The nightmare of every copywriter. After writing some amazing copy for the clients, he takes one look at it and says, “That is too sales…” or “too simple…” or “too different…” and eventually that then leads to the conclusion that we are not serious.
Whenever I find myself in this predicament, I tell my own clients, “This copy might not appeal to you.”. However, even if you think you are the same as your clients, you’re not the target market.”.
I’d like to give you three reasons why:
1. Clients live in a world of their own
If you spend a lot of time on the Internet, you will develop your own unique lifestyle. For instance, the people I have made some of my closest friends are people I have not met. Over the years, we have exchanged emails and phone calls. I am particularly fond of an American web designer who lives in Brazil.
Over and over again, you hear the same promises being made. “Attract as many clients as you can to your website.” “Bring traffic to your website.”
On the other hand, if you’re trying to target the average person (i.e., someone who’s actually met their best friends in person), many of our common phrases will seem interesting and exciting.
Is there such a thing as hype-free marketing? “That sounds good to me”, said a prospect recently. He added, “That’s a whole new way to approach marketing.”.
2. Customers want to be sold
Since they know you aren’t putting websites and creating brochures, and they know that you’re not doing it so you’ll feel good and collect gold stars for your Permanent Records.
When a customer wants your service, they are looking for personal reasons to say “yes.” Think of all those Madison Avenue ads that say, “You deserve it.” Or, “You are worth it!” Basically, they’re telling us that we can spend our money on them.
You will actually appreciate learning about what you offer your customers if your approach is tasteful and – drum roll please – satisfies their needs.
I was recently pitching my services to “Frank,” who was a prospective client and he specialized in selling fitness services. As reluctantly as I could, I referred him to a website that I’d written for “Tom” – a financial professional who was horrified as to whether we were pushing too hard.
As you can imagine, Frank was quite impressed. He said, “This isn’t at all pushy and I really like it.”. It feels so warm and friendly! I can tell you Tom sounds just like a great guy.”
There is still a lot to discuss. As a result, I bet that when Frank views his own fitness website, he might say, “Um – do you think we’re selling too hard?”
3. Consumers do not want to pause and think
We are all slowed down by some words and phrases. Take a look at your college textbooks and maybe a few academic journals to get some good examples. You will find words such as “moreover,” “contrary to intuition,” “even though,” and more.
What was your method of reading your college textbooks? My guess is that you read slowly, made marginal notes, and held tightly to the yellow highlighter pen while you read.
Unfortunately, website visitors do not examine our copy the same way we do. Instead, we must help them identify key points and help them progress quickly.
Try to guess which gets read more:
(a) Even if you put in a great deal of effort, you may not see the results for several years.
(b) “If you really work hard, you will see the results”
In the end, you shouldn’t be surprised when you show your clients what you have written. This is especially true if you are new to marketing yourself and your own products. My first reaction when I began to write the title of this site was to cringe. Is my site going to become the web equivalent of a used-car lot? I noticed that my target market – professionals and senior executives – began to buy my services. And as they say, the rest is history.