When you’re an online biz owner, learning how to communicate in the written form is absolutely critical.
But for many entrepreneurs, copywriting can be a daunting concept. And the number 1 reason why is… perfectionism.
We tell ourselves we’re not “good” at something (usually because we haven’t done it much before) so we create fear around it.
That fear then grows and expands. And turns into resistance.
So to help you break through this block, I’m sharing 5 simple copywriting tips all online biz owners need to know. So you can approach this crucial skill in your biz (writing compelling copy) with excitement and ease… instead of dread and frustration.
Copywriting Tips for Online Business Owners
Tip 1: Know who you’re talking to.
In your biz, you probably have a picture of your ICA – your Ideal Client (or Customer) Avatar.
Once you have your ICA in mind, think about how you’d talk with her IRL.
I’m not saying be fake. I’m recommending you tailor your approach – just like how you would to a human standing in front of you.
How you talk with your straight-laced retired mom is different from how you talk with your ride-or-die bestie, right?
The words you use, the tone you take, also depends on how you’d like to be seen in the marketplace.
For example, I have a friend who owns a health business. But because of her youthful looks (she’s in her mid 30s), she prefers to use an authoritative tone of voice.
Most of her clients are aged 50+ so she leans into a professional voice with her copy. If the majority of her clients were Gen Z, she would definitely take a different approach.
So picture your ICA – or if you have an established biz already, consider who your biggest group of customers is – and use this to guide what kind of language you want to use in your marketing writing.
Tip 2: Focus on the benefits – not the features.
It’s super easy to slip into the bad habit of focusing on the “what” of your biz (AKA: the features)... instead of the “why” of your biz (AKA: the benefits).
So when writing copy, remember to tell them why they should care. And what they’ll get out of choosing to work with you.
Because they literally don’t know. And most of them won’t take the time to think deeply about it on their own.
So you literally have to spell it out.
Does your product help someone get radiant glowing skin? Will it help them look so youthful and healthy that their friends are gonna ask, “Oooh, girllll, what’s your secret?”
That’s more important than hyping up how it has jojoba seeds, right?
Or let’s say you have a service-based biz.
What are the benefits of working with you? Remember to consider who your ideal customer or client is… and what they want out of your relationship.
Will they be able to:
- Earn more money – so they can spend more time with their family and stop stressing over their finances? (Instead of focusing on a 30-minute coaching call with you).
- Become stronger and leaner – so they can slip into their “skinny jeans” and feel confident and sexy? (Instead of talking about your 50-minute Pilates classes).
- Find the love of their life – without constant struggle, wasting time and money hunting alone, or getting hooked up a total lunatic? (Instead of hyping up “first match free” in your matchmaking biz).
Get to the heart (no pun intended) of the matter – and focus on this acronym…
WIIFM: What’s In It For Me?
I’m not saying you can’t mention features… just don’t lead with them. Instead, lead on the desired outcome your ICA has in mind.
Tip 3: Write how you talk.
This one really comes into play with personal brands.
Growing up (at least here in America), proper punctuation and grammar were drilled into our brains all throughout school.
But in the digital age, writing perfect sentences doesn’t matter so much. (If my 5th grade teacher heard me RN, I’m sure she’d have something to say about it.)
When you write, you want to connect. And the best way to connect… is by being you. Which involves writing how you talk.
Similarly to tailoring your approach (Tip #1), you can tailor your voice as well.
Maybe you choose not to swear in your writing.
Maybe you choose to use break sentences. Like I do. LOL
Maybe you use slang.
Whatever your normal speech pattern is… I’m here to tell ya:
It’s perfectly ok to write the way you talk.
The one thing you don’t wanna do is have a completely different experience online to the one a prospective customer has when working with you IRL.
It’s way better to be “what you see is what you get.” Because when the online vibe is totally different from what you actually offer, it’s a major turnoff to most people.
Tip 4: Stuck on what to say? Record yourself talking.
Some people go totally blank the second they sit down at their computer to start writing.
So one hack to get over this is just to record yourself talking.
Your phone likely has a Voice Memo app already installed. Or if you use Google docs, there’s a Voice Typing option under Tools.
You can use this hack for blog content, a webpage, an ebook… anything you need to write for your biz.
If you choose an outside app, you can upload your audio file to a free or low cost transcription service like Otter.ai
Oftentimes, this unlocks writer’s block – and you become an editor instead of a writer. Which for many people is a way faster and easier way to create copy.
Plus, then speaking your thoughts aloud lets you just flow your creativity. Because you know there will be a clean-up step that comes after.
And you don’t have to worry about getting it perfect the very first time – which is another common hangup online business owners (and really, people in a bazillion other professions) experience with professional writing.
Tip 5: Make your copy visually appealing.
Here’s a tactical tip that will really help ensure your content gets read:
Break up your copy.
I’m talking about bullets, bolding, short paragraphs, adding visuals like photos, memes, gifs, emojis… even using different colors and highlights.
I mean, you don’t have to go totally overboard and make your webpage look like Rainbow Bright had her way with it.
But breaking up big paragraphs of text really makes a difference with web writing.
Another thing to keep in mind…
Over half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Which means you want your content to be optimized for that experience.
So avoid long paragraphs of text. Ditch long, complicated sentences. And make your content skimmable.
Most people won’t read every single word you write.
So encourage your readers to keep their eye moving down the page by creating visual interest – and short chunks of content.
Copywriting is both an art and a science. And your approach is likely to change over time.
This is perfectly ok – expected even.
When I look back at some of my very first copywriting attempts, I sometimes want to cringe.
Because I was spending SOOOO much time copying what I thought worked for other businesses.
So obviously I was frustrated AF when it didn’t seem to work for me.
You know why this is?
Because my audience is different from their audience.
And once I broke all the rules I had set for myself – and started using the ones I shared with you today – everything changed.
- I started getting more traffic to my website.
- My social media channels grew.
- More people (the ones I was dying for) started asking to work with me.
And over time, my checks got bigger.
Because I realized I had something no one else had… my unique perspective.
And you have YOUR unique perspective.
That’s why committing to a learner’s mindset and getting out of your own way (more specifically, out of your own head) is what will make writing copy easier for you.
I’ve put together some key exercises to help you get to the heart of your brand in my “Build Your Online Business Guide” – and you can get your free copy here
This guidebook walks you through 7 critical aspects of your online biz – from your intentions, values, and beliefs… all the way through the tactical bits like your copy, offers, and website – to help you get crystal clear on your unique point of view in your biz.
Many people who have downloaded this guide have told me that it’s become their “biz bible” – a gut-check guide when they feel stuck on what to write about, create, or produce in their biz.
It’s saved them hours of staring at a blank screen… as well as rescued them from misguided biz ideas that don’t truly align with their vision. Or their ICAs.
Get my “Build Your Online Business Guide” now.
Copywriting doesn’t have to be a stressful or time-consuming aspect of your biz. It’s an important skill to know how to do… but it’s also an evolving process.
So don’t worry if you feel like you’re not “good” at writing just yet.
Commit to learning and practicing. And use the hacks I’ve provided you with today to add more ease, flow, and productivity to your marketing writing process!
I’ll see ya online.