Simple Copywriting – Finding Your Voice
Copywriting is an area that I used to struggle with, it was one of the main things I would spend hours procrastinating over. Having started my working life in a design studio with brilliant and creative writers, and proof readers, I was the brunt of many jokes about my skills in that area.
I believed that I couldn’t write and had nothing interesting to say. This held me back for many years. I eventually worked through my fears (and quashed my inner perfectionist), and found the motivation to start writing.
Working with practitioners, I discovered many suffer from the same writing ‘demons’ as I did. They struggle not only to find topics to write about but also how they should write.
Now, the ideal situation is to hire an amazing copywriter who can bring your ideas to life for your website etc. Unfortunately, most therapists don’t have the budget to do this, so it is down to you to create copy for your business.
I have reviewed many of the lessons I’ve learnt over the years and compiled a list of steps to follow to help you write your copy.
Create a format
By creating frameworks or templates, it makes it simple to work out what you need to include in each piece. You will find they vary slightly depending on what you are writing so your blog post template will be slightly different to your newsletter one.
A few examples you could include are:
- Bullet points (to make it easy to read)
- Call to action – what step do you want your client to take next
- Inspirational quote
- Links to relevant information (blogs, videos, podcasts)
- Feedback from clients
- Dates and events coming up
- Photos or pictures
Brainstorm your topics
Spend 10 minutes writing down all the topics you can think of, that your ideal clients would be interested in reading about. Consider what questions you are frequently asked about – these will provide great topics.
When you’ve finished your brainstorming, circle the top few ideas – you now have your topics. Keep the big list as you can add to this as you are inspired going forward.
Who are you writing to?
Who is your favourite client? Create a character and give them a name (gender, age, profession, where do they live, do they have family etc.).
Now focus on writing directly to them, as if you’re having a chat with them. Don’t worry, this won’t stop others from reading your information, but it will certainly help you to write easily.
Write as you speak
When it comes to building relationships, it is about getting your personality across so start by writing as if you are speaking with your client.
Keep your language really simple and avoid big or technical words which will only confuse your reader.
Just allow yourself to write and don’t get caught up in editing your words it at this point.
Read your piece out loud
This may sound a little mad, but it is a great way to find out if your masterpiece flows, or if it needs some adjustment.
Does it sound like you? Are you using your language and phrases? The idea is to let your personality shine through, and let people get to know ‘you’. Your copy is all about building relationships and showcasing your knowledge and approach.
I would recommend taking a break from your copy before proofreading it. This way you are more likely to pick up any spelling or grammar mistakes. Please don’t rely on spell and grammar check on your computer, it really isn’t good enough!
There are certain things that require extra care, e.g. website copy or a printed leaflet, so ask a friend to proofread it and give you any feedback on things that don’t quite work.
Blog posts are a little more forgiving and free-flowing. If the content is good, people will overlook an occasional miss-spelt word. Your speciality is helping people, not writing copy.
Writing is a skill and the more you practice it, the better (and faster) you will become. I don’t profess to be an expert but I get by and once I got out of my own way, I now quite enjoy the process.
If you struggle with writing your copy, contact me to find out how I can help you.