.
But then you get home and start unpacking all the stuff, assembling it and putting it into place. It looks great at first but on further inspection, you realize that the quality isn’t really what you thought it was.
A few weeks later, that well-designed desk lamp you bought is falling apart and not in the best shape.
All that fancy schmancy high-end vibes Ikea was selling you in the store, aren’t actually real.
At the end of the day, you overpaid for some trendy stuff that doesn’t have much value.
That’s how a lot of people are building their brands. They have gorgeous websites, stellar graphics, and a beautifully curated Instagram feed.
But the copy that goes along with it doesn’t match up.
Their copy is lifeless, boring, lamer than your Grandma’s Christmas gift last year (no one needs knitted coasters, Grandma.)
Even though their brand looks high-end upfront, when you dig a little deeper, it actually feels more amateur than pro. And that’s no good.
If you’re sitting there thinking that your copy probably falls into that category, hang in there! That’s why I’m here, friend.
We’re going to go over some of the biggest copy mistakes that you’re likely making that are hurting your biz and help you get over them.
SO, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ‘COPY’?
Great question! What the heck even is that copywriting thing anyways? I thought a copy was what you got at Kinko’s?
Not quite. Copy in this use refers to the words and phrases used in your marketing, on your website, in your emails, etc. to communicate with your audience.
Copywriting is the action of writing that copy. That’s my whole jam!
To be a little more specific, according to Copyblogger, copywriting is “is the art and science of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action.”
Words are meaningless if there is no action. And copywriting is all about the action.
So when you’re writing copy for your website or creating content, you want to be thinking about how to get people to take action (aka pay you, sign up, love you, etc.) And if you’re doing that, you’re writing copy, whether you consciously know it or not.
Now that you’ve got the scoop on what copywriting is, let’s get into those mistakes that you’re making so you can cut that crap out and get down to business.
YOUR WRITING HAS NO PERSONALITY
I get it, you grew up in a world where teachers always told you to use correct grammar and avoid contractions. That’s the kind of writing you were expected to use in college and in the business world, right?
Well, the business world has changed.
And if you’re doing this whole making-a-living-online thing, that kind of writing will get you a whole lotta nothin’.
Professional writing has its time and place, but if the copy on your website is boring and stuffy, your biz is seriously hurting.
People want to work with real people. Not some perfect robot who only speaks in professional terms.
They want to see your personality.
Spice up your copy with some phrases that sound like you. That feel like you.
You can cuss, use slang, heck even make up your own dang words if you want. But keep it true to you and your biz’s personality.
Side Note: It’s a fine line between showing personality and being over the top informal. People want to get to know you but they don’t want you to take them to bed on the first date. Talk to them like you would a friend, but remember you’re still also trying to work with them and get them to pay you for something. So some form of respect is still required.
YOUR MESSAGE IS UNCLEAR
Every strong brand has a clear message. And no, I don’t mean the message on your voicemail.
Your message is what defines your biz and your brand. It sums up what you stand for, why you do what you do, and how you can help your audience.
The message you share with the world is important. But if it’s vague or unclear, it’s not turning anyone into buyers anytime soon.
For example, as a graphic designer, your message could be that great design is the backbone of getting people to know and trust you.
Or as a health coach your message could be that true well-being comes from loving yourself and taking care of you from the inside out.
Your message gets woven into everything you do. Every blog post you write, social media blurb, and email you send.
But if your message is unclear, your writing will be shaky. You won’t have a defined reason why you do what you do. And your audience will pick up on that. And they will be confused too.
Clarity gets people to know you, like you and invest in you. Without that clarity, you’re gonna have a hard time converting those casual readers into loyal fans and loving clients.
YOU RELY ON YOUR VISUALS TO BUILD YOUR BRAND
Don’t get me wrong, having great visuals is important for your brand.
You need professional, cohesive, and high-end images and graphics to build your brand.
Buuuut, it’s not all there is to it.
You also need strong copy. If your copy falls flat, your pretty pictures won’t keep your brand together.
So many times I hear from people that they didn’t even think about copy when they were doing their branding. They may have even invested a big chunk of change for a stellar logo and stunning brand photos, but never even considered how copy played into them.
Your voice, your message, and your language all tie into your brand.
Side Note: Read this guest post from Megan all about how copy and branding go hand-in-hand.
YOU USE TOO MUCH JARGON
Jargon is the words that pertain to your certain industry or field. But outside of that context, they don’t really have a lot of meaning.
They are terms that are cliche or overused and don’t really mean anything.
For example, I see a lot of coaches use the word transformation. What the heck does that really mean? How can you sell me transformation? You can’t.
Using too much language that doesn’t really mean anything weakens your biz. Really get specific and talk about what you do or how your help in a better way.
Talk about what you do in a way your audience will understand. They don’t know all the lingo that people use in your industry. They don’t care that you use fancy terms.
Keep it simple. That’s always my philosophy.
Don’t try to make your phrases sound smarter than they need to be. And definitely, don’t try to be clever.
Be straight with people and flat out tell them what you mean. Not only will they appreciate it more, they will also relate to it more and understand what the heck you’re trying to say.
Good copy can really help your brand. But bad copy, that’s not so good. It could seriously be hurting you and you don’t even know why.
Your website is your virtual salesman. If he’s not saying the right things to woo your ideal clients, you need to make a change.
Take a look at your current copy and see if you’re making some of these mistakes. Chances are you are making at least one if not all of them.
And if you’re seriously ready to take your copy to the next level, check out my services and see how I can save you time and get you better results (win-win-win!)
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