One copywriting question I get a lot is, “Are there some magic “copywriting power words” you can use to jazz up my copy?”
Google “copywriting power words.” You’ll find lots of articles claiming to help you become a stronger wordsmith. You’ll also find dozens (maybe hundreds) of power phrases and headline templates.
Certain words and phrases will punch up your copy. But that’s not where the magic lies.
Steve, an executive coach, has developed a proven method for senior corporate executives to advance their careers by making connections at networking events and using creative techniques on LinkedIn. His brand is all about teaching clients to advance through relationship building, based on his own experience as a corporate vice president of finance.
Steve could begin writing his copy with a list of copywriting power words, such as…
Some will be effective in Steve’s copy; some will actually detract from his message because they’re incongruent with his story archetype, his service, and his audience.
The real magic comes from your story.
Steve worked with many clients who were experiencing conflicts with significant people in their lives. He tells a story about Larry, a finance executive who wanted to pivot to a new job in marketing.
Larry had two challenges. He was a strong introvert who was thoroughly exhausted after a 30-minute networking event. And he was willing to take a pay cut, but not accept a beginner level role.
Steve had developed several ways for introverts to get comfortable reaching out to strangers and creating an emotional spark. And he knew how executives could leverage their background as they moved to a new functional area.
Larry resisted these tips at first, but he realized he had to make significant changes in his mindset in order to reach his new goals.
Steve worked with Larry for several sessions over six months. Recently they met for lunch — Larry’s treat! — to celebrate Larry’s new position as a marketing executive in a new industry, with expectations that he’d reach his previous salary within the next two years.
Your Story Helps You Attract More Ideal Clients
This story belongs to the category I call “success stories.” They’re not about the business owner’s success. They focus on how you, as a service, professional, helped a client get a win.
(1) The story paints a picture of what Steve’s clients want: to create relationships even though they’re introverts. His ideal prospects will say, “I want what they’re having.”
(2) The story convinces Steve’s audience that he can deliver this outcome.
We use this story to create content for marketing.
For instance, a copywriter might create these bullet points:
“how to transform your network contacts from jaded listeners to active advocates, five minutes after the first handshake”
“a 3-step system to help seasoned executives transition smoothly to new industries without starting over “
“how to leverage networking contacts to reach a new industry (even if you’re a lifelong introvert)”
These ideas would contribute to the first draft of a sales letter, landing page, or lead magnet. If Steve were my client, I’d spend much more time learning about him, his clients, his outcomes, and his processes.
Find Your Story Immediately
Most people begin a consultation by saying, “I don’t have a story.” But they generally have at least three stories of “How I helped my client reach success.” Some also have stories to demonstrate, “Why I’m really passionate about helping people solve these kinds of problems.”
It’s amazing how much marketing comes from being able to share your message by telling the right kind of story.
Seriously, do your clients really want to hear about your own journey and your own rags to riches story? They want to know more about you — but only when you answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”
Once you’ve got the story, you can do some wordsmithing to make it more appealing. But the real challenge is to find the story, as quickly as possible, and put it to good use as you write your copy or work with your copywriter.
Remember that, and find your story.
If you’d like to learn more about finding the power story for your own business, check out this free report: From Story To Standout Brand: A 3-Step Blueprint.
My ebook on Amazon, Grow Your Brand One Story At A time, explains the 3 basic types of stories and how to use them in your service-based business.
And when you’re ready to use the power of story-centered marketing, let’s set up a 90-minute consultation. We’ll dig into your marketing, find your story, revise your copy, and pay special attention to any challenge you’re facing right now. Click here to get the whole story and join me for a super-productive 90 minutes.
Originally published at https://cathygoodwin.com on July 4, 2020.