Trust me: it’s all about the writing. While good design is important for drawing visitors in, great copy is what turns them into new clients.
And I’m about to share one of the biggest secrets of marketing:
You don’t have to be a great writer to sell yourself or your products. All you need are some magic formulas.
No, really. Follow these and you’ll be fielding inquiries in no time.
Here are the best strategies to write copy about your services:
Solve a Problem
Why should your customers care about what you have to offer? This should be the foundational question you turn to for everything you write about your business.
Remember that your marketing materials — yes, that includes your website, social media, and general online presence — are for your customers, not for you.
The easiest way to do this is to write from a “you” perspective (ie. second person). Follow up facts about yourself with why they should care by using “because” or “that means.” To borrow an example from my own website:
“I’ve spent the last decade in the pet industry, including covering the industry as a journalist, teaching pet dog training classes at a local dog training school, and competing in dog sports with my own dogs. That means I understand what the terminology you use actually means and can help you translate those ideas into words the average dog owner understands.”
Remember that business storytelling is all about getting your clients to see themselves as the main characters of your story. Try putting yourself in their shoes and seeing yourself through their eyes.
And every good story has a problem and solution; in this case, your business is the solution. But what’s the problem, and how can you fix it for them?
Here’s where my favorite formula comes into play as you write copy about your services:
Dream. Nightmare. Fix.
Memorize these three words and you’ll never have to wonder how to write another email, social media post, or piece of website content again.
In this formula, you begin with a dream scenario:
“Imagine you’re relaxing on a beach, cocktail in hand and your beloved pup stretched out on the warm sand beside you. You’ve been waiting all year for this vacation, and it’s finally time to relax. Families around you are enjoying themselves too: throwing frisbees and playing music while children run around and giggle loudly, and other dogs chase them and bark up a storm.”
Then comes the nightmare:
“But with your busy schedule, the dream of a relaxing vacation with your pet is far from reality — You haven’t gotten around to training them to ignore other dogs and loud kids. Just the thought of being in that scenario is making you anxious; what if they start barking, or worse — What if they bite another dog?”
And just like Prince Charming, you swoop in to save the day with a fix:
“Luckily, with my virtual, round-the-clock obedience training courses, you can learn at your own pace from the comfort of your home! In no time, I’ll have your pup ready to deal with any situation they might encounter. You’ll be packing your bags for the vacation of your dreams before you know it.”
This formula is magical because it instantly makes the reader a character in your story. Not only that, but you’re offering them a way to see themselves out of their problem and into their dream scenario. And it all happens if they work with you.
I also love this formula because you can tinker with the order; nightmares can go first, followed by dream and fix. I’d bet you could come up with creative ways to put the fix first or in the middle, too!
Focus on Benefits, not Features
This is a mainstay of marketing: Show, don’t tell.
“Telling” means listing all the features of what you offer. “Showing” means being descriptive with what those features can do for the person buying the product or service, ie. the benefits.
A benefit answers the question: “What’s in it for me?”
Maybe what you want to sell is positive reinforcement training. But what your customer wants to buy is the ability to enjoy going for a walk with their dog.
When writing copy about your services, make sure you’re thinking through to that final product. If a client can see that you know what they’re actually looking for, it establishes trust right off the bat.
Don’t Forget the All-Important Call to Action
I’ve said it time and time again (that’s how important this is!): Always include a call to action. For everything you write.
Every page of your website should have a purpose, and that purpose should include a step you want the customer to take next.
And you should make that next step explicit.
After reading about you on the about page, maybe you want to lead them over to your services page. Include a link for that. Make it so they can’t possibly miss it.
After reading about services, you probably want them to hire you, so make sure that’s easy to do from there. Maybe you want to give them the ability to contact you if they have questions. Make that option easy to find.
Imagine you’re holding someone’s hand and guiding them through your website. What wording do you need to include to do so? Where do you need to include links, buttons, or contact information?
Don’t ever make someone guess what you want them to do next. They’re not going to! In all likelihood, they’ll just walk away.
Learn More Formulas
Once you’ve mastered these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to selling like a pro.
And the great news is, there are plenty of formulas you can follow to craft excellent copy to keep selling your services. In fact, here’s a whole list of proven ones to dig into.
Once you try a couple of these, I’d love to hear about your favorites! Which formulas worked to get you new clients? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!