We totally understand DIYing your copy when you first start out in business. It makes sense to write and do everything yourself, for the first few months (or years), before you’re able to invest in outsourcing or having an expert help you! But, we’ve seen a few things happen when people DIY their copy while outsourcing some of the “prettier” branded elements like branded photography, logos, and websites – their message isn’t clear and their copy sounds a bit all over the place.
What happens when your visuals look stunning but your copy sounds like a mess?
People get confused.
You get confused.
Potential clients are confused and don’t know what you’re saying or getting at!
If you decide to outsource to an expert copywriter, we’d love to help you with that! But, if you want to go the DIY route – we’ve got 3 big tips for you for mistakes with DIY copy to make sure your message is clear, without too much fluff and lots of confusion.
*PRO TIP: If you’re new to business (ie: 6months – 1 year), we actually recommend you DIY your copy first, before hiring an expert to help you.
1. “I” vs. “You” / “Me” vs. “We”
Ah, one of the BIGGEST mistakes we’ve seen is when businesses use the pronoun “I” all over their website copy. This also includes any variations like “My, Mine, Me, etc”. For example…
- “My favorite thing about photography is…”
- “I love long walks on the beach and candlelit dinners…”
- “What made me fall in love with travel was…”
While these phrases are all great and can be added throughout the website copy to paint a picture, create a story, or connect the dots between you and your ideal clients – if that’s all we’re reading throughout the pages, WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT.
Let’s take it to the “About Me” page where we see this mistake quite often.
A lot of people say that an “About Me” (or an “About Us” if you’re a company) page needs to focus on your target audience, not on you or the company. We agree with that sentiment, but we also disagree with it, as well.
To us, an “About Me” (or an “About Us”) is THE page on your website to really connect with your audience, build the first step of trust, and share why you’re qualified to do the work and how you bring value into their lives.
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This is where we agree with the people that say an “About Me” page should be written for your target audience. When you get to share and connect with them and build a sense of trust and friendship.
Where we don’t agree is an “About Me” needs to be ALL about them! Using storytelling in your website copy to connect the dots between what your audience wants and what YOU can provide, have gone through, etc. is one of the key factors in how we create our copy. Build the connection FIRST, then you can ask for the sale.
*PRO TIP: Read through your website copy (on all pages) and see where you can remove “I, Me, My, Mine, Me, etc.” and replace it with “You, You’re, Yours, etc.” to connect back to your audience.
2. No “Call to Action”
We’ve seen that businesses (big and small) and entrepreneurs forget about the “Call to Action” on certain pages. The obvious call to actions are:
But there are other “Call to Actions” (CTAs) that can be used to build more trust with your audience!
We’ve worked with a few businesses that came to us with DIY website copy that needed a refresh. When we read through their copy we noticed that they forgot to add CTAs to guide their readers throughout each page, or ask them to sign-up for more information, or even to schedule a call. Many times, their website copy included an invitation to get in contact, but no “buttons” leading readers to where to go.
*PRO TIP: People are lazy. We hate searching for information if it can be provided to us easily.
For example, take this text from a well-known hospitality company in Madrid. (Disclaimer: the website is in Spanish).
In this text, they talk about their unique venue space for events. In the second paragraph, they appeal to “foodie” entrepreneurs or businesses who could be looking for a space to rent for an event, workshop, press release, etc. At the end of the paragraph, they write that they’re open to ideas and to please contact them.
The mistake – they didn’t add a “button” or any CTA to make it easier for the reader to contact about hosting an event or workshop. I actually needed to scroll through the other pages and see if there was a specific contact email for an events coordinator or if I needed to use the general contact form on a separate page.
Add your CTAs appropriately to guide readers to where you’d like them next!
3. Random facts vs. Storytelling
“Marketing experts” have been telling us to…
- SHARE RANDOM FACTS ABOUT YOU!
- Get vulnerable!
- Be honest and open!
- Share funny stories!
This really translates to “find a connection point between you and your ideal audience”! This can mean sharing your beliefs, your values, your “why”, or likes/dislikes to connect with them on an emotional level and building trust.
What this DOESN’T mean is spewing out random facts that you think are funny, actually completely random, or have nothing to do with what your audience actually cares about.
Another big mistake we’ve seen is the difference between random facts vs. storytelling.
Random facts are (plain and simple) facts that are completely random and don’t have anything to do with your journey, your business, how your team runs, etc. They’re just random facts that are kind of useless!
*PRO TIP: There is a time and place for random facts! Using them on social media is a great way to engage your audience. Using random facts on your website copy is confusing.
Storytelling, on the other hand, is understanding your journey as a business owner, entrepreneur, CEO, etc. or the company’s journey to launch. After understanding the specific and unique journey that took you from idea to conception and then launch, you can relate it back to where your audience is and connect with them on a personal level!
Choosing random facts to add to your website copy (besides appropriately telling a story) is confusing to the audience and ends up making the website copy a complete mess. Instead, work through your story AND message to pick and choose pieces that you want to show and tell that can really connect with who your audience is and where they are.
Example from The Quirky Pineapple Studio About page:
If you’re opting for the DIY route with your website copy – make sure to avoid these three mistakes:
- Too much about you, and not enough connecting points BACK to your audience
- No Call to Actions to guide your audience to the next step
- Random facts thrown in everywhere that don’t make sense
If you’re ready to outsource your website copy to wordsmith experts, we can help you with that!
Schedule a Clarity Call to learn about our packages and how we can refresh your website copy to connect more with your audience, turning them into loyal clients!
Your turn, what are some mistakes you’ve committed in your website copy or have seen in others! Share them below!
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