Website Copywriting For Service Professionals Who Can’t Promise Their Clients A “Win”

Cathy Goodwin
4 min readNov 14, 2019

When I work on content strategy for lawyers, financial planners, and other professional service businesses, they point out that they can’t promise their clients a “win.” Lawyers can’t promise they’ll win court cases, financial planners can’t promise they’ll make you rich, and real estate agents can’t guarantee your home will sell in 30 days.

These service professionals often wonder how they can hire a copywriter. They associate copywriting with Tony Soprano’s brash personality and strong language. As a result, they end up with boring, me-to websites … so nice they could win a Miss Congeniality award.

Here are 3 guidelines for effective professional services marketing when you need to combine professionalism with persuasion.

(1) Don’t ask for content that will be “memorable.”

Even on your website content, your goal is to be “sticky” rather than “memorable. The truth is, most visitors will remember your web site for about 30 seconds, if you are lucky. Your goal is to attract their attention long enough for them to sign up for your lead magnet. Once you have a list of leads, you can tailor your marketing to them.

(2) Get testimonials for service, not for outcomes.

Lawyers can put on a textbook-perfect case, only to be derailed by unexpected, even bizarre, circumstances. Planners can make wise investment decisions, only to be surprised by an environmental event or a client’s emergency that pulls significant funds from the account. You can’t promise outcomes (and your professional association will complain if you do.)

But most likely you can get testimonials from clients who appreciated your courtesy, empathy, and professionalism. Before hiring you, prospective clients want to know, “Will he return our calls? Will she show up for important dates and remember deadlines?”

Prospective clients often are terrified that you will judge them harshly. Almost everyone has made a bad decision that cost them a lot of money. Almost everyone has done something silly because they were angry, overwhelmed or surprised by a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Financial planning clients worry that you’ll look down on them because you don’t have more money. Some people feel this way even when they have portfolios…

Cathy Goodwin

Create a compelling marketing message that attracts your ideal clients through your unique selling story.