Writing copy can be quite a struggle
... and there's probably no one who knows more about your business than you do, but getting all that information into a format that clearly explains how and what your business does can be tricky.
Make a list
Using paper, your phone or your computer start making a list of anything to do with your business, keep it handy so you can add to it. Below is a few questions to start you off.
- What do you do? list everything; services, skills, equipment.
- Policy documents, awards, associations and accreditations.
- List your customers, what sectors are they in?
- About you, your experience, skills, staff, important dates.
- Where and how do you provide services?
- Why should a customer choose you? what do you do different.
- Who are your competitors?
- Feedback from customers. If you're feeling really brave include complaints, it will help you improve your services if you know where things are going wrong.
Did you skip making a list? It might feel like it's an extra step but trust me, it will make writing your copy easier. If you decide you want someone else to write your copy just hand it over to them and it will make the process quicker which means cheaper.
Writing your copy
Break it down into manageable sections. You can decide later whether you have enough information to justify individual sections or whether you need to combine them together.
Who, what and where. This is the point you get to reassure your reader they have found the information they need. Tell them who you are, what you do and where you do it. Be clear about the type of customers you are looking for, this will improve the quality of enquiries you receive.
Products and services
Go into more detail about the products and services you provide and how you deliver them. Be specific, include specifications and variations, if you are using this copy on a website you need to include the type of details someone would use when searching. If you don't include these 'keywords' it will be harder for your customers to find you using a search engine.
Include a call to action
A 'call to action' is the encouragement you give your customers to choose your company, products or services. It can be as simple as, clear instructions on how to contact you or place your order. You can include incentives or guarantees in your call to action.
If you would like help developing a call to action you can call 07809 67 55 80
or email me directly on email@example.com.
About your company
This is your opportunity to let people understand a bit more about you and your company, to convince potential customers you have the necessary skills and experience to provide the products or services they are looking for. We all prefer to buy from people or brands we like or associate with, even to the extent that we are prepared to pay more for the perceived or actual value a brand or person brings to the buying experience. You can read more about branding here.
What's your USP?
Sorry for using marketing jargon but your USP (Unique Selling Point) is an important message for your customers it's what makes you different from your competition. It might be you operate a 24hour service, or you guarantee all your deliveries, it might be your products are all sourced locally or from environmentally friendly suppliers. Don't worry if some of your usp's are the same as your competition, you still need to tell your customers, they wont naturally assume your services are all the same!
Memberships, associations and accreditations
You might want to include this information in the 'About us' section however it really depends on the quantity of information you have and the nature of your work. Some companies I work with need to make policy documents and certificates available as part of their tendering process whilst others display their accreditations in order to show their competence within their sector.
This might seem very simple, but if you give it a little bit of thought you can save yourself time in the future. If your customers are going to come to your premises is it worth showing them a map, does your address show up properly on a sat nav? Is there any special instructions you would like to give them about parking or access? Anything that will make your customers experience a positive one before they even meet you.
Telephone enquiries, if a customer phones you are they likely to get a response or will they get directed to an answering service? Is there times of the day you know you wont be able to answer a phone call. If you work on your own you don't necessarily want to interrupt work to take a call, let people know this on your promotional material so they don't get disapointed. Emails and social media contacts need to be managed too, how long should someone expect to wait for a reply?
Everyone knows all these methods of communication are instant with the appropriate ring or buzz in your pocket or bag to alert you. So don't risk annoying an existing or potential customer, let them know with either an automated confirmation message or prior warning of the times when you might not be available.
Finally try and get some information up front, using web forms, you can ask specific questions about the services required and visitors can send enquiries at any time of the day or night. Always include an alternative method to web forms as some people just don't like them!
Did you get to the bottom?
Hopefully this will give you a few ideas for writing copy for your website, brochures, adverts etc. Like I said at the beginning, 'writing copy can be quite a struggle', but then you don't have to do it all by yourself.
If you need help with any part of this process then give me a call on 07809 67 55 80 or email me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org. I usually answer my phone immediately during normal working hours and reply to emails and messages within an hour during the hours of daylight! All fees are agreed up front.