Getting the right words down on ‘paper’ so when they pass in front of the eyes of the people who will relate to what they read so much that they act on those words is… what we all want to happen in copywriting.
But it doesn’t always.
In my years (15 or so) of writing copy I’ve found that there are really only 2 reasons why your copy (whether you wrote it or not) doesn’t work. And I’m willing to bet, they aren’t anything you’d expect.
These 2 not-so-little things are why copywriting matters so much in attracting the right clients for your business. Here goes…
- The words have no emotional value
- The words are out of alignment with your own emotional values
Huh? Whoa, back up. I know. Your colleague who took that copywriting intensive from that guy who made 2.3 million dollars in his company last year from words alone told you that it was all about strategy.
He said if you knew the right copywriting strategies you’d be golden. But you’re not golden are you?
It’s okay. Let me help clear up the confusion and give you a different understanding of copywriting than you’ve probably ever had before. Yes, there’s psychology involved and yes, there’s convincing involved, but what any decision comes down to is simple, pure, and at times uncontrollable…
Look, wars have been started over this stuff, lifelong bonds, and even the most mind blowing culinary creations were born from the chemicals our brain uses to get us to do something. It can make you question who’s really at the helm, right?
Don’t worry, you are and it’s perfectly normal to accept that we, as human beings are ruled by emotions. At least until we reach the level of enlightenment that allows us to distance ourselves from the unconscious effects of energy in motion.
We’ll save that conversation for another day. For now, let’s just say that words move us.
Eyes on the road, please. Copywriting is strategic, but it’s strategic in that it must evoke emotions that are specific to the outcome the reader desires. I’d like to show how to create emotional value in the words you write for your business, so you attract the right clients. And more importantly, I’d like to show you how to align those words with your own emotional values so you are fulfilled.
Wait. Fulfilled? Why does that matter?
If you’re fulfilled in your work, you will increase the level of life around you. You will impact the people close to you, the clients you work with, the colleagues you spend lunch with, and the person you help pick up spilled groceries with in the parking lot.
If you can grasp these 2 very important aspects of copywriting for your business, you WILL be golden. Promise.
Let’s look at creating emotional value. If you’re in the copywriting world or understand some basic terminology then you’ll have heard things like:
- Transformational outcome
- Pain points
- End goal
All these words really point to is emotion – ones we don’t want or ones we do want. See? If you can get really clear on the emotions your potential client has in relation to the work you do, anything you write here on out becomes so much easier. And convincing your readers that you have the right solution for them becomes natural and common sense.
Let me explain further. You, as a business owner, provide a solution of some sort, yes? (Of course you do.) That solution exists because of a problem. That problem is relevant to a certain group of people. And those people have emotions about that problem.
The more precisely you can identify those emotions and speak to eliminating those emotions (or better yet, replacing them with the desired emotions) the more sales you will make, the more clients you will attract, and the more success, impact, and fulfillment you will experience.
John is a fitness guy. He coaches his clients around fitness. John’s clients are not standard fitness clients. His clients are people who have experienced a physical set back and maybe a permanent physical setback. They’ve had serious injuries.
John can get in front of this audience and talk about how good it feels to be at the top of your game and in peak physical fitness all day long and it won’t matter. He can talk about achieving fitness goals and pushing yourself to do more, be more and it won’t likely reach the ears he needs to hear him.
If John begins to talk about how feeling incomplete or cheated or at a loss for how to move forward with the body you now have…what do you think will happen?
Yes, yes, these are rather negative emotions, but let me enlighten you:
Meet your people where they are in their own head and you can grab attention like no other.
From here, you can elevate them to a new possibility, one they wouldn’t even consider if you hadn’t first spoken the emotional language they are already familiar with.
Now, that’s a very simplistic example, but I trust that you get what I’m saying.
So here’s an exercise for you.
Brainstorm the emotions your audience is feeling before they’ve ever experienced your work. What problem do they have and what do they believe about it?
Create a list of at least 10 emotions or emotional beliefs.
Let me give you another example.
Sharon works with corporate leaders to help them improve team productivity and success. She knows that 99% of the time, the issue is not the team, but the leadership. She also knows from experience, that most of her clients (corporate leaders) didn’t think they were the problem. Not initially at least.
Now, if she approached her audience of corporate leaders with language around becoming a better leader to increase your team’s productivity, she wouldn’t get the results she’s after.
However, when she speaks to the frustration of having a team that just isn’t pulling together or putting in the effort that is needed to produce at the level the leader is looking for…NOW she’s getting attention because her ideal client already believes this to be the problem.
And all she has to do is bridge to the actual problem by saying something like:
Rising to the top of your company by exceeding expectations and blowing the roof off the numbers all because your team is a productivity powerhouse means you will become the person everyone aims to be. You will leave a legacy in your company and be in demand at any salary you desire. To start, we’re going to look at your team, your operations, and even you.
Can you see how she mentions “even you”? She’s beginning to seed the real problem and slowly but surely, she’ll shift her coaching to the leader and begin the transformational work that makes her business so successful.
Cool. Let’s move on.
After brainstorming emotions and beliefs about the problem your audience has, next I want you to brainstorm on the emotions they want to have.
Then, give me the status or outcome that will give them those emotions. Like the corporate leader who wants to feel accomplished and proud of their work and get paid well for it, leaving a legacy and becoming in demand can make that happen.
If it helps, talk to your existing clients, recall conversations and pinpoint those emotions.
Lastly, I want to consider your own emotions.
Absolute sacrilege. Why on earth would I ask you to consider your own emotions when writing copy? Everyone and their brother knows that good copy is all about THEM, not you.
So here’s the secret handshake of it all…you’re not going to write about your emotions. You will focus on your audience’s emotions, because in this sense, it IS all about them and how you can help them.
However, I want the tone of everything you write to come from your own true emotions and not some canned professional voice that makes doing laundry more appealing than reading your latest email.
Trust me, I’ve been there. And I know there was TONS of laundry done during that time I thought I was writing my heart out. Really, I was just writing my brain out.
Write from your emotional center. Deep breath, I’m not asking you to become vulnerable (ok, maybe a little) or share too much. I’m just simply asking you to be you. Consider how you feel about your topic of expertise. How do you feel about your people and how you work with them?
How do you feel about your industry’s standards? How do you feel about what everyone says you should do, but you don’t really want to do?
Good. Write from there.
To recap, your copy is really only as good as the emotional value it contains. Be real, speak to real emotions and meet your audience where they are. If that means they believe Sasquatch is to blame, then write about how it’s possible Sasquatch is the culprit, but what if….
And see what happens.
Write transparently without a care if it rocks boats, brings tears, or gets ignored.
Thing is, it will resonate with your people and they’re the only ones who matter.
If you’re writing without consideration of your own emotions, chances are, you’ll speak to no one in particular. And I don’t know about you, but while I do speak to the wild blue beyond and anything that will listen (only in my car) I generally prefer to have an audience of human beings who are moved by my words.
Trust the process.