You’ve probably heard this outdated joke:
A child gets taken to the Emergency Room. His father is waiting anxiously in the lobby. The surgeon takes one look at the child and exclaims, “I can’t operate. He’s my son!”
How can this be?
You’ve probably guessed: the surgeon was the boy’s mother.
We still have stereotypes related to gender. Mention Los Angeles basketball: will you think of the Warriors or the Sparks? Or when I say, “My neighbor’s a pilot,” do you picture a male right away?
We have stereotypes associated with websites, too.
What’s your first step when you get ready to build a website? Yep … you ask around for a web designer.
Don’t feel guilty. I did the same thing when I started.
It’s a word association test.
Website ==> Designer
In fact, I bet at least half the people reading this are saying, “What’s the big deal?” Or even, “Why is this wrong? This IS the way to go!”
The truth is … your website development will be smoother, faster and more profitable when you start with copywriting. That’s the content on every single page of your site.
(1) Once you start writing content, you become more aware of your strengths and what you have to offer. You gain confidence and you send a stronger message.
For example, one of my first clients was an inventory control consultant I’ll call “Ben.” At first he seemed to be just another consultant in a profession that’s not exactly glamorous. Few people dream of growing up to prowl around warehouses, helping growing companies find ways to store their merchandise to avoid building another warehouse.
But buried deeply in his website were the words, “I complete my visit in one day.”
How could Ben complete a project in one day while his competitors required at least a week? Ben drew on his experience — over 20 years in the business — and created a plan to move in with a pre-planned series of questions.
Now we had a way to differentiate Ben from his competitors — and differentiation is the most important component of marketing, according to John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing.
(2) You also become aware of gaps you need to fill. My client Melissa was stumped when we went to write her services page. “I realize I’ve got too many programs and they’re all over the map,” she said.
Actually, her programs were really valuable and each one fit a different need. What she needed was an umbrella concept — and that’s we created as we worked together.
(3) Most importantly, you know exactly how you serve your clients. Barbara knew she was helping people deal with life transitions in some way. She was following a program based on a course she’d taken to train coaches — a program that had helped her in her own life.
After we reviewed her client success stories, we realized that Barbara was skilled in one particular aspect of the program. We positioned the website around this specialty and in the process, helped Barbara create a lead magnet and an elevator pitch.
Finally, good web designers and developers will tell you to get the copy written before you call them — certainly before they spend weeks on a design that might shift when the copy appears. Some of them even send their clients to copywriters because, they’ll say, “Why spend money on design when your copy doesn’t send a clear message?”
Sometimes you’ll hear, “I’m not a copywriter but I’ll write your copy, for a fee.” Or, “Nobody cares about copy anymore. It’s all visual impact.”
If you prefer to write your own web copy, no worries — just write all your copy before you begin the time-consuming process of choosing a WordPress theme. Many copywriters — including me — will review your copy. That’s a better choice than hiring someone off Craigslist to write for you. We can do this during a consultation or via a website video review.
If you’re thinking about becoming a copywriter yourself, check out this comprehensive guide.
If you’re NOT interested in becoming a copywriter, you may still want to grab a copy. You’ll learn how to write copy for yourself and how to hone your skills.
If you DO want to become a copywriter, you’ll love this product. It’s a practical, down-to-earth guide. You’ll discover how you can market yourself effectively (and painlessly) to get clients. You get everything from how to promote yourself online to choosing a mentor to drawing up your agreement…and I’ve included a template for reaching out to current colleagues to get referrals.
Originally published at https://cathygoodwin.com on October 31, 2019.