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Today I am diving into the 8th episode in the series called Client Winning Coaching Websites.
Writing smart copy is both an art and science. You’ll be amazed how using these rules will turn you into a significantly better writer. And, you will attract and enroll more coaching clients because your communication speaks to the heart of your ideal clients.
If you want support to write powerful copy for your coaching business, let’s talk. Fill out the questionnaire on my Work with Rhonda page of my website and I’ll be in touch quickly.
I wished I’d had a list of copywriting tips back in the day when I started my coaching business. These rules apply to your:
- benefit statements
- titles, subject lines, headings
- web copy
- show notes for your podcast episodes
- social posts
Copy that’s written with these 5 Rules will be evocative and action inspiring.
Get Your Special Download of the 5 Rules
Download it. Print it out. Keep it next to your desk so that —whenever you write — you’ll apply and ultimately integrate these tools into your writing.
One Copywriting Rule to Rule Them All
Write to attract attention and keep your readers interested.
We live in times where people read a lot less than they used to. So you can’t write the way you used to when you were in school.
Many of the academic rules of writing that you learned in school will not at all help you attract and keep attention these days. Learning how to write compelling copy is partially an unlearning of some of those old rules.
Rule #1 – Specificity Attracts
Specific words and concepts are more attention getting than broad, sweeping, vague or abstract words and concepts.
What I see a lot with coaches is they haven’t yet niched and drilled down their target audience to a narrow, viable target audience. They want to cover all the bases. They want to write in a way that won’t turn off someone.
But trying to turn on everyone means you won’t turn on anyone.
When you target a unique audience, you discover their psychographics through market research. https://prosperouscoach.com/22 You come away with valuable information —specific words and spoken phrases — that drive your target audience to action.
Then use those keywords and phrases in your content. That helps you to boost search engine optimization (SEO).
If you write any kind of copy, I don’t care whether it’s a social post or it’s a blog or its copy on your website, go through it and replace the broad, vague, and abstract words with specifics that are highly relevant to your audience as it relates to your niche.
Rule #2 – Less is More
Writing well is always about making choices.
- Do not try to cover all the bases.
- Don’t attempt to include everything in one sentence, paragraph, article or page on your website!
- Focus in on easy to digest ideas.
Specificity ties in here too, but there are lots of little tips for this rule to guide you.
Keep paragraphs short. No more than four lines deep in order to encourage reading. If people are looking at your website or whatever you’ve written on a mobile device, that four lines deep on a laptop is going to be 16-20 lines deep on a phone.
Use single sentence paragraphs often. Emphasize a point or ask a powerful question.
Reduce prepositional phrases in sentences. The more prepositional phrases you have in a sentence, the more complex it is, which reduces the chances it will be read online.
Prepositional phrases draw a relationship between a noun/pronoun and another word in a sentence. The most common prepositional phrases include one of these words:
De-complicate your writing. Break run on sentences into multiple sentences.
Avoid beginning sentences with it’s, here, and there. Listen to the difference between these two sentences:
There are some bloggers who use filler phrases.
Some bloggers use filler phrases.
The second sentence is more effective. It’s easier to parse the meaning and it uses less characters.
Use adjectives sparingly. Adjectives tend to dumb writing down. In school, we were taught to use lots of adjectives. Go through your copy and pull out the adjectives as much as possible while still keeping the meaning.
Eliminate VERY and REALLY. See how much more powerful the 2nd sentence is below?
It’s a very important to use really powerful verbs.
Use powerful verbs.
Rule #3 – Write to Your Avatar
Your AVATAR is a detailed description of your most ideal client in your target audience.
Describe specific details about their:
- top goals and ultimate desires as it pertains to your niche
- top challenges and pain points as it pertains to their goals and your niche
- background, education, occupation, job title, income
- age, gender, marital status, children, location
- other details about their day to day existence
- buying habits
Again, these are the things you discover through market research.
Write these things down as if they describe one person. Then, when you write, picture your Avatar. Your copy will be more specific and on target.
Develop your Avatar only when you have narrowed to a specific viable target audience and you’re crystal clear about your niche — the urgent problem they have that you help them solve.
Use the word YOU instead of we or they.
Write informally and use contractions often. Less formal is more connective.
Balance authority with vulnerability. When I first started my blog in 2006, authority was the way to go. The current culture prefers vulnerability blended with authority. You’ll capture hearts and minds if you reveal obstacles you’ve overcome.
Use present tense to keep the feeling that you’re with your audience.
Rule #4 – Use Devices That Keep People Reading
Use punctuation strategically. Pick your spots wisely for exclamation points. Don’t use semi-colons. Rarely use colons. Use long dashes for parenthetical phrases that you want to emphasize.
Keep paragraphs short — a maximum of four lines deep — to encourage reading.
Convert lists of information into a lead in phrase followed by bullet points. Bullet points help to pull the eye down the page.
Scan for repetitive words and replace them with a synonym. Repetitive words will bore your readers and stop them from reading.
Rarely use italics or bold type. Use italics only for quoted sentences or questions. Bold is best for headings, subtitles, or rare points of emphasis.
Occasionally, indent a single sentence to make a point stand out.
Add in evocative images now and then.
Use boxes or pull quotes now and then.
Rule #5 – Balance Authority with Vulnerability
You’ll capture hearts and minds if you reveal a bit about your own journey while also sharing how you’ve overcome obstacles and created a system for others.
Share a short personal story from time to time and relate your own challenges or blunders.
Convey your authority about subjects by using the imperative voice in sentences that guide. Start those sentences with a verb.
See the difference in the 2 sentences below?
You’ll want to edit your work.
Edit your work.
Eliminate ‘can’ and ‘will’ wherever possible unless it’s something like: You can do it!
3 Steps to Take Before Your Call Your Copy Done
When you feel you’ve done your best on a draft:
1. Read what you’ve written out loud to catch and correct awkward syntax and other errors.
I might read my copy will out loud 10 times before I publish it in.
2. Challenge yourself to reduce the overall number of words by one third to one half. You will be amazed how much better the copy is when there is less of it.
3. Spell check, check grammar and then proof. Use the spelling and grammar. Spellcheck won’t catch everything, that’s why you proof. (Reading out loud helps enormously.)
Okay, that’s my gold mine of copywriting tips for you accumulated over 20 years. Use them and write better copy, Coach!
In the Next Episode: 2 Mean Habits That Hold Coaches Back
This is about something most coaches are all too familiar with. And it has to stop!