Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Copywriting to promote yourself 5 ways

Monica, a very competent businesswoman, was explaining her new website.

“The headline will be my slogan,” she said confidently. “You know: the part that goes, ‘More impact when you speak, every time.’”

Ouch! Definitely not the way to go.

Naturally I’ve disguised the details but Monica’s not unusual. You’ve got at least 5 ways to brag – all different.

(1) Your slogan usually appears near your logo on your website, on your business card and (often) in your elevator speech.

Your slogan should reflect the benefits you offer your clients, not your own uniqueness. I once saw a slogan on a truck, “We know everything about lumber.” My response: “So…why should I care?”

Better: “We use wood to make your home look beautiful.”

Ali Brown’s “Boost business with your own ezine” does the job.
So does Michael Port’s, “The guy to call when you’re tired of thinking small.”

I’ve used “Promotion with professionalism” and, “If your website isn’t making money while you sleep, we need to talk.” My current career slogan: “From career breakdown to career breakthrough.”

(2) Resource box statement. When you send out articles to promote your business, you need a short signature block – 5 to 7 lines – to conclude your article. You’ll need a brief sentence summarizing your uniqueness, such as: “Mary Jones helps high-earning professionals lose their credit card debt and gain financial security in six months or less.”

Some professionals opt for a simpler version: “Bob Smith helped over 200 authors publicize their books to increase sales” or even, “Jane Doe has been helping corporate executives manage their careers since 1992.”

I recommend a sentence rather than a phrase because resource boxes get chopped when your article gets published.

The expert here is of course Alexandria Brown the Ezine Queen.

(3) Irresistible freebie.

To motivate website visitors to sign up for your ezine, ecourse or podcast, you need a gift they can’t wait to download. Go for broke with this one: if it feels over the top to you, it’s probably just right for your readers.

Typical titles refer to a number of critical or essential tips. “Secrets” sounds corny but it still works. I’ve had considerable success with “7 best-kept secrets of client attracting copy.” Others might be “How to avoid the 5 deadly mistakes made by career changers.”

Tip: I encourage my copy clients to begin a website copywriting project with the freebie. It’s a good way to get in touch with your clients’ pain.

(4) Headline.

Your home page needs a killer headline that motivates readers to keep reading. We could spend a whole article on this topic – in fact, whole books have been written about headlines.
Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero wrote: "Copywriting: The Secret Weapon Your Competitors Hope You Never Figure Out How to Use!" Learn more!

(5) Elevator speech.

Designing an elevator speech resembles creating copy for your website: you focus on the target and demonstrate your benefits. A new book on elevator speeches that’s worth a look. The author lives here in Seattle and I’ve heard her speak:
Give Your Elevator Speech A Lift

I don’t recommend trying to economize on promotion by using the same concept for all 5 bragging opportunities, although you’ll find this formula applied successfully to packaged goods marketing. Purina Pet Foods has a wonderful trademarked slogan, “Your Pet, Our PassionTM.” They use it on everything from their website to ads. We’re different.

Autor: Cathy Goodwin

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