7 Tips for Writing Persuasive Copy
Updated: Mar 31
Not just copy, but stories, articles, social media updates... anything really.
However, I have a hunch that you’re an entrepreneur or marketer writing to sell.
Now, here’s the deal.
Most people think writing for business needs to be all stiff and formal to appear trustworthy.
The people reading your messages are humans, and humans love to be engaged.
Compelling copy does just that.
It draws us in, glues us to the page, and makes us heed your call to action.
To help you craft words that do just that, I’ve put together a list of 7 things that have made me a better (copy-) writer.
Think of it as best practices.
(There's obvs. so much more to say, but I can't cover everything in one post. I might make this into a series...)
Absorb these principles and apply them to your own writing.
Over time, your copy becomes more persuasive, and you'll sell better.
Here are the first 7 tips...
1. Read widely and voraciously.
In his memoir On Writing, Stephen King says, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”
King also offers that you should...
Read as much as you write on any given day.
So if you write four hours a day, read for four hours.
Personally, I try to read for two hours in the morning (6 am - 8 am) and another two hours at night (6 pm - 8 pm). Ideally also half an hour after lunch...
I know, it's a lot.
What can I say… I LOVE reading.
2. Develop your own brand voice.
Successful brands develop their own distinct brand voices and stick with them year after year.
If you are your brand (which is often the case for entrepreneurs), share your authentic voice by showing up as yourself.
You can find your authentic brand voice by being your most authentic self. Quirks and all.
The good part?
There’s no competition, cos there’s nobody else like you.
3. Write like you talk.
While we’re at it… your brand voice should be consistent in every medium.
That means when someone listens to you on a podcast and then goes to your website to learn more, they should get the same impression of your brand personality.
Use contractions in your writing to sound more conversational.
Just because you’re writing for your business doesn't mean it should sound all stiff and formal.
You're not a grammarian, you're a marketer.
4. Always have ONE reader in mind.
It helps to imagine a real person, whether you’re drafting an email to your list, a sales page, or web copy.
Think of your one reader as a real human being with real desires.
You can even imagine a friend or a real-life client you’re writing to.
Whomever you pick is fine, as long as you don’t define your target market as women between 35 and 50…
You need to be more specific than that.
5. To be specific, avoid lofty concepts.
Take the word empowerment, for example. That’s a biggie.
I have clients (mostly coaches) who are all about empowerment. But each coach has a different idea of what it means.
For personal finance coaches, it may mean not depending on your partner to sustain your lifestyle.
For a health coach, it might mean to shed 30 pounds and get toned.
And for another client of mine, Sofia Sundari, this means knowing that no matter what happens, I will be fundamentally well because I have the power of God within me.
Moral of the story?
Be clear to stand out.
6. Don’t take yourself so serious.
Nobody is going to die.
This isn’t brain surgery. It’s marketing. Sometimes, we fail (and hopefully learn from our failures).
You can and will fail. And that’s okay. Just fail better.
As Irish playwright Samuel Beckett concluded, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
You can’t be creative when you’re tense.
Good ideas come from the subconscious mind, and we need to be in a receptive state to be able to “hear” or receive them.
British author Tessa Hadley gets her best ideas in the bathtub.
And one of my fav clients, modern mystic Alice Hong, gets her best creative downloads when she’s in a state of pleasure.
So allow yourself to step away from the computer, lie down, close your eyes, and just breeeaathe….