Oh don’t use big words. They mean so little.
– Oscar Wilde
You don’t have to be a sales or marketing professional to need great website copy. Every website needs great copy. What is the first thing you notice when you go to a website? The Landing page, a.k.a. page one right? Images and words. Are you intrigued enough to read on? Will you click through to Services? The About Page? Will you sign up for the Opt-In?
That’s the hook. At that point, you have made a connection with that Web Designer or Business Consultant or Social Media Manager. Opting-in says: “I want more, I’m a prospect.” A Landing page’s first words and images, in seconds, get you a prospect, client, or passed on by.
What do you want people to do when they land on your website?
Don’t answer that. I already know. You want them to stay there, to engage. You want to keep prospects on your Landing page long enough to convert them to clients.
Here are five surefire ways to stick the Landing page.
#1: Know Your Target Audience
You don’t have to be all things to all people. No one can do that. Not even you. Nope. And, that’s OK. Know your target audience and use their language. Design your website and sales copy accordingly. Are you a web designer in the fashion industry? If so, have your photos, and copy reflect that style. On the other hand, if you design web sites for accounting firms, you will have a very different web-vibe. Assess your copy now. Are you on target?
#2: Why You and Not the Other Dude?
Be able to answer these questions, right out of the chute:
Why you? What makes your product or service better than any other? What makes you someone they want to work with? What is your “extra special thing?”
Your prospects are busy and bombarded with choice. Show how you’re different, better, their best choice, and do it fast before they get distracted.
When I picked the photographer for my website, I first had a personal referral, but I noticed her Landing Page. It was as if she knew me, and in fact we are now great friends. I looked at five or six other sites, and kept coming back to her. It was intangible, but I knew.
#3: Be a Unicorn
Stand out. Convince them of #2, but go beyond. You have something—I’m sure you do—that your competition does not or will not offer. Write about yourself in a way that no one else does. Don’t regurgitate the Wikipedia definition of a “Social Media Manager.” What’s your special brilliance, why are you passionate about your work? How will you blow them away, and be one in a million? My photographer, talked about her work with passion, and described the photo shoot with joy. I knew I had made the right choice. Some of the things she had me do seemed odd, “Pretend I just said something hilarious and you’ll really start to laugh.” She’s nuts, I thought. But, it worked. We were both cracking up. I didn’t even realize she was snapping pics. Be a unicorn.
#4: Be Strong and Specific of Voice
I am assertive, that’s what I’m told. And, it’s true. I’m good with that. I say what I think, what I want, and what I need. I don’t always get it, and I sometimes piss people off, but you always know where I stand. There is strength in that, and no confusion. I’m not for everyone, and I’m good with that too. When I say specific, I mean it. Don’t find the most difficult to pronounce word to say “great.” Or the most obscure word that means “powerful.” Use active, strong words, but don’t pay $200 a pop. We know you’re smart. Don’t show off.
Your copy voice must be strong, confident, and clear. Headlines, subheads and body copy are no place for words like maybe, hope, wish, try, and strive. Do you want to hire someone who will “try” to get you more clients? I don’t. You will get them more clients. You get results.
And finally . . .
#5: Pictures, please
While not about copywriting, pictures are key for a Landing page. Photo shoots can be pricey, or not. Wait for it . . . I’m about to use a cliché: it takes money to make money. Invest in yourself. Do you want to look like you slapped together a collage and uploaded pics from your iPhone? If so, you will not attract clients or you will attract those who expect to pay accordingly, i.e., very little. This is your personal brand. That includes photos. You don’t need Annie Leibovitz. For under $200, you can hire a great photographer. You want to look professional and in sync with your written message. You are the product. That includes your look.
If you pitch yourself as professional, a straight shooter with years of experience in online scheduling and administration, but your picture shows you in jeans and a t-shirt, you will never get a single click. Your website is your first interview. Would you show up to an interview in a concert t-shirt? Don’t put selfies on your website.
Do these five things and you will nail it on your Landing page—now go get some clients. Go!