Over the last few weeks, I found myself saying “Je ne sais quoi”…a LOT.
“Je ne sais quoi literally means ‘I don’t know what’ in French.-Dictionary.com
The phrase was borrowed into English as an expression of a quality that makes something or someone attractive, distinctive, or special in some way, but is hard to put into words.”
Awesome phrase, right? And very applicable to what I’m experiencing.
You see, I’m in the middle of training new copywriters. And while all of them have experience as writers, some of them “get” it and others don’t.
Those who struggle understand the technical elements of copy. They’ve got headlines and leads and promises and bullet points and calls to action.
However, their copy is missing that “something special.” And until they find it, I’m not ready to let them leave the nest.
But what does all this have to do with you?
Generally speaking, I don’t worry about anyone in our community writing BAD copy. You’re smarter than that.
What I worry about is BORING copy. Or LIFELESS copy. Or overly “professional” copy. Copy that fails to grab and keep your contacts’ attention. And if you haven’t got your contacts’ attention…you’re not closing sales.
Today, I’d like to point out (or remind you of) some less-tangible copy elements. Elements that enhance readability and increase the odds of getting your next message read or that “Buy Now” button clicked.
So here goes:
Great copy is bold.
Concern about being offensive or too “salesy” often prevents us from writing anything worthwhile.
But that’s what the “unsubscribe” button is for. If someone doesn’t like the things you have to say, they’ll opt-out. Don’t hide behind weak messages because you might make someone uncomfortable.
Nobody’s got time for content that doesn’t matter. If you’re not 100% confident in your message…fake it for now. You’ll get there soon enough.
Great copy is vulnerable.
A good writer reveals something about themselves.
In my group of trainees, the ones who struggle most have little to no emotion in their copy. Their copy sounds like it was written by robots.
Your contacts want to know there is a human on the other side of that email. They want to feel your passion. They want to feel your compassion. And they want to feel as if they have a real relationship with you.
Only write when you are able and willing to open up and be vulnerable. It may not feel comfortable, but all relationships include some level of risk.
Great copy is real.
I think, as business owners, we’re so worried about making the right impression (especially if we’re a 1 or 2 man show) that we try too hard to sound professional. What good is sounding “professional” if no one reads or remembers what you wrote?
I absolutely love this blog post about using rhyme and making up silly words to improve persuasiveness in your copy.
You won’t succeed unless you’re real. That professional front might work for awhile, but eventually, you’ll bore your contacts. Choose to be you because that is what you are best at.
Great copy is smooth.
As you sit down to write your copy…you’ve got to relax. And realize that if today’s email or social media post isn’t awesome, you can try again in a few days. Don’t let the stress of writing prevent you from communicating effectively.
What you feel will end up in your copy. If you’re rushed – racing to get this email out before 10:00 – your prospects will feel rushed. If you’re angry, your copy will feel angry.
Our word choice, our writing style, it changes based on our feelings. And it’s usually interpreted the way you write it. As your contacts read your content, they should feel confident, empowered, reassured that you have a solution they need. You can only portray that if it’s how you feel. So get there. Be calm. Be confident. Be smooth.
Again, these elements may be things you already know. But I see enough flat copy each day that I had to say something.
And hey, if you need some help with your writing, be sure to check out our memberships.