web copywriting tip - get inside your reader's head

I often get feedback from clients saying how well I have nailed their web copywriting. They tell me that what I have written speaks directly to the type of clients they are looking to attract. Here’s a web copywriting tip that will help you become a better content creator

Web copywriting tip – Start by taking time to get inside the head of their target reader. I call it “writing for the person on the other side of the glass.”

It sounds simple, but there’s a lot more to it than you might think. You see, most business owners become so entrenched in their own viewpoint that they forget what matters to their customers. As a result, they end up writing for themselves rather than for prospects.

In this web copywriting tip I’d like to give you some insight into how I approach a new writing project. First I gather as much information about the person you want your website to speak to. Here are some of the questions that I find most useful.

Who is your target reader?

Usually, the first response I get is so general that they might as well have said: “anyone who has a pulse“.  This isn’t much help because it’s impossible to write persuasively for such a broad range of people simultaneously.

Web copywriting tip – When I get this type of response I ask them to be more specific.   

How old are they?  What is their background? What’s their job role?  What is their industry sector?  Where are they based geographically? What sort of publications do they read? What is their family situation? And so on…

One complicating factor in this process is that, depending on the nature of their business, they may have more than one target customer.  In these situations, I get them to identify each distinct group and then I create a profile for each one.  

When I understand who the page is aimed at, I research the problems that affect your target clients. To do this I often ask “What keeps your clients awake at night?

Web Copywriting Tip – Look for the pain points

In addition, I find it helps to put myself in the shoes of a target customer. Then I ask meyself “What problems might I have, that the products or services on this website might solve?”

Time for some additional research?

I find it valuable to do some online research to help with this phase.
Groups and Forums are great places to start. E.g. If the site is designed to appeal to accountants, I will visit accountancy groups online to “eavesdrop” on their conversations. I am looking to gain an insight into their problems and challenges. I will also tap into the power of my own network. I’ll reach out to people who I think might help understand the relevant issues facing their sector or profession.

I have written web copy for hundreds of diverse businesses. As a result, I have a broad understanding of the types of general issues that affect a clients buying process. However, I need to check that the assumptions I am making are still accurate for each business I write for.

What might stop them buying from you?

Now we know who we are writing for, and what their pain points are, it’s time to consider their concerns.

Web copywriting tip: Many DIY content creators fail to address the factors that stop potential customers from getting in touch. A professional web copywriter needs to understand what these barriers are. Only then can we write online content that will defuse those fears and concerns and increase your conversion rates.

Often these barriers relate to the perceived risk of doing business with you.  The higher your asking price, the greater the perceived risk.  Again research plays a vital part at this stage. I’ll often ask potential customers what might stop them buying this type of product or service. If you do this with an open mind and an attitude of curiosity you’ll be amazed what you can discover.

P.S. Social media is an excellent way to get input from a lot of people in a short space of time.

Next Steps?

Believe it or not, despite having done all this, I am still not ready to start drafting great copy. There are two more steps that I believe must be completed. If you’d like to know what those extra web copywriting tips are,  bookmark my blog and look out for part 2.

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