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Over the last few months, I’ve been fine-tuning a new service offering: testing it out on beta clients, ironing out all the kinks, and creating a well-oiled process I feel confident about.
So when it came time to write the sales page copy, I thought I had all the pieces I needed: WHAT it is, WHO it’s for, HOW it works and testimonials from happy clients.
Because I know a sales page can make or break it for you–deciding whether somebody will say YES! or meh, no thanks, I shared my new page with a business colleague to get her opinion. It went something like this:
“Oooh, it looks great!”
[scrolling further] “Cool, cool, nice…”
[scrolling to the end where I discuss the details and price] “Uh, ya lost me.”
My colleague was in-the-know about my new service. She knew how valuable it was, and the transformation my clients would get if they worked with me.
“You’re helping people get more fulfillment and joy in their business, where’s that story? You’re giving them a roadmap to make more profit, I don’t see that either! I just see bulleted lists of things I don’t understand. You need to work on this.”
See, when I write copy for my clients it isn’t this way. I can always see the gaps–the places where they play it safe and fail to let people know the value of working with them. When you’re not emotionally attached to it, it’s easy.
But when you’re writing your own copy? That’s a whole other ball of wax. (What is a ball of wax, anyway?)
As I listened to her criticism, I instantly realized she was right. I said,
“Why? Why do we sell ourselves short?!”
Because when I’m giving her feedback, it goes the same way. She’s a brilliant copywriter and marketer but when it comes to her own stuff, she lets herself down.
Confidence in your offer is paramount to writing effective sales copy, and even though we think we’re confident, we can’t always see things from our customer’s perspective. We’re in our own heads, expecting them to fill in the gaps we’re not brave enough to. They’re just not gonna do that.
In order for them to know how great you are, you have to tell them in no uncertain terms, with confidence that you’re going to back up your claims and promises.
Because you will, right?
People tend to either (way, way, way) undersell themselves or they make hyped-up false promises they can’t deliver on. Which one are you? MmmHmmm, I thought so.
Chances are you’re leaving gaps in your story because you’re afraid to put it out there in a much bigger way.
So anyway. Then my colleague said something immensely helpful and this is the trick I want to share with you: “Just pretend you’re writing it for me.”
Write it as if it’s for someone else
Humans are complicated creatures. When it comes to marketing ourselves, it’s very difficult to clear out all the stories we tell ourselves: “I’ll be exposed as the fraud that I am if I really put it out there” and “I am not enough.”
But if we don’t, we’ll sell it quietly rather than boldly and confidently. All of those potential clients out there reading your copy–they want to trust you. They want to feel like they’re in good, competent hands. And they aren’t going to get that feeling if you don’t trust yourself enough to tell them they should.
My challenge to you the next time you need to write copy for your services page or a sales page is to pretend you’re writing it for someone else. Someone you admire, someone you want to succeed, someone you have faith in.
This removes your ego from the process so you can see it from the customer’s perspective. And hopefully, reading it back to yourself, you’ll achieve a whole new level of confidence in the way you present yourself and your offers to the world.
(BONUS TIP: Get yourself a business bestie to run these things past, not someone who’ll just tell you what a great job you’re doing, but someone who will tell you when you’re being a wimp and help you make it even BETTER!)
What do you think? Does this ring true? Are you going to try this trick out? Let me know in comments!
Taughnee Stone is an award-winning designer, brand strategist, and location-independent business owner for over 15 years. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, she now lives in Croatia with her husband, energetic Samoyed, and three bossy cats.