write copy like you talk

When clients read your copy they want to get a feel for what it will be like working with you. Let them get to know you by writing in the same voice you speak in.

Don’t try to impress clients by using unnecessary words. Just be yourself and write.

Write as if you were talking to a friend.

Try recording your client conversations. If you speak to clients, either over the phone, or face to face, record those conversations.

Then write down exactly what you are saying to your clients. These are the exact words you need in your copy.

You can do this even if you don’t speak directly with clients. Just picture one of your best prospects or clients in your mind. Or even better bring up their picture or print it out.

Then record yourself speaking directly to them and telling them all about your product or service.

Repeat this several times until it comes naturally then use those exact words and phrases in your copy.

When writing use the same words you use in everyday conversations.

Have a friend read your copy. Does it sound like you? Is that something you’d say?

Think short paragraphs, short sentences and short words.

Keep paragraphs to 3 to 4 sentences max with one central idea. And don’t be afraid to make some paragraphs even shorter. Just one sentence or phrase.

Like this.

Attention spans are short.

But that doesn’t mean the overall length of your copy has to be short.

Just break it up into bite-size pieces of short words, sentences and paragraphs.

There is no such thing as copy that is too long. Only copy that is too boring.

Toss in edgy action verbs whenever you can.

Use an occasional surprise sentence.

“This may be a ridiculous idea that will never work, but then again, maybe it will.”

Picture yourself writing to one specific person who would be an ideal client.

Never write copy with your English teacher in mind. There are 2 important grammar rules you need to follow. You can throw the rest out the window.

One. Spelling counts. Use spellcheck and then proofread it yourself. This includes knowing the difference between your and you’re. And the difference between there, their and they’re. And the difference between its and it’s.

Two. Use contractions whenever you can. Wouldn’t instead of would not. Can’t instead of cannot.

You can forget everything else you’ve been taught about the rules of grammar.

It’s just fine to write in fragments. As long as your sentences don’t sound choppy when you read them aloud.

And don’t use a long word when a short one will work.

Remember, you’re not writing to impress anyone with your grammar skills and vocabulary. Your copy needs to be clear, concise and to the point.

Write to sell. Not to impress.

Keep your copy easily readable by making it easy on the eyes.

Use bullets to draw attention to the main points you want to get across. You can list several bullets and then go into detail in the following paragraphs.

Put things that you don’t want the client to miss in bold.

White space makes your copy easy to read. That’s why you need to break up your copy into several paragraphs with a line of white space in between. Use extra white space for bulleted lists and bold sub-headings.

Avoid big blocks of text.

Avoid compound sentences with multiple parts. Sometimes you need to use a comma or a semicolon. But break larger sentences into smaller ones when you can.

Use special effects when you want to convey a feeling or add emphasis.

Use parenthesis for things you would say to yourself.

Use italics to express emotion.

Use bold for points you want to get across no matter what.

Proofreading

Once you’re finished writing a piece of copy don’t proofread it right away. Instead run a quick spell check on it. Then print it and put it away.

By the way, you should always proofread and edit your copy from a printed page. It’s much easier to see the flow when you print it out and hold it in your hands.

Once you put it away clear your mind and try to forget about it for the next day or two. Don’t go over it in your mind trying to figure out what changes you are going to make.

That way when you do pick it back up you’ll be taking a fresh look. The parts that are not quite right will simply stand out to you.

Edit your copy until everything seems clear, concise and natural. Move blocks of text around and change your words until everything seems to be in order.

Then read it to yourself. Out loud. You will find parts that seemed to make sense in your mind. But that don’t make sense when read aloud. Fix these parts and any parts where your words stumble or fall off. Find the parts you trip on and rewrite them until they sound natural.

Once you’ve finished have someone that knows you well read over it. Don’t take any advice on the content or the instructions. You are the expert on that. Just ask if it sounds like something you would say.

That’s it. That’s how to write like you speak. When you communicate to prospects like this the people who resonate with you will be your best clients.