Tag Archives: copywriting tips

Copywriting

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Finding the exact words to tell a company’s story isn’t as easy as you may think and the copywriters who manage to do it successfully deserve a round of applause.

Visiting websites with bad copywriting can be cringeworthy as well as just plain boring!  Never-ending stories without a real ending, purpose statements, uninteresting paragraphs on product descriptions and yawning lists of statistics are a few other reasons you will ‘X’ out of a poorly-written website.

Website owners know that people who visit their sites want to see eye catching pages that grab their attention at the first glimpse.  The pages need to have captivating images and language to keep you wanting more from them. Unfortunately, only a handful of websites out there know how to effectively do this. Companies struggling with copywriting can learn a lot from intelligent copywriters. Below are a couple firms who deliver clever copywriting.

EAT 24 is known for their clever blog posts – I think their copy needs to be recognized too, as they are right on track with it.  Their homepage has these funny catchy phrase slider ads:

Do Dinner

Find Out

Funny copy which clearly describes their product.  If you think their smarts stop here, think again. It’s also on their job description tab, email subscription call-to-action and on their meta descriptions too.  They are doing everything in their power to make sure they are reaching all targeted areas.

You us

Eat24

HipChat takes more of an innovative approach to copywriting.  They wanted to provide companies and teams a chat service that was built for them and around them.  It is entertaining but still explains what their software does and how it will help you now and in the long run.  Love the banner on their home page:

hipchat

Those were good right? Now take a look at a few examples of bad copywriting. There are many companies out there that don’t know how to effectively write copy and they should really take notes from the ones above. Or get some training.

I found this site Blinkee and they offer blinking and glow in the dark products.  They have a black background and their wording is all in neon colors (to stand out). They’ve listed images to show their products and every picture is blinking and the images are too small. This site setup is very distracting and painful to look at with way too much going on. They need to focus on the selling aspect of their products more, not the flashing and blinking that their products do. With this setup I just want to hit the “X” button right away and close this site out.

Blinkee

I ran into this site Lingscars and just had to laugh at the whole set up. My eyes are criss crossed from the design they have going on here. Honestly, what were they thinking? They have flashing, blinking and moving images going on all over the page. The background has bright colors and in a paisley design. A crazy gimmick song plays when you first enter the page. Their purpose is to lease a car, but with all the other stuff they have going on, you totally miss the concept you’re too busy looking at the picture of him, odd ads and videos. So much for what they are actually trying to do, which is lease their cars, as I just want to remove this image from my mind!

lingscars

Bottom line, your copy shouldn’t take itself too seriously. To appeal to your customer, your web copy should be interesting while representing your brand in a witty or unique way.

Andrea Sig

 

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Why Resisting Change Makes It Painful

We each have up to 50,000 thoughts every day and – perhaps more surprisingly – 98% of those are the same thoughts we had yesterday. We tend to resist the thought of change and that’s why it seems so difficult. Whether we fear what it will mean and what impact it will have on our neatly ordered lives, our first thought is usually to RUN away from it, far, far away.

Yet change is a crucial part of achieving your goals. If you lack the ability to adapt and grow, you’re hurting yourself.  When you’re not challenging your brain enough, you can involuntarily cause negative unconscious thoughts. Don’t get me wrong – change can sometimes be painful or at the very least uncomfortable. When I faced bankruptcy and homelessness in my early 30s it certainly wasn’t a state I relished. And of course sometimes circumstances are thrust upon us and we just have to do our best. But with the benefit of hindsight, I’d needed to alter my course for some time and when I lost everything it gave me a chance to rethink my future. We ended up living in a castle, swanning about like millionaires so it can’t have been all bad! The lesson learned here was that eventually when the avoidance of change catches up with you and your comfort zone is no longer comfortable, the pain of NOT changing becomes greater than the pain of changing.

Accepting change can be done easily if you welcome it and take small steps every day. That way the brain can process what is happening at a reasonable rate without being overwhelmed so you’re less likely to back out and run from it. If your goal is to make a huge change, split it up into smaller chunks and then do those one at a time. Small success leads to more success.

You might fear change because of failures you’ve had in the past. That’s understandable but won’t move you forward. It’s time to CHANGE your old story and the way you think about ‘failure’ and turn it into a learning experience. I can help you do that. Know that everything happens for a reason, and one misstep doesn’t mean the dance is over. Like the saying goes “fall down nine times, stand up ten.”

There are times when you don’t even realize you need to change course or you aren’t convinced that change is what’s best. Look at it this way, the world changes constantly and it’s your choice whether or not to embrace and evolve with it. In my experience it’s often best to make the first move!

Changing your ‘story about how things are for you can enlighten your life in unimaginable ways. Doors will open that you may have thought were permanently closed and the experiences you will have and the valuable lessons you will learn will bring tremendous satisfaction to your mind and soul.

If you’re worried about change and need some valuable step-by-step advice on how to ease your vision or business into a new future, I’m here to help. For this month only I’m offering One-on-One Coaching that will show you the way to bring your brand back to life. Places are filling up fast so be quick 🙂

With Love,

Andrea Sig

 

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Upcoming Events

‘Dragon Boat Festival’– Speaking Event on June 28th, 2015

FREE ENTRANCE & CHANCE TO WIN AN iPad. On Sunday, June 28th 2015, our school invites you to our Dragon Boat Festival at Moordown Community Centre 21 Coronation Ave., Bournemouth BH9 1TW from 1.15pm to 5.00pm.

The Dragon Boat Festival, also often known as the Tuen Ng or Duanwu Festival, is a traditional and statutory Holiday originating in China. The festival is best known for its dragon-boat races, especially in the southern provinces where there are many rivers and lakes. Typically, these are boats paddled by a team of up to 20 paddlers with a drummer and steersman. The boats have a carved dragon as the head and tail of the boat.

If you’re going to be in Bournemouth, I invite you to come join in the FUN of the festival along with me! I’m their guest speaker.

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Filed under Branding, Change Your Words Change Your World, Events, One-On-One Coaching

SMOG!

Summer is right around the corner and what better way to get in sync with the season then to cut away the SMOG! That’s right, SMOG; Should, Must, Ought to, Got to. Every time we use one of these words (internally or externally) we put tremendous pressure on ourselves or the person we’re talking to. These words can do more harm than good to our unconscious mind. Whenever we ‘should’ ourselves, we are making ourselves wrong. So instead of saying “I should have exercised more” you can make the change to “I’ve decided to exercise more today” which allows your brain to respond calmly and creatively. 

Also, when using these words, what are we really saying? We are talking about things that we wish we were doing or we wish were happening, and not accepting reality. Those words are not encouraging enough to motivate anyone, so why continue down the path of “hopes” and “wishes” when you can easily shift down the path of “been there, done that” and “yes, I can”?

Understandably removing these words from our vocabulary can be difficult.  These are words we probably use every day. Here are some alternatives to help make the adjustment easier on your mind. Focus on the benefits! If there is something you think you should be doing more of or ought to be doing more of, remind yourself why you want to do this in the first place.  Accept reality. Once you do this you will realize you are capable of achieving your goals and will live a much happier life, without the SMOG.

Removing the SMOG from your vocabulary will take time and practice. Open up new possibilities with ‘can, could, choose to, am willing, have decided to (or not to), am considering’ and reap the rewards of a more empowered mindset.

Is SMOG fogging your business acumen? Do you feel like you’re losing potential custom to a newer more persuasive brand?  Is your message authentic and catchy enough? Learn how to harness the power of words to give it a BOOST with my one-on-one coaching!

Andrea

 

Upcoming Events

Dragon Boat Festival‘ – Speaking Event on June 28th, 2015

FREE ENTRANCE & CHANCE TO WIN AN iPAD.  On Sunday, June 28th 2015, our school invites you to our Dragon Boat Festival at Moordown Community Centre 21 Coronation Ave., Bournemouth BH9 1TW from 1.15pm to 5.00pm.

The Dragon Boat Festival, also often known as the Tuen Ng or Duanwu Festival, is a traditional and statutory Holiday originating in China.  The festival is best known for its dragon-boat races, especially in the southern provinces where there are many rivers and lakes.  Typically, these are boats paddled by a team of up to 20 paddlers with a drummer and steersman. The boats have a carved dragon as the head and tail of the boat.

If you’re going to be in Bournemouth, I invite you to come join in the FUN of the festival along with me!

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Filed under Change Your Words Change Your World, Events, One-On-One Coaching

DON’T Read This if You Want to Change

Did you know that the unconscious mind doesn’t recognize the word ‘don’t’? Every time you use it, your mind will skip it and go straight to the rest of your sentence. So when you say to your kids ‘Don’t run, you’ll fall over’, you’re actually giving them a command to run and fall, which makes it much more likely to happen. It might be more constructive to say ‘Run on the grass’ or ‘Watch where you’re going when you run.’ Think of the UK’s Drink Drive campaign ‘Don’t Drink and Drive.’ Surely it would make more sense to say ‘Stay Sober, Arrive Safe’?

Since your unconscious mind doesn’t process a negative, it’s important to be clear with the words you use, whether speaking to yourself or someone else. Instead of telling yourself what not to do, focus more on what to do. Think of new ways to phrase things by removing the negatives. I can’t think how many times I’ve been nervous in the past and repeatedly said to myself ‘Don’t mess this up’ then watched, horrified, as I did exactly that! If I’d known what I know now and concentrated instead on what I did want to happen, the result is likely to have been very different.

Making the transition to positive language and rephrasing how you speak to yourself and others will not only help your unconscious mind, but also your conscious mind! You’ll start thinking – and acting – more effectively. Where the head goes, your body follows.

Keen to know which words will specifically convert your web traffic into solid sales or enthusiastic inquiries? Take a look at my new coaching program.

Andrea Sig

 

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Upcoming Events

Change Your Words, Change Your World’ – Workshop on May 30th

A one-day introductory workshop on how to shift from a fear-based reality to a joy-based one. If you need an excuse to get away for some ‘me’ time, this is it!

Workshop info (scroll down for the ‘Special Events’)

Places fill up quickly, email me andrea@purplefeather.co.uk or call me at 07779 481807 to save your spot!

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One man and his van

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Yesterday I shared a blog post about VW and how they have harnessed the power of story in their marketing. Imagine my surprise when John (of John Cavill Gardens & Design), one of our loyal subscribers, got in touch to say that he was in fact one of VW’s featured real life stories! How cool is that?

Like the Purplefeather team, John is a big believer in the power of words. He’s been inspired both by our guidance (John reads all our blogs and has fun implementing our tips) and VW’s campaign to take his web content to the next level, embracing storytelling as a central part of his online marketing. John’s top tip for creating compelling copy is, “always tweaking and having fun with my website content, always looking for opportunities and remaining forever positive in everything I do.” We think that’s great advice.

You’ll be able to see how John tells his story when his new website is launched. You can follow his journey on Facebook: www.facebook.com/johncavillgardens

Comment below and share with us how you embrace storytelling in your marketing. 

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Leading The Way

The first 25 words on your web page are THE most important. Why? Because Google says so. The first and last 25 words on each of your web pages are areas that Google pays close attention to, so it’s a prime place to put your keywords and get your point across.

25 words is also roughly how long it takes to get a ‘feel’ for the gist of a piece of content so if you can sum up the benefits upfront you’ll be doing your readers a favour. Most people don’t have time to read your content word for word and will scan to find what they’re looking for.

Problem/solution leads work particularly well. For example:

“Tired of not sleeping? A simple home cure that your granny may have known holds the key to your dreams”

Or you could try starting with a question:

“Why are left-handed people better artists? It’s not what you think…”

Interesting quotes work well too:

“Most managers and business owners set their recruitment strategy on a slippery slope by hiring people who are just like them.”

And if storytelling is one of your skills, try starting in the middle instead of at the beginning:

“Last week I was invited onto the stage to receive my award, to thunderous applause. That moment was 20 years in the making.”

Whatever approach you decide to take, remember that all your lead has to do is build a bridge between the headline and the body copy where you’re going to WOW readers with all the benefits of your product or service. More about that next month.

Got any great examples of leads that have worked well for you? Comment  below – we’d love to hear about them.

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SuperSleuth your way to great conversions!

The first question you should be asking is…

What does my reader need to get from this piece of copy?

If you can’t answer that, put down your pen or tuck away your keyboard and go and do some field work. Ask people, put out a questionnaire. It’s probably not the right time to be writing. If you do know, keep going.

Think about this living, breathing person sitting in front of you. What motivates them? What do they want less of in their life, what do they want more of? How can you make their life easier?

What’s going to stop them?

Whenever anyone comes to a webpage, a post or an article, if you’ve written your headline well and kept them interested long enough to actually read your body copy, they’re likely to have a caseload of questions in their heads. Your job is to get inside their minds, use your powers of deduction and answer them. That’s all you have to do.

Consider what’s going to stop them adding your product to their cart or signing up for your next course or buying your book.  Is it a lack of information, are they worried about paying online? Have other people benefited from what you’re offering and if so what did they think of you? Maybe they’re just too shy to show up on their own for one of your courses and need an incentive to bring a friend for half price?

When you spend some time working out what makes your ideal customer tick and putting their minds at rest, they’ll know you have their best interests at heart and will be much more likely to trust you. Conversion will happen naturally. 

Now, where did I leave my magnifying glass…?

Happy sleuthing! Til next month,

Andrea

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