Green Light Copywriting is 13! 32 days ago
It’s been 13 years since Green Light Copywriting was first created! A lot has happened in that time. Not just in copywriting, content and marketing but in the business itself. I’ve written about everything from logistics to biscuits. I’ve had clients buy me laptops, I’ve had business meetings in IKEA (not my idea) and late Sunday night texts from business-owners in urgent need of words. It’s still an adventure after all this time. So, thank you to my clients and friends for continuing to make it interesting and for all your loyalty and support! Couldn’t have got to 13 without you!
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, August 2016
Holidays, time away, staff off… summer stretches ahead of us! At first glance, the season of breaks and uncertain sunshine may not seem like the right time to review your marketing content or copywriting strategy. But there are actually some great reasons why now is the perfect time of year to do just that!
1. Clients away?
Clients gone quiet? No wonder, with work holidays, school holidays and people taking time off pursue their passion for llama racing. Make the most of it and look at what’s working (and what’s not) for your communications! This is also a great opportunity to set new approaches in action. While your clients are off, you can start putting your new improved communications plan into place!
2. Left behind by Mobilegeddon?
Were you too busy to prepare for Mobilegeddon? Now that the rumblings of worry about Google’s algorithm changes are dying away, this is a great time to look at what you’re planning to do with your website. As this post wisely points out, Mobilegeddon is a sign of things to come rather than just being a one-off phenomenon. So there’s all the more reason to use this summer as a valuable time for updating your content.
3. Ready for a break?
This may well be holiday season for a lot of people, but the next season is only just around the corner. Now is the ideal stage to get ahead with a review of your marketing content so that everything’s set up once the “new term” starts. Can you believe that we’re already halfway through the year? Content-wise, what has really worked for your business so far? How can you make the most of successful approaches and adapt the ones that just aren’t winning the response you want?
4. Quiet news season?
Is this a quiet news month for you? Why not take this time to look at your content strategy rather than at the detail and identify new ways to reach your customers? One example of this is spending a little less time on your regular blog and considering how to make more of all of your blog content through email marketing and social media. A quiet time for news can be a great time to look at your long-term plans. So sit back, relax and start seeing even more potential in your marketing content!
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, August 2016
Your business content: cost or kerching? 61 days ago
Thinking about what you’d like to achieve with your content once the summer holidays are over? Whether it’s more business, more profile or better productivity, it might surprise you to learn that your copywriting approach can actively help drive all these goals. Here are just ten reasons why great business content can mean “Kerching!” rather than cost:
1. Showcase yourself as the expert
Who wouldn’t want to be seen as an expert or thought leader in their industry? But this isn’t about ego (unless you want it to be). This is about your copywriting approach adding value to your business by actively highlighting you as a credible figure in your chosen field. The growth of social media makes this even easier to achieve. Create more value from your copywriting by developing content that showcases your specialist knowledge – and how it can help people. Share insights and tips from your own experience to see a positive impact on your business and your profile.
2. Sell before you sell
Where’s the company that wouldn’t like to sell a little or a lot more? Yet many companies are still missing out on the value they can gain from a strategic copywriting approach. Content is often pushed out reactively rather than being linked with what a company wants to achieve and how it works its sales cycle. But it’s not only with the bigger picture that companies overlook the potential value of the copywriting process. They also forget the value in the finer detail – the actual messages they’re sending out to potential customers.
3. Inform and inspire your employees
Copywriting can help inspire your employees as well as your potential customers. When it’s done right, you can apply a copywriting approach that connects with your entire team, whether you have a workforce of 7 or 17,000. This means using content within your communications to reach out more effectively to your employees. While for larger companies this could be an employee intranet, for smaller businesses, it might be about involving your team with the development of a new brochure or the creation of a community site. The secret is to find ways to strategically involve your employees.
4. Cash in on the content revolution
You may have noticed that there are some very interesting things going on right now around content marketing. Within just a few years, Twitter, Facebook and blogging etc have become part of everyday life. They, along with the internet, have helped to create a world where content is packed with potential value for businesses. Match your copywriting approach with a strategy that can help to draw in more business and cut down the time you have to spend on chasing new leads.
5. Define yourself as the best choice
It’s tough getting heard in the herd. Use the copywriting process to clarify what it is that makes you the best choice for your customers. This will add value to your whole approach and how you connect with people. By asking yourself what differentiates you from the rest and why this matters to customers, you can create a stronger approach, both in and outside of your communications. The copywriting process can provide valuable thinking time to identify what makes you the best choice.
6. Connect better with customers
Copywriting is often overlooked as a value creator. But what’s more valuable than connecting with your customers? Done right, your copy can help you create more meaningful relationships with your customers and keep them coming back to you. Instead of simply creating content around selling yourself, add value by providing content that answers your potential customer’s questions. Plan your copywriting process around the kinds of issues that affect your existing and potential customers. Provide answers and feedback to their business problems. You’ll have connected better with them and gained even more value from your copywriting approach.
7. Thrive in times of change
Change is a fact of (business) life. Used right, your approach to your copy can strengthen your business in times of transition. It can achieve this in several ways. One is that you can use your copywriting approach to fine-tune the detail of a change – whether it’s a shift in what you offer or the creation of something entirely new. Another way is to use your content to keep your employees and your customers in touch with what’s happening and nurture them through that tricky period of development.
8. Show off your achievements
Another important way you can add value through copywriting is to use it to show off the achievements of your business. Maintain this consistently and you will actively build a credible profile both on and offline. This doesn’t just have to be through blog content. It could be through email updates or guest blog posts or something else altogether. The trick is to make it current, interesting and relevant to the people you publicise it to. Doing this will add value by strengthening your business profile.
9. Create a powerful business portfolio
The value of copywriting lies in both the short-term, immediate response to new opportunities as above, but also in the long-term view. Combine your copywriting approach with your long-term business strategy and you can develop copy that supports you as a company. Create added value by developing a powerful business portfolio of content. This is something that can be live and online – or offline and ready for important occasions. The secret is to match your copywriting plan with your overall business plan. What resources will support you in the next few months? Is it targeted case studies to show a potential new client – or a pre-prepared presentation for a new group of clients?
10. Show the way forward
What’s your plan for the future? Do your customers understand where you’re going next and how you can help them? For both new innovations and existing companies, the copywriting process adds value in another way by highlighting what you stand for and where you want to be in the future. Your content can help to clarify exactly what you want to achieve, by combining your key messages and inspiring your customers about what you have planned.
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, August 2016
20 ways to squeeze more value from your content 88 days ago
Like to squeeze even more value from your content, whether it’s your website, emails or direct mail? Read on.
1. Speak louder
Want to be heard by your potential clients? Look again at your content to see whether the tone of voice is doing your business justice. Could it be time to take your company’s voice from generic to memorable or from robot-speak to personality-packed? This will add value by giving your content more character and making it more memorable!
2. Share stories, not sales pitches
How’s your content been working for you up to now? Not hard enough? This could be the ideal stage to assess whether you’re really telling an inspiring story about your business or just pushing a sales script. Our brains are programmed to respond to stories, so why miss out on the opportunity to bring the power of an interesting tale to your business?
3. It’s not you. It’s them
It really isn’t all about you. Why not review your marketing content to really understand whether or not your content is all about your client, rather your business? This will instantly add value to it in the eyes of your prospect. How can you help them? What’s in it for them? Look at ways to replace the list of your company’s many achievements with content which compellingly demonstrates what you can do for your customer.
4. Show, don’t tell
Why just talk around your company’s benefits, when you can highlight how you benefit your clients? Don’t just tell them, show them how great you are with case studies that detail the amazing stuff you do. This will bring your business to life like nothing else.
5. Ask more questions
Never underestimate the power of a good question or two. If you want to get more from your marketing content, make sure you’re asking all the right questions first! How do you actually resolve your customers’ problems? What do you do differently to others in your market? Great questions can generate all kinds of insights that you can apply to make your content more active and engaging.
6. Stay present
Staying present matters. Are you really relishing those opportunities to make your marketing content topical? Spend some time exploring how you can connect your blog, enewsletters and other marketing content with current events like festivals, special days and perhaps even quirky happenings. It’s a relatively simple way to keep your content relevant.
7. Get closer to your audience
With copywriting, business-owners often feel tempted to stick with one particular approach. But if you’d like to see more of a result from your content, you’ll do well to look at the power of the marketing persona. This is all about getting closer to your dream customer. You can do this by asking the right kinds of questions: what is important to this customer right now? What are their priorities and how can I match that in my copywriting approach? What kinds of goals and interests motivate my clients? What bothers them? Create content around these issues and you’ll instantly make your content more valuable.
8. Give your client a voice
Here’s something you may find surprising. Valuable content doesn’t always have to be about what you write. Are you overlooking the power of what your clients have to say? Client testimonials can be a very beneficial part of an effective copywriting strategy. I appreciate that many business-owners often feel too busy to follow up for testimonials, but they are worth the effort! It’s a simple and enduring way to enhance everything you’re saying in your content with an added stamp of credibility. With the right approach, you can re-use client testimonials in a range of ways to add even more value to your content!
9. Jack in the jargon
Could technical-speak be getting between you and new business? Does your website sound as if it’s swallowed a work manual? Jargon overload is an easy way to reduce the value of your content. If you’d like more effective content, a great way to start is by weeding out the jargon and replacing it with a more human, approachable tone of voice.
10. Search for special
Copywriting is not just about stating what you do. Replace the factual statements with content which specifically pinpoints what is special about your business. Facts are important, but so is carefully selecting and sharing the right ones. This could be facts like the surprising thing that inspired you to start your business, the incredible new sector you’ve just moved into, the number of people you’ve helped…
11. Look for a new angle
Have you noticed a drop in response to content that’s perhaps a few years past its best? Now could be a great opportunity to take a step back and refresh how you convey your message. Changing your angle can give you a great deal more scope for how to look at and write about your business.
12. Swap serious for funny
Making your audience smile is a powerful way to create content with more value. Work in a little humour and you’ll create a more inviting statement about your products or services!
13. Put your creative hat on
Could this be the time to reinvent how you and your audience see your business? It could be, if you dare to get a little more creative. Taking a fresh view on your business topic can really help to share what’s uniquely special about that product or service.
14. Make a great offer
One quick way to add value to your content is to make a clear unambiguous offer. It could be a free consultation, a chance to win something great or a little of your time for free. This will instantly draw attention to your business and show that you mean business too!
15. Prune it
It may sound like contradiction, but if you want more value from your content, you could benefit from cutting it down. Is your current content packed with lots of words and unclear messages? Pare it right back to create more of a response!
16. Be generous
Value in content also means value for your potential clients, like informing them about the things you know will be of interest to them instead of just what’s of interest to you. This could be a blog which features helpful tips and updates, rather than simply sharing the latest news about your most recent business triumph, for example.
17. End it well
Is every aspect of your content designed to create a lasting impression? Consider the ending as well as that fascinating first paragraph. Don’t overlook the opportunity at the end of your content (your web pages, for example) to remind people of your core message and benefits. Add value by making sure people leave your website with a clear sense of what you can do to help them.
Adding value doesn’t necessarily mean doing more. Consider the ways in which you’re currently sharing your content. Are they working for you? What could you do to simplify your marketing approaches and reach the right people with less effort?
19. Bring out the benefits
Does your content clearly explain why your business is the best choice? Look at converting the facts about what you do into the many important reasons to buy into your business and you’ll instantly add more value to your content.
20. Request a response
A classic and commonly committed content error is to overlook calls to action. So if you want to see more action-packed content, don’t ignore the power of a great call to action! Ask yourself how you’d like your potential customer to respond after they’ve read your content: call, click or what? Then make it as easy as possible for them to do that!
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, Nottingham, July 2016
The 100-word blog post: Copywriting's first job 111 days ago
The thing we all look for when we meet someone for the first time? I heard recently that it’s whether or not we can trust that person.
It’s the same with copywriting. That initial contact, whether it’s a blog post or brochure, is a company’s first (and often only) chance to win the trust of the reader.
Yes, copywriting is about selling and making a company memorable. But its first job should be to create and build trust. Because, without trust, all those other great things can’t happen. And your reader may never make the leap towards becoming your customer.
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, June 2016