“Business owners can’t write persuasive copy.”
Did that statement upset you? Good. Because it’s completely untrue.
Now we’ll be the first to admit that professional copywriters are good at what they do. But if you want killer copy — words that sell and grow your business — you don’t actually need any formal training.
We say that because while the mechanics of writing always allow for fine-tuning, the real power of copy is in the story.
Good storytelling is the key to copy that works. As StoryBrand Certified marketing agency, we believe that wholeheartedly. And we don’t just believe it because Donald Miller says so. It’s backed by science.
A good story does three things:
Captures the imagination of the reader
Connects them to an idea
Encourages them to take action
You can see why you’d want a story at the heartbeat of your copy.
And you don’t have to be an Academy Award-winning screenwriter to tell a good story.
You just need to know a few writing tips.
That’s what we’re offering in this article. Here are five writing tips business owners need for highly-engaging copy.
The Art of Attention
The Empathetic Hook
An Exciting Transformation
A Clear Mission
Writing Tip #1: The Art of Attention
“Are you watching closely?”
Christopher Nolan uses just four words for the opening line of his movie The Prestige. And that’s all he needs. You’re hooked.
That’s because Nolan knows that a simple question can be the best way to grab his audience’s attention.
A question forces you to respond. It grabs your attention, evokes curiosity, and makes you desperate to find out what happens next.
Use this same technique in your writing.
It could be a catchy headline or subheading. A bolded sentence that stands out amongst a block of text. Sometimes, you don’t even need to use any words. You can use … an ellipsis.
Why is this so important? Because once you have someone’s attention they become active participants in the story instead of just passive readers.
Writing Tip #2: The Empathetic Hook
Attention brought your reader into the story, but if you want to keep them there, they have to feel like they have some skin in the game.
This is why empathy is a copywriter’s secret weapon.
Because if you can identify the problems your readers face, they’ll hang on every word.
Author and public speaker, Simon Sinek, describes empathy as, “Being concerned about the person, not their output.”
So prove to them that you understand how they feel. And that you’re not just faking empathy to get to the sale.
Meet your customers where they are and hang out there long enough to start building a relationship with them. Genuinely empathize with how they feel and they’re going to want to hear what you have to say.
Pro Tip: Bake empathy into every portion of your copy. Just because you’re using it as a hook doesn’t mean it should only be used at the beginning.
Writing Tip #3: An Exciting Transformation