If you are a small business owner or founder, this post if for you.
It’s for entrepreneurs who went through the thrill and heartache of creating a new business.
It’s for business owners who remember the heady days when it all began.
It’s for the creators who sat down and wrote their own websites and sales copy in preparation for launch day.
If you’re a freelance copywriter or agency, this post is for you too. Use it to review the marketing copy you write for your clients. Or the copy other people wrote before you arrived on the scene.
Let’s get started, and look at those 3 signs your copy needs a detox and cleanse right now.
Sign #1: You no longer recognize the sound of your own voice in your sales copy
When you launched your business, it was probably you or one of your partners who wrote most of your marketing copy.
The copy was fresh and transparent. It attracted new customers because they felt your own enthusiasm for the products or services you were selling.
Your marketing copy was persuasive because it came from the heart.
But today… that authentic enthusiasm is all but gone.
Your sales copy doesn’t even sound like “you” anymore. That original, authentic voice is gone. It has been replaced by a “professional” sales voice.
Don’t think for a moment that your prospects and customers can’t tell the difference. Because they can.
They can sense in an instant whether they’re listening to the voice of a passionate founder, or to carefully constructed and optimized sales copy.
Sign #2: You wonder where all those pushy, aggressive half-truths came from
Those first versions of your sales materials felt conversational and welcoming. It felt like you were writing to a friend. Or talking with a colleague over a latte at your favorite coffee shop.
You used the kind of language one would use in an everyday conversation.
But now… when you look at your sales materials… it feels almost adversarial. You against the reader.
It’s definitely pushy.
Part of you gets it. Your marketing people tell you that the way to maximize sales this quarter is to be more aggressive and insistent with your marketing.
Push for the sale. Harder and more often.
OK… but how does that more aggressive attitude reflect on your brand? On you?
And what about those half-truths that have been creeping into your sales copy?
Is this how you want your company and your brand to sound?
Sign #3: You can’t even remember what your own customers sound like
Ouch. This is a tough one.
Back when you started out, you listened to your customers all the time. You jumped in and helped with customer service whenever you had a spare moment.
Maybe you even shared your personal email address in your emails to both your customers and your prospects.
You heard their voices and concerns. You knew the language they used when talking about your business and your products or services.
You engaged with them.
And that level of engagement was reflected in your marketing copy. You weren’t pushing blunt sales messages AT your audience. You were engaging WITH your audience.
At what point did you stop listening and start spouting one-way pitches from the playbook of high-pressure sales?
A radical detox can do wonders for your brand and actually drive more sales.
Hopefully, not all three of these three signs are setting off alarm bells in your mind right now.
But maybe one or two of them are.
If that is the case, what are you going to do about it?
Step one, I think, is simply to do an audit of all your current sales materials, online and off.
Identify and cut out the most toxic parts.
Replace them with a style of writing that is more open, honest and conversational in its style.
Don’t stop being persuasive. In fact, conversational language can be the most persuasive of all.
But do cut out the pushy, sneaky and only-half-true parts.
Hyped-up copy not only infects your sales messages, but also damages your brand, and undermines the dream that led to the creation of your business in the first place.
Note: If you want to get some professional-grade training in the craft of conversational copywriting, find out about the Conversational Copywriting course here…