Copywriting: Using words that sell

Oh ruddy heck. You have to write some text for an advert and you just can’t come up with anything that flows - or that sounds particularly interesting. We've all been there! Assuming you've got something interesting to say (and since you've set up your own business, it stands to reason you'll be passionate about what you do), it shouldn't be too difficult to make it sound absolutely sparkling - you just need to know how. Part two of our copywriting series: using words that sell.

We work with an awful lot of people who offer an absolutely incredible, unique service. They have exciting, innovative businesses but are too afraid (or modest) to shout about it, and that means the words they use fail to compel the reader to buy. Good text really can be the difference between winning or losing a sale, and this alone is a good reason to swot up your writing skills. When we want to make something sound exciting, we could easily use words such as amazing, authentic, exclusive, expert, quality, incredible, fantastic... I could go on. But littering your text with shouty, American-style power words isn't actually going to do very much to impress your customers - it'll just show them you have a list of pre-approved superlatives to chuck into a sentence every so often which will win you no favours. Powerful writing is all about really engaging with your customers and convincing them that buying from you is a good idea, and that's where direct language and empathy comes in.

You know the way you trust people who look you in the eye an awful lot more than those who don't? We can tap into that same instinct by using direct language and empathising with the obstacles our customers face. Take the following, for example: 'At Bob's Computers we fix computers at offices or at customers’ homes' we could write 'At Bob's Computers we'll come to your office or your home to fix your computer - whichever is most convenient for you'. We've instantly reassured our customers that we'll do whatever we need to to make their life easier, and by using words such as 'we', you're already creating a relationship with the reader which invites them to trust you. Not only that, but by rewriting the text we’ve created some words which give the impression that a lovely, helpful engineer will assist you rather than some grumpy old technician who just wants to get the job done and go home. Perfect!

Think about how you might explain what you do to a friend – you’re more likely to be emphatic and confident with the words we use, and you’ll certainly use lots of ‘you’s and ‘I’s. Give it a go next time you’re writing some text for your business, I promise you’ll see the difference! Next time, we’ll be looking at the way we structure what we say to have the maximum impact. How do you get on with writing for your business? Does it come easy to you or do you tend to get writers’ block?