Entries from December 2008 ↓

Spice Up Your Copywriting and ‘Tell ‘em what they want, what they really, really want.’

Weren’t the Spice Girls ‘pop-tastic’?

OK, they weren’t to everyone’s taste, but they were right about telling people what they want.

Confused? Read on, I promise it will all become clear.

If you have been involved in the making of a product or service, you probably think it is the best thing since sliced bread. You have nurtured it from the initial brain storming sessions through to its infancy. You were there smoothing out the troublesome teenage problems until a fully matured product emerged. In fact you are so close to it, all you can see are its features and that will be all you want to talk about.

I’m not saying that’s a bad thing because we all want to know what something can do. But to produce great copywriting you must understand that what the potential reader/buyer wants to know is how it is going to benefit them. What is it going to do for them? Why should they spend their hard earned cash on your particular product or service?

For example, you have made a pair of football boots, your sales copy reads like this:

–         They are made from a unique leather

–         They have titanium tipped studs

–         The come in a range of colours

–         They mould to your foot

What is your reader going to think? Shall I tell you? They’ll say ‘so what?’ turn over the page and start reading the latest celebrity gossip.

Now if you sold them on the basis that by wearing your football boots your customer would become a better football player, that is a benefit. The features will help your buyer rationalise their buying decision but it is the benefit that will get him to pull his wallet out.

You see, I told you those Spice Girls knew a thing or two about freelance copywriting. Just remember, if you want your readers to buy ‘tell ‘em what they want, what they really want.’

Copywriting for B2B or B2C – Is There a Difference?

This is a question that often divides people in the copywriting world.

Is there really a difference when writing directly to the public or to a business? Should you as a copywriter adopt a different approach?

Well, this blog is going to highlight my own particular view. It is a standpoint I have taken whenever I have been commissioned to provide copywriting services for my clients. It has always stood me in good stead – but each to their own: once you have read this, you can make up your own mind.

In my view B2B (business to business) sales writing should be treated in the same was as B2C (business to customer). Why should it be different?

  • Can a company physically buy something?
  • Can a company actually meet you at the coffee shop round the corner?
  • Can a company sit down at a table and sign a contract?

Of course not therefore you are writing to individuals, normal human beings within a company. No matter how high up the ladder they are, they are normal, walking, talking and breathing people. So why treat them differently?

There are 4 golden rules to follow in B2B sales writing, stick to these and you’ll be worshiped the world over.

  1. Keep it brief – you are writing to people at work so they will be time limited.
  2. Business people are human – they also make decisions partially for personal reasons (more profits equal bigger salaries etc). Tap into reason and emotion for the best results.
  3. You are writing to sell, so sell benefits – buy this and you’ll save money, save time, make bigger profits, reduce staff turnover, and improve productivity.
  4. There is no language called B2Bish – keep it plain and simple; steer clear of cliché and jargon.

Well, that’s my opinion for what it’s worth. I am sure you have your own views on this particular conundrum so why not share them? How do you approach B2B and B2C?

Sally Ormond