A Business Coach’s Guide.
Audacious Enterprise: Consulting/Business Services
The importance of good business copy is undeniable. Often, the moment someone scans your website, thumbs through a brochure or reads one of your blog posts is the moment they make a decision about your business.
Think of it like a courtship. You really need to create a good first impression if you want things to go further. And for that, you’ll need to prepare. If you don’t have at least some idea of who you’ll be talking to, what you want to say and how you want to present; you’ll likely bomb that first date. But, with just a little reflection, you’ll be ready with your best stories and topics of conversation to find common ground, establish connection and maximise your chances of getting a second.
When ‘courting’ potential customers, it is your business copy you’ll rely on for this. And your creative copywriter is your much needed favourite wingman or woman – the one who’ll feed you winner one-liners or jump out to greet your date and let them know just how wonderful you are while you stand back and collect yourself after your nerves have squeezed your brain to a standstill. But remember – while a wingman or woman is there to provide support, it is ultimately up to you to figure out the essentials:
What do I want to offer?
Is this the right kind of person for me?
Are we a good match?
Do I have what they are looking for?
Your creative copywriter wants to help you tell the story of your business, not devise the full game plan.
As any good story teller will tell you, the foundational elements of a complete story are found in the 5W’s and 1H: ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’ and ‘how’? These are the very same elements you should use to hash out the basics of your business strategy.
- Who? Who are your customers? Your creative copywriter needs to know who you are talking to because every story is crafted with an audience in mind. No audience, no show. No customers, no business. Often business owners struggle with this one, believing that really their business is applicable to everyone. I am not going to beat around the bush on this one: it isn’t. Remember: a friend to many, is a friend to none – be clear about who you are, what you stand for and for whom. You want customers who will be loyal to you – be loyal to them.
- What? What does your business do exactly – what customer problem do you solve? You need to get really, and I mean really clear on what difference you are going to make in your customers lives and why they should give a damn about your company as opposed to someone else’s. Armed with this information, your creative copywriter can help your customer understand the unique way in which your products or services are relevant to them.
- Where? Where do you compete? Which industries? Which companies are your main competitors? This is an interesting and extremely important one for your creative copywriter. They’ll have the tricky task of using enough of your industry lingo to show you know what you are doing and most certainly belong there; while simultaneously helping you stand out from the crowd with your own unique parlance.
- When? Your business goals and objectives will let your creative copywriter know your current and future plans so they can tailor your business voice accordingly. For example: are you planning to stay local or aim for global domination in five years? Your creative copywriter will want your copy to last you at least some of the distance as your business grows and evolves, so they need to see where you are headed.
- Why? Your why encompasses your vision and mission. It’s the passion that lights you up and keeps you going when you realise that building a business might be harder than you initially thought. It is the beating heart of your business and the moral of your business story. Your creative copywriter needs to understand and feel your passion so they can make sure it shines through in every sentence. We all know it – passion is magnetic and is ultimately what will attract your date…sorry…customer, to you.
- How? What products or services will you use to solve that problem? Are you crystal clear on what your products or services really are and how you will deliver them? This is a particularly thorny issue in the services industry. Put some good boundaries around just exactly what you do and don’t deliver. Spend your time working this out beforehand. Otherwise your creative copywriter will be working hard to attract your customer but won’t be able to let them know how to seal the deal. Frustrating indeed.
So, if you have engaged a creative copywriter (and I advise you do so, as it is darn near impossible to write your own copy no matter how gifted you are in the word department); do some preparation. Devising a clear and concise business strategy isn’t easy: it can take a little time and a lot of reflection. A good coach or consultant can help you there. Your copywriter’s job – like any good wing…let’s just go for person now shall we – is to quickly, cleverly and convincingly communicate the value of your business and attract your potential customers to learn more – not figure out what your business is about. While many of them are indeed whip-smart and capable of guiding you through the basics of business strategy… wouldn’t you rather be using their time and your dollars to do what they really do best – telling your business story?