Do you agonise about every word in your website content? Are you determined to get it just right before you hit publish?
There certainly are occasions when you want to get your copy perfect, such as when launching a major product or service and you have a whole campaign to write. But I would like to challenge your perfectionism and ask you to consider that imperfect action can be better than inaction.
I see many of my clients, as well as other business owners and bloggers agonising over their web copy. Whether it’s a blog post, product description or a newsletter, they keep putting off pressing publish while they polish and second guess the placement of every word and full stop.
I prefer a different approach. I like to get my content out there and then test it to see if it does the job. Is it getting the conversions I want? Is it connecting with my ideal client? Does it lead to client engagement?
Unlike a hard copy brochure or a newspaper ad, web copy is easy to change. If you’re not happy with it once you’ve hit publish, or you notice that it’s not working for you, it does not take much effort to change it. At least not when you have full access and control over your website.
If you have a website, I encourage you to make sure that you know how to change and have access to your content. Most copy changes can be made as simply as you would edit any document on your computer, particularly if you are working with WordPress.
To truly engage and resonate with your ideal client, it’s more important that your content reflects the true YOU, rather than being perfect. If you try to sound like someone else, you will attract someone else’s ideal clients rather than yours.
I suspect that in your quest to perfect your content, you’ve learnt some, or a lot, about copywriting and online marketing. You might have learnt about formulas to use when creating content. There are formulas and templates for sales pages, blog posts, newsletters and more, and if they resonate with you, go for it and apply them. But make sure that the language you use when writing is the same as you would use in a conversation. Your writing style should be conversational and engaging. It should be full of the kinds of words and phrases that you normally use when you talk.
Your natural style will help you to build rapport with your readers. Yes, not everyone will be a fan. Not everyone will appreciate your quirks and originality, but the people you most want to reach, will.
So, I encourage you to spend some time envisioning who your ideal clients are. How would you talk to them if you met them for coffee? Would your language be full of big words and jargon, or would you talk to them as if they were a friend?
When I write blog posts here, I rely on the experience I gained from my personal blog over the last six years, rather than using a blog post formula. When I try to apply such a formula, my writing feels stilted and unnatural. It’s not how I would speak to you if we met in person and those posts are fairly much ignored.
I still apply the principles of good blogging and I might throw in some aspects of the formula that help me to get my point across better, but mostly I just write. I don’t get caught up on getting every word and paragraph perfect and the content on this website is constantly being tweaked, as I think of better ways to express myself and connect with you.
Sometimes, though, I do want the words to be just right. In that situation, I tend to outsource the copywriting to someone like Belinda from Copywrite Matters, because I know that the processes she has in place will make sure that my content will still reflect me and my personal style. Even copywriters need a second opinion at times, as being too close to our work can affect our judgement.
As a copywriter for others, it’s important that I know all the formulas and that I get to know my clients. Every client will want different kind of copy, but when I write for myself I need to remember to be me.
So, when you’re creating your own content, don’t waste precious time in your drive for perfection. Get it almost right and publish. Your clients are waiting to see your content now. Make sure that you know how to change your content and don’t be afraid to edit it regularly. And when you really get stuck, hire a copywriter.
If you’d like to discuss your copywriting needs or get an assessment of your existing copy, please contact me today.