Amy Harrison is a copywriting superstar on page and on screen with her weekly AmyTV series. She helps business owners stand out by writing marketing copy that really sells what they do through her sites, Write With Influence and Harrisonamy Copywriting.
Amy recently checked in to offer advice on writing better sales copy. Here’s what she had to say:
What is your unique approach to content writing?
I’m always looking for the story that’s been missed. Too often businesses miss the gold that is right under their noses. They’re too close to their product and their marketing has moved further and further away from what customers are actually interested in. I’m looking to reignite that excitement and wonder by telling the story my client’s competitors are missing.
What are the most common problems your clients come to you with?
They need copy that sells but sounds credible. Companies are understandably afraid of the cheesy copywriting that has been around the internet for a while. I have a number of high-profile clients from global social networks to best-selling authors. They all want to make sales and connect with their clients while keeping their integrity intact.
What are the biggest copywriting mistakes you see brands making?
Missing the mark of what the customer wants. And also underselling themselves by using ambiguous or vague terms. If your new product is amazing, I work hard to dig down and prove why it’s amazing so you don’t just have empty-sounding promises, you have persuasive copy.
What are some good habits effective copywriters need to develop?
You have to be a detective. The right question can open up a golden avenue for your copywriting.
Recently, a client made an innocuous remark about a common question they were getting about his workshops. He didn’t think it was important but asking for more details I discovered this was a question he was getting at least once a week by email. That means instead of booking online, those customers are pausing, hesitant and some won’t bother to find out more, they’ll just click away. So I made sure that information was obvious on the booking form to increase confidence and reduce friction in the buying process.
What advice do you find yourself repeating over and over?
More details. More research. In workshops, attendees sometimes feel uncomfortable because they’re making a lot of notes. You have to break this discomfort. More detail in the research phase is essential.
Nothing is necessary. That comes at the editing stage. What people don’t realize is that writing great copy comes from having a mountain of notes. If you don’t have a lot of research notes you will write bland, invisible copy, and say what everyone else is saying in your industry.
How do you coach businesses on creating and sharing a story about their brand?
Focusing on the customer’s journey. What is their life transformation? What were they struggling with before that disappears when a company gets involved?
The customer story is an adventure and I want companies to be invested in telling the story of that adventure, rather than just telling the story of the product.
With the advent of digital media, how has the way brands tell stories changed?
You have more avenues to share your story, you can share it more immediately but you also have to compete with a lot of noise so you need to be doing something different and stand-out.
What brands do you think are most effective at sharing their brand story? What can we learn from them?
Innocent in the U.K. is excellent at telling their company story and ethos around their smoothies and Apple have always been able to tell the story of customer adventure.
Connect with Amy on Twitter.
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