“Good is the enemy of the great” Jim Collins said this in his classic book on business best practice. It is as true of marketing materials and copywriting as it is of the way people run teams. To go from good to great copy, you have to fight that enemy.
While “good” is most definitely better than “bad” there’s a huge gap between good and great that the majority of businesses never cross.
To understand how to get to great copy, we must first get away from bad.
What good copy is like
Good copy is clear and understandable. It’s not too boastful and but it makes claims. It focuses on a particular person or group of people and it says why they will be better after they use this product or service.
It’s surprising how often copy fails to even meet this basic standard. When it is
- with mistakes
- overly boastful
- not really clear whom it is for
If your copy says who it is for and what it will do for them, it’s probably better than 80% of the material out there.
What makes copy great
Great copy isn’t just clear it’s something you can picture in your minds eye. It’s the ad for the burger that makes your mouth tingle, or the page on that business course website that you just can’t help but say “was this made just for me?”
It’s not easy to write copy like this. It takes a lot of time and effort both researching writing skills and also the people whom the product or service is for.
It involves drafts, redraft, trying one direction then writing a completely different idea before realizing that the first was best, but there’s something you can steal from the second.
Good copywriting needs time and clarity, great copywriting requires you to not settle for anything less than “shut up and take my money”.
Yes, there are psychological factors that can be used to help improve your copy but you need to know when to use them (and when not to) but there is one simple thing that can improve your copy dramatically.
Great copy starts with listening
You are not the hero and you are not the smartest person. Your customer or client is. They know the problems they face better than you do. They may not be able to identify the root causes or the solution, but they know their problem and they know their world.
When you listen, you will understand their problem better. You will learn the words to use to express that problem. You will know their dreams that they want to reach and be able to speak to them.
When that happens, customers and clients will read your writing and nod as they go, feeling an instant connection.
When you have great copy…
Imagine the difference that type of copy could make in your business. If you took your sales material from good, to great.
Your conversion rate could sky rocket and you have the best problem in the world, how do I meet all that demand?
You can expand, hire staff, develop a new offering and complete refresh your vision board as you achieve goal after goal.
Great isn’t easy…but it is possible for you
As I said before, getting to great isn’t easy. It requires knowledge, experience, and research. All that takes time and a lot of it.
You can spend the next few years learning the ins and outs and developing your strategy, or you can hire a professional to so that you can scrap that vision board today and not in three years time.
If you like to discuss potential collaborations, fill in this questionnaire.