Written by: Cathy Topping
If I asked you what you think about with the term ‘sales copy’ or ‘promotional copy’...what comes to mind?
If you’re even remotely like the coaches I work with, some variation of the below thoughts come up.
“It feels sleazy.”
“It doesn't sound like me.”
The truth is, business owners who are in the business of helping others, really struggle to sell themselves.
Getting those words out in a way that doesn’t feel icky somehow is a real challenge.
But what if you could bring your intuition into it?
What if you could create a connection between you and your audience that makes you feel good?
That gets you tingling in all the right ways?
Trust your gut
I've noticed over the years as a writer and designer that I always know in my gut if something is not quite right with a client’s project.
In the early days I ignored it. Shrugged it off, and sent the work through anyway.
My clients almost always came back with feedback that was identical to that intuitive voice.
And so, I learned to pay attention.
Now, if something doesn't feel right...I know I need to let it sit for a bit, come back to it and work through it again.
Is this intuition or experience? A mix of the two?
What you put in, comes out
One of the best pieces of advice I heard about becoming a better writer was to spend more time reading than writing.
(Just as well I love reading, hey?!)
This is because you’re filling your subconscious with language, ideas, vast amounts of raw material that you then use to create new ideas.
It’s no different when you’re writing for your business.
When you sit down to write sales copy - what’s in that well of inspiration for you to draw upon?
Endless Facebook ads from your competitors all saying variations of the same thing?
Hundreds of posts and articles that others in your industry are writing?
The cacophony of overused and cliché terms is quite something in the online space.
Have you noticed that it seems like everyone's saying the same thing, and yet no one's really saying anything?
So when you sit down to write, all that comes out are words that make you feel like you sound like everyone else.
Because those aren’t your words. Even worse, they’re not the words your audience needs to hear.
You’re caught in a feedback loop of regurgitating words and phrases - that everyone else is regurgitating as well.
That’s why it feels sleazy.
That’s why it seems formulaic.
So...what’s the alternative?
Practice listening instead
So back to the idea of your intuition guiding you when you write.
The truth is, your intuition is doing its work just fine. You’re already tapping into it.
To create that content you love, that feels more authentic, and connects with your audience right in the gut - you simply need to go to a different source for your raw material.
The core of my marketing and copywriting approach is fairly boring, really.
(I’ve never been the loudest person in any room...no surprise that the ‘shouty’ approach to marketing doesn’t work for me.)
When I teach coaches how to write and sell their offers, I start by showing them how to pay attention.
How to absorb the language of the people they want to help.
And how to reflect these words back to them, so your audience feels like you’re actually on their wavelength. (We all like feeling like we’re being listened to, right?)
When you do this, when you allow it to sink in, when you’ve marinated in the language and emotions of your audience...your subconscious steps up and lets you know when something isn’t going to hit the mark.
Your conscious brain may need a break to catch up and work out what’s ‘off’ - but your intuition WILL give you the nudge.
Give it a go.
Next time you’re looking around for content for your marketing, instead of doing a brainstorming exercise...take a look at what your audience is saying.
The words you need are right there in front of you.
Originally published in Issue 2 · April/May 2021 issue of SOULACY.
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