02 Jan Why hire a copywriter? (Part 3)
Our third, and final instalment goes like this:
Before I disappeared into the wilderness of nappies and sleep schedules, I worked with people from all types of industries, in all types of contexts. Charities to multinationals, builders to brokers, beyond the wildly different exterior needs of each party, the fundamentals are the same:
Know your audience. If you don’t know who you’re writing for, you have no place writing a single word. How do I know who your audience is and what they want? Well, some of that is many years of training and research, including a university degree to that end. Some of it is well-honed instinct. Some is secret sauce.
Be honest, open and organised. Whether it’s between business colleagues or with customers, you will be far more successful if you operate from a place of transparency. No lies, no tricky sales games, no exclusionary jargon (unless exclusion is your aim, of course. More on that another day). Customers are savvy, and almost always know when you’re bullshitting – do you want to risk having the reputation of being the dodgy guy in your field? Also, if it takes you an age to respond to basic queries from potential customers, don’t expect them to wait around while you get yourself together. Too busy? Good for you! Being open with customers and letting them know you’re swamped is perfectly reasonable. Ignoring them until you’re not is unacceptable. (for more information on email sequencing and templates, contact me)
Consistent brand personality and tone of voice are essential. Knowing what your business does is one thing, presenting it to the world in a coherent, consistent way is not easy to get right, especially if it’s not in your immediate skill set. Have you given your branding the attention it deserves beyond a nice logo? Who are you and what do you stand for? What are you known for? Are you happy about it? How do you express your brand personality to customers and potential customers? Do all your staff do it in the same way? While there’s a place for variation in tone, starting your first interaction to a new investor or client with, G’day” generally isn’t going to score you a lot of brownie points unless you work for ‘Geoff’s Rinky Dinky Di Aussie Crocodile Pie Shop’…
The Fraser Coast itself has a huge number of small business owners slogging it out every day to varying degrees of success. When I moved here in 2013, I was introduced to the concept of, ‘Hervey Bay time’. Basically, the implication was that nobody comes when they say they will, and things will get done when they get done. As I’ve come to work with more and more local businesses, I have been delighted to find that people really do put their hearts and souls into their craft, and that ‘Hervey Bay time’ is perhaps for a cynical few. In saying that, there is a lot of room for development when it comes to communication and the customer experience. We need to give our growing community reasons to shop locally, and not look to the big cities and internationally when we have so many resources and fabulous innovations right at our feet.
Getting the message out to customers about who you are, what you do, and why they should give you their hard-earned money is something I have been doing for a while now. Mostly, it’s about trust and rapport. I know for myself if information is well presented, free from errors and easy to understand I am more likely to engage with, and trust the source. (i.e. if it looks shoddy and flung together, I’ll be keeping my money, thanks) If my coffee comes with a tiny biscuit and the server remembers my name and can come up with some good chat (thanks, Dan, Oscar et al. @ Bean Beat), I will be a customer for life. The rapport is strong. It’s these details that convert enquiries to sales (or a lack of them that loses you business forever).
So experience counts for a lot when it comes to getting the best out of/for your business. Do you know who your target audience is? What do they want? Do you know how you want your communications to sound to that audience? Do your staff know? Do your customers trust you? Are you getting the most out of your business already, or could you do with a hand? If you are on top of it all already, fabulous. I salute you! If you could do with someone who to take the pressure off your already-laden shoulders, I know a guy. Let me help you…