Write from the customer’s perspective

During my copywriting training workshops, we have been discussing ‘becoming the customer’ during the writing process.

Before you begin a new campaign, write a Brief. This should include the campaign objectives, specific goals, the target market and the benefits of the product / service that you are marketing.

Then imagine what it would be like to be the customer that you are communicating with. How can your product / service help them? Do they know that they have problem that you can solve? What sort of benefits and proof are they looking for?

Perspective taking is different from empathy. It is the ability to see the world from someone else’s point of view.

Being able to write ‘with the customer in mind’ can make a considerable difference to the quality and effectiveness of your web pages, blogs, newsletters, videos and PPC advertisements.

The AIDCA copywriting model

The AIDCA copywriting model will help you to get better response:

1. Headline or opening line gets Attention

2. Product description generates Interest

3. The offer / proposition produces Desire

4. Guarantee / reassurance gives Conviction

5. Call to action Action generates sales

AIDCA can be used throughout the promotional mix.

Have you tried this model? Did it work for you?

Nigel provides copywriting training.

Could you write 100 words per day?

Typewriter. Photography by Nigel Temple copyright appliesWriting all of those ‘marketing words’ can be a challenge, can’t it? Business owners and marketers are already working flat out. How are they going to find the time to get the writing done?

Make writing a habit

Here is an idea for you. Aim to write 100 words, every day. 100 words isn’t very much is it? You may find that once you start, that you can exceed this target. If you write every day about your business and your products or services, your brain will be working away in the background about the subject matter, even when you are not aware that it is doing so.

250 words is sufficient for a blog. So if you were able to write 100 words, 20 days per month that amounts to 2000 words, or eight blogs per month. Alternatively, you could think in terms of four 500 word blogs (i.e. one per week).

My first book was 19,000 words long. If I had used the 100 words per day approach, it would have taken me under 10 months to write. As you can imagine, upping the word count target to say 250 words per day turbocharges everything.

You will find it helpful if you are reporting to someone about your writing output. If you work within an organisation, this could be your manager or a colleague. If you work for yourself, could a family member help you out? As the saying goes:

What gets measured, gets done*

In conclusion, setting a target for yourself really works. It used to be said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit and the other day I heard that it takes 60 days. Even if it takes as long as this, with regards to writing, it will be well worth it.

*There is some debate about who coined this phrase, some say that it was the management guru Peter Drucker, whilst others quote Lord Kelvin.

Extracted from ‘How to Write Words Which Generate More Response’, soon to be available via Amazon Kindle. Here is Nigel Temple’s Amazon Author page.

Nigel provides copywriting training services.

26 ways to write better headlines

headlinesHeadlines are the gateway to your website, blog, newsletter, e-shot, advertisement, direct mailshot or any other promotional piece. Ineffective headline? The result = fewer readers and sales.

“On average, five times as many people read the headline as the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” ~ David Ogilvy

When I was 26, I landed a job as a trainee copywriter. For the next three years, my boss would disembowel my words every single working day, with a blunt red pen. Ouch!

We spent a great deal of time talking about headlines.

Marketers live and die by their headlines and I cannot stress how important they are.

Here are 26 tips for you:

  1. Start your headline with ‘How to”
  2. Use questions in your headlines
  3. Write about what you deliver, not just what you do
  4. Include a benefit statement
  5. An emotional appeal outsells a logical approach
  6. Create pictures inside the readers’ head
  7. Use positive language and never be negative
  8. Include numbers, i.e. “7 ways to save money”
  9. How long will they have to wait?
  10. Talk in the language of your audience
  11. Write several versions, before you select your headline
  12. It is OK to write long headlines as it only takes a moment to read it
  13. Include facts and figures, if you have them
  14. Study advertisement headlines
  15. Avoid superlatives regarding your fantastic product
  16. Help, don’t just sell
  17. See your headline from the reader’s perspective
  18. Provide proof
  19. Be bold
  20. Where appropriate, convey a sense of urgency
  21. Don’t Use Leading Capitals As They Are A Bit Harder To Read
  22. Avoid humour in headlines; they won’t all get the joke
  23. Ask whether the reader has a specific problem?
  24. Don’t be vague
  25. Don’t make the reader think too hard
  26. Ensure that your message is clear

Oh, and tip #27: Employ a professional copywriter (like me, for example). If you would like to learn how to be a better copywriter or if you would like someone to do the writing for you, email me via nigel@nigeltemple.com call me on +44(0)1628 773128. I have written over a million words of copy for thousands of clients and I love to write.

How to get the digital marketing writing done

You know that content is king. You know that you should have over 100 pages within your website. You know that each web page should contain hundreds of carefully crafted words. You have been told that you really should blog, ideally every single day.

In addition, you should send out e-newsletters, post content within a plethora of social media platforms, write and film videos and produce riveting guides and other forms of intellectual property that you can offer to the marketplace in exchange for an email address.

*gasp*

Who has the time to do all of this?

Or even a small amount of it?

The question is: do you love to write? Even if the answer is ‘yes’, you may be struggling to find the time to get the writing done.

To make matters even worse, you may have heard that having several websites can generate more sales enquiries, that one site alone. I know that this is true, as I have 8 websites. They interconnect with each other via a web of cross links.

Here are some tips for getting the writing done:

* When ideas come, write them down.
* Write every day.
* Produce original content.
* Write fast.  Edit slowly.
* Expand your vocabulary by continually reading books.
* Expand your knowledge of punctuation, grammar, syntax and idiom.
* Study the world’s best copywriters.

I have been doing the above for over 3 decades.

Remember that what you write is part of your brand. The readers will seldom tell you about spelling mistakes, typos and poorly constructed sentences.

As a professional copywriting trainer I can tell you that my seminar audiences are appalled by poor writing. They move away from brands and businesses that don’t check their wording.

I receive 1 sales a day on average and this is quite sufficient. Larger businesses than mine require a higher number of leads. In which case, you need to turn up the volume.

I work with a small number of clients to make their digital marketing, include content writing, happen for them. To find out more, either email me via nigel@nigeltemple.com or call me on +44(0)1628 773128.  If you call me, I will listen without interrupting.

 

Are the website words holding you up?

Effective website words = the difference between success and failure.

If you are creating a new website, are the words holding you up?

The website developer has created a professional looking design.

They are tapping their fingers, waiting for you to send them the words.

However, you are busy, running your business / doing your job.

Perhaps you have tried doing the writing, only to find that it is somewhat time consuming.

Your webcopy (website words) must get attention, tell a story, answer questions and transmit an emotional message.

In addition, the webcopy should communicate benefits and generate sales enquiries / sales.

The words must be easy to read and they must get the message across.

If you could use some help, either email me or call me on +44(0)1628 773128.

Website words: some tips
*  You have 1 second to get their attention….
*  …therefore, the headline is vital
*  And so is the 1st sentence
*  Write short words
*  Write short sentences
*  Write short paragraphs
*  Use bullet point list (like this one)
*  Use anchor text links
*  Always check your facts
*  Don’t trust spell checking software
*  Pay particular attention to subheads
*  Read the words out loud
*  Keep editing until the padding has gone

Nigel is often asked to provide website writing services – click here to find out more.

If you want to learn more about writing, visit:  www.copywritingtraining.pro

If you would like to talk to a professional webcopywriter and get some feedback, either email me or call me on +44(0)1628 773128.

Is copywriting part of your job? Here are some tips!

For many of us, copywriting is just part of what we do. Marketing professionals often write some copy, i.e. a blog and social media content, as well as the text for printed collateral. Business owners usually write the words for their websites, as well as newsletters, e-shots, social media, advertisements and the countless other items which require ‘marketing words’.

Copywriting training

During my 30 years (so far!) as a marketing consultant, trainer and speaker I have found that many business people are somewhat uncomfortable when it comes to writing. Here are some tips which may help.

1. Begin your day by writing 150 words. Do this before you open your emails!

2. Write every morning for the next 21 business days. This will help you to get into the habit of writing.

3. When you write the first draft, don’t edit your work. Just write. Come back later and review your words.

4. Keep a (paper) notebook with you at all times. Use it to jot down ideas.

5. Read books. (Professional writers are avid readers).

6. Find a mentor who is good with English. Ask them if they would give you some feedback on your copy.

7. Read books on copywriting, as well as online tips and advice.

Originally posted within www.copywritingtraining.pro

I wish you well with you writing!

Copywriting – art or science?

Tap those keysThe purpose of commercial copywriting is to create more sales. Copywriting is more of a science, than an art. This is because there are established formulas which have been proven to work, time and time again.

If your ‘marketing words’ are going to succeed, they must:
* Get the reader’s attention
* Make them want to keep reading
* Generate desire for your product / service
* Get them to take action (i.e. contact you / make a purchase)

There are many reasons why the buyer won’t proceed:
* Lack of time
* Information overload
* They don’t ‘get’ your message

Writing effective marketing copy requires some special ingredients:
* An understanding of the objectives, for each writing mission
* Subject knowledge
* A clear understanding of your audience and their needs
* Copywriting formulas
* An understanding of the principles of selling
* An understanding of grammar and punctuation

I trained as a professional copywriter for three years. Subsequently, I have written over a million words of marketing copy. I often ask seminar delegates: “Do you love to write?” If you do, then you will want to write and you will find that you improve over time. Incidentally, writers love to read (what are you reading at the moment?)

I wish you all the best with your copywriting!

How to generate ideas for content marketing / blogs …part 1

I recommend that you blog at least once a week. Serious players blog every day. Producing new ideas for your website content can be a challenge, can’t it? Here is a checklist of 14 ways to produce new ideas for content marketing / blogs:Content marketing - photograph copyright holder Nigel Temple

  1. Have a whiteboard in your office where you can write new ideas.
  2. Carry a notebook around with you: when an idea comes – write it down.
  3. Have a monthly content marketing ideas brainstorming session.
  4. Write customer stories, as people love a good story.
  5. Write about the blood, sweat and tears which go into your products / services.
  6. What are you currently doing. What’s new / interesting / innovative?
  7. Reveal some of your plans for the future (and I hope that you have one).
  8. Create a  Google Drive (or similar) spreadsheet (easy to search).
  9. Pick up media stories and commment on them.
  10. Experiment with video blogs.
  11. Create a giant Mind Map, as Mind Mapping helps you to think in a different way.
  12. Read non-competitive blogs as this will spark ideas for you.
  13. Keep a pen and paper by the side of your bed.
  14. Talk to anyone who will listen about your blogs. As you talk, new ideas will arrive.

By the way, IMHO don’t analyse what your competition is doing. You will just end up copying them. It is important to be original and lead the field. I’m often asked by clients and seminar delegates how to generate ideas for content marketing / blogs and I hope that this checklist helps you. 

Click here to read Part 2 – with 14 more ideas for coming up with content marketing / blog ideas

Photograph © Nigel Temple

7 benefits of business blogging

There are numerous reasons why you should have a business blog.  Here are seven of them:

1.  Google loves a blogger. The search engines (i.e. Google, Bing and Yahoo) send out software ‘crawlers’. When they visit your website, the crawlers look at your sites’ log files. If they notice that something has changed (i.e. that you have uploaded a new blog), it makes them happy. Imagine being a crawler and visiting a website which never changes. You would probably think “how boring!”  You can keep their interest by blogging frequently.

2.  Writing makes you think. Talking about your area of expertise is fine. Writing about it is another thing entirely. In order to write something which is worth reading, you really have to think about it. I know, as I have written books, manuals, guides, articles and blogs.

3.  Your blog feeds your newsletter. If you write three blog entries a month, this is enough, as three stories within a newsletter is fine.

4.  Regular blogging improves your writing skills. Talk to a novelist. They will tell you that you they write regularly (quite often, every day.) Writing is a learned skill. You can improve your writing skills by frequent blogging.

5.  The more you write, the more you sell. Customers like to read blogs about your products / services. When someone enters the marketplace, they are hungry for information. If you blog frequently, it is more likely that they will find you in the first place and – having found you – your blog will give them more material to read which in turn makes it more likely that they will buy from you (as customers do not have an infinite amount of time to make a buying decision).

6.  A creative, researched and thought provoking blog can differentiate your business.  Anything that you can do to ‘stand out from the crowd’ is a good thing. Here is a lblog about: Creative thinking skills

7.  A blog can turn into a book. An Amazon Kindle book can be as short as 5000 words. If each blog entry that you write is 250 words, it only takes 20 blog entries and Voila!, you have your book.  Here is a blog entitled: How to get the writing done  ..which may help.

If you have questions about blogging / social media, you can ask them via The Marketing Compass website.

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Nigel Temple is a marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. To find out more about his services email joanna@nigeltemple.com or call Joanna on +44 (0)1628 773128.

He welcomes media enquiries about 21st century marketing, social media and digital marketing. He has appeared within the national, international and broadcast media.

Nigel is the founder of The Marketing Compass – join thousands of business owners, tell us about your business and ask some marketing questions!

Follow Nigel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nigeltemple