Three Cs of Copywriting

The Three C's of CopywritingAs creative entrepreneurs and business owners one of the most important tools you have in offering your programs, products or services is the copy you use to communicate your marketing message. (NOTE: To avoid repetition, I’ll refer to “programs, products or services” as “products” throughout this post).

To ensure you create a magnetic message that resonates with your ideal client here are three Cs of copywriting to guide you along a successful path.

I. Clarity – 3 things you should get clear on BEFORE you begin to write.

1. Know your product. What is it physically and functionally? What is your goal with your product (i.e., sell more, gain name recognition, build your brand, etc.)? What’s the single strong benefit – the benefit that harnesses the greatest selling power?

How will you tap into your prospects’ emotions and “knock their socks off?” To do this, you need to know what problem/challenge/issue your product solves for them. Are they:

  • Stressed out about past due bills they can’t pay?
  • Frustrated with their job, their boss, or co-workers?
  • Frightened because they lost a job and can’t find a new one?

2. Know your audience. Understand the demographics (i.e., age, career, income, marital status, etc.), but don’t forget the psychographics such as:

  • What are their lifestyles like?
  • Is family important to them?
  • Are they cramped for time?
  • Do they prefer to dine out or stay at home and cook?
  • What motivates your audience? What keeps them up at night?

When you know the answers to questions like these you can then feel confident about offering a solution that your product delivers to make their lives easier.

3. What’s your message? How do you help your prospects/customers? What do they get or gain by using your product? Is there an obstacle or barrier that delays them from getting what they want? And, what are the benefits or results they gain from using your product?

When you answer these 4 questions, you’ll have the “bones” of your message. Then, you can review and fine tune (sometimes repeatedly) till you have a magnetic message that resonates with your audience.

For instance, “I help heart-centered independent business professionals communicate their message in a way that captivates and converts their prospects into loyal, raving fans even if they have been struggling to transform their ideas into words in the past. SO THAT they can attract new clients, SO THAT they can have a better income, SO THAT they can create the freedom-based lifestyle they’ve been dream of… (Notice that the “SO THAT” portion can continue on with benefits/results).

II. Connect – 3 things to do WHEN writing.

1. Begin with the concerns of your reader. Tell him/her “what’s in it for me?” (WIIFM). Highlight benefits not features. As a writer, create a picture in your mind of your ideal customer – their lifestyle, their wants/needs, their pains or frustrations. Then, connect with them by identifying with them, put yourself in their shoes and write. When you do, your words will resonate with your readers and convert them into buyers.

2. KISS your prospects (keep it simple sweetheart). Write as if your prospect is sitting across the table from you and you’re having a conversation. When you have a conversation you pause, create those pauses in your writing with punctuation. Use short simple sentences, Be personal, use the word “YOU” (meaning your prospect/customer vs. “WE”).

3. Put emotion into your copy. Think about what you’re offering and start from that place deep inside you that really wants to connect with and help others. As you write, feel what it is you want to convey, let emotions come out. When you’re moved, you’ll move your reader. You know you’re good at what you do, so own your brilliance, share it and let your radiant light shine through in your copy.

III. Captivate – 3 mistakes people make WHEN they are writing.

1. Their copy starts with the product instead of with the prospect. Customers don’t buy products; they buy what the products do for them (i.e., benefits). They won’t be captivated by “buy this gym membership,” but let them know what the gym membership does FOR them and you’ll grab their attention.

2. Don’t leave out the big idea. This mistake is the absence of a big idea also known as a unique selling proposition (USP). Remember that people respond to any given proposition for one of 2 reasons:
a) To gain something they do not have or
b) To avoid losing something they now possess.
For instance, people want to either make or save money or avoid losing it. If your big idea strikes a chord with your prospects, you’ll captivate and compel them to take action.

3. FORGETTING A CALL TO ACTION. You’ve grabbed your prospects’ attention with your headline and your copy has been captivating and engaging, but now it’s time for them to respond. The last step in any promotion should be a call for action.

Often, my phone rings (or I receive an email) and the person on the other end is asking me if I’d review their website. He/she says something like, “I paid a lot of money to have a website created & I loved the design. However, time has gone by and I haven’t had any inquiries . . . responses . . . sales.” As a copywriter, I go to the site and am surprised by what I see or I should say, what I don’t see. One major aspect that is missing is the CALL TO ACTION. And, I don’t mean on one page. I mean a call to action on all the pages.

It may sound obvious, but it is vital that you tell your readers what it is you want them to do. Should they send for more information? Should they call or e-mail you? Do you want them to register online? TELL THEM.

Now that you’ve read about the three Cs of copywriting, go back and review your content. Whether you’re working on a sales page, a brochure or an email marketing message, apply these pointers: Be clear, connect and captivate. Here’s to your sweet success.