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Easy-Peasy Ways to Inject Personality into Your Copy

purple-pencilAre you having a whole lot of fun writing copy? Does reading your own copy make you say to yourself, “That’s really clever” or “That approach makes me laugh”? If not, then your copy may be broken (or your outlook on writing may be misaligned).

After 20 years’ experience writing adverting copy to businesses and consumers, for some of the world’s largest corporations as well as for solo-preneurs, one thing is crystal clear: The best copy has to be smart and entertaining (and it has to please both the copywriter and reader). That’s why really great copy needs a major dose of personality if it’s going to do a good sales job. Think about what you would rather read…copy featuring a personal lighthearted anecdote or the kind of copy that reads like a phone book or warning label on a medicine bottle?

Take control of your words

John Carlton says, “Many people…insist they have no personality. It’s mostly a symptom of low self-esteem (the most common ailment in society)—of course you have a personality. Everyone does, even if you’re boring as dirt. And here’s the kicker: When you’re writing copy, you can be whoever you choose to be. You’re in control of the words. It’s your game.”

At first, you need a “starter personality”

When you discover the power of personality, I recommend that you try not to get too aggressive. That could backfire and end up offending readers, instead of engaging them. First, get comfortable with using personality in your writing and how to use what you have.

To create your own “starter personality,” simply pay attention to the things that make you human. Are you a plain-talkin’ girl from humble beginnings who made it rich? Have you made every mistake there is to be made, and accidentally stumbled on success? Use that. Get a laugh out of your failures, and shyly admit your success. Share your reader’s skepticism at all things in advertising. Never brag. Never argue. And for heaven’s sake… never bore your reader.

Be brilliant, not bland

“It is sheer lunacy to write bland copy in order to avoid offending some imagined part of your audience,” Carlton goes on to say. “It is brilliant marketing to risk pissing off a few people to get your message across to those who want what you sell. Stop worrying about pleasing people who are not in your target audience. And start obsessing about pleasing the people you’re asking to send you money.”

Sure, sometimes people just write poorly executed copy, lacking any creativity whatsoever. But I’ve found more often than not, it has to do with well-meaning people who’ve gotten it into their heads that in order to create a well optimized website or an email that converts, personality has no place. WRONG!

I’m here to tell you that personality is critical to sales. Emotionally engaging, brilliant copy makes it more memorable, which, according to Jennifer Havice, “…makes it more likely to generate sales… relying on stale and uninspiring copy reduces your chances of tapping into the emotionally based piece of the decision making puzzle.”

A rockin’ personality is music to their ears

Knowing who the people are you want to attract is only the first step. Then, you have to amp up your copy in a whole new way that not only resonates with customers on a personal level, but also makes them like you and feel comfortable enough to buy from you.

If you’ve ever thought accounting and numbers stuff are about as unsexy as it gets, think again! Solamar client Amy Bradbury is an Online Financial Manager who takes her rockin’ personality to a whole new decibel level on her site The Entrepreneur’s Anthem, where she’s described as, “… a WYSIWYG firestarter who loves bad hair bands, daily ice cream, and creating rock-solid systems to keep track of just about anything.”

Who could resist her pitch to, “Crank your profits. Ditch your worry. Rock your biz.”?

Strike gold with your copy

Another Solamar client, Andrea Lee’s Wealthy Thought Leader site is a whole lot of fun, from her mustached photo on the home page to her Midas Touch sales page. She so aptly describes a highly successful entrepreneur with “The Midas Touch” as, “Every product she launches is a smash-hit. Every workshop he designs is sold-out. Every price-point she chooses is right on the money. His client waiting list? Let’s just say .. you’ll be in line till the (next) Mayan Apocalypse.”

How could you resist the temptation to become that person Andrea describes with “The Midas Touch”?

Be cool…and be successful

As writers, we’re all looking for ways to differentiate our products, brands, blogs and copy. Sometimes the answer doesn’t take a humongous marketing breakthrough. It can be as simple as tweaking your style and injecting some personality.

So relax. Have a good time. Be yourself. Go outside your comfort zone. Write fun and cool copy that really sells stuff.

Having fun, being cool, and selling stuff for our clients are what we do best. Give us a shout!