When I read most of the small business copy these days, frankly I’m a little bored. It’s the same, product-focused, third-person language that I’ve read for years in advertisements, web copy, print brochures and more. As a business with a unique product or service to sell, how can you spice up your writing to help you stand out against the herd of ho-hum marketing writing? Here are 10 ways to better business writing:
- Have fun: I think everyone’s forgotten that writing can be enjoyable and fun. Let loose a little and let your creativity flow when you’re writing.
- Write like you talk: One tip to writing effectively is to write as if you’re chatting with your customer at a local networking mixer. Your language will be sure to come across as personable and not stuffy.
- Describe: Use colorful, descriptive language to sell your product or service, so the customer can imagine themselves using it. Help them to experience the benefits, rather than just listing a bunch of features.
- Headers and bullets are your friends: Even whitepapers need headers, subheads and bullet points to break up the copy. Doing so helps your readers scan your copy and makes it easier for them to understand your main points.
- Speak in first person: While it’s okay to refer to your business in the third person, what’s even better is when you write as if you’re talking directly to one person, using words such as “we, I and you” – with the emphasis on the “you” to make your readers feel most important.
- Tell a story: Some of the most interesting copy you can read is the kind that tells a story. For instance, I pick up a lot of my marketing tips from reading business and marketing books. Today’s post was inspired by my morning walk, listening to a book on marketing copy on Audible. See what I mean?
- Avoid jargon: This is a tough one for many of my B2B clients in technical or scientific space. Yes, you know your business better than anyone else. We want you to show off your expertise. But you still have to write for others to understand, or your message won’t be understood. So if it passes the mom test (your mom understands it), then it’s okay for your business writing.
Persuade: You don’t want to leave this one out of your business writing, as it’s one of the most important components of business writing. The purpose of your writing is to convince your prospects to take action, right? So don’t forget to include a compelling call-to-action in your marketing copy.
- Answer questions: Some of the best marketing copy comes from thinking about the top frequently asked questions or concerns that your prospects encounter during the buying process. Answer these in your copy and you’re on the road to creating great marketing.
- Let your personality shine: Life is too short to write stuffy marketing copy. Let the unique voice and personality of your business and brand shine through in your marketing content. By reading your copy, your prospect should get an idea of what you’re like as a company and what it’s like to work with you or experience your product.
I hope these tips have helped you think differently about your business writing. The next time you finish a draft of writing, double-check it against these 10 tips, and you’ll have compelling content that entertains, persuades and sells effectively.