Don't write a word of copy until you're clear on THIS
Wondering how to get more clients for your business? In this post, I'm sharing one of the most important copywriting tips for beginners. You'll learn about a market research example of what to avoid + some simple market research techniques and market research tools you can start using today!
Table of Contents
- VIDEO: Don't write another word of copy until you do THIS
- Avoid THIS copywriting mistake
- A missed opportunity
- Why client research matters
- 3 client research tips
- Recommended resources
- Let's take action
- Share this post
You already know that you have to know who you're trying to reach with your words, but you also need to know what to call them.
I'm going to share a little cautionary tale about what can go wrong when you don't prioritize this piece of your communication. And be sure to stick around to the end, when I'll share some quick tips on how you can find this information fast!
Read on for one of my MOST vital copywriting tips (for beginners and seasoned professionals alike):
VIDEO: Don't write another word of copy until you do THIS
Avoid THIS copywriting mistake
So a while back, I was chatting with a group of other business owners and one member of the group (who runs a service-based business, supporting other business owners) was airing some frustration about the fact that her programs and courses were underperforming relative to what she'd projected and hoped.
And as we were talking, she happened to mention that she built all of the messaging for her programs around the word "entrepreneur" and the fact that she supports entrepreneurs in growing their businesses.
She went on to say that a point of frustration for her was the fact that no one in her audience seemed to identify with that word "entrepreneur".
So, of course, my ears perked up at that!
And the rest of us in the group, we asked her, "How have you handled this?" And she said, "I do my best to convince them you ARE an entrepreneur."
She went on to give lots of examples of feedback that members of her audience, prospective clients had given her directly saying, I don't identify with the term entrepreneur. I don't see myself as an entrepreneur. But, she said, "I just I don't know what I can do to convince them they are entrepreneur!"
She seemed to see it as an empowerment issue. She wanted to empower them to view themselves as entrepreneurs.
Now, these members of her audience were running active businesses. They already were functioning as entrepreneurs. The issue was they did not identify with that term. And what was kind of funny is that as she's going on this little mini rant, those of us that are having the conversation. One by one, we're kind of saying, well, I don't tend to identify with that word either. I don't really describe myself as an entrepreneur. We were giving her that feedback. And we're all business owners. We're all, in theory, part of the population she's trying to reach!
So, who was right? The business owner who was frustrated that her audience didn't identify with the word that she was using OR the people she was trying to reach, who were giving her that feedback?
A missed opportunity
You can probably guess my answer.
I say, it's the people she was trying to reach. They're the ultimate authority on which words they identify with, which words resonate most. They're the ultimate authority on what they want to be called, which words resonate and connect for them and which ones.
Interestingly, at no point in our conversation did I hear this business owners say that she followed back up with her audience to find out which words they prefer!
See, by clinging so tightly to that word "entrepreneur" and expending so much energy trying to get her people on board with the word she chose to call them, she was missing this golden opportunity to ASK.
Ask them directly, what they want to be called!
This is hugely important. There's a reason I devote an entire section of my brand-new challenge to getting this right.
By the way, you're very welcome to join me inside my free 3-day Copy Bank Challenge. It's going to help you create your own bank of magic words to attract more of the right clients to your business.
"Creating a copy bank has forever changed the way I write. Michaela's strategies for finding words that resonate with my dream clients are genius."
Sign up here and I can't wait to support you in this!
Why client research matters
We have got to nail this piece of our communication.
First and foremost, it's the right thing to do. From the home pages of our sites to our social media captions, our people deserve to be addressed using words they identify with.
And on a practical level, it's a must. If we're going to reach them with our marketing at all, they've got to know that we're talking to them and feel that we honor and respect them or else what's the point of any of it?
3 client research tips
So, where do we find this info? Read on for some simple tips to finding the right words to use in your copy:
Tip #1: Pay attention
The easiest place to start is simply by paying attention.
Take note of how your clients describe themselves. Be mindful of the thought leaders and other resources they're mentioning that they follow and that resonate with them.
Then do a little digging on your own. What words and phrases are used there?
Now, some of this is common sense. (If I work with teenagers, for example, they're a lot more likely to identify with the word "teens" vs. "young people" or "youths".) But, there can be nuance to this, for sure.
Tip #2: Ask for direct feedback
It's worth doing some research on your own to really drill down to the words and phrases that work best for your clients and your messaging.
You can ask them directly.
- Poll your followers on social media
- Write to your email subscribers and survey them
- Check in with the clients you work with or the students in your program(s)
You can invite them to supply the terms they prefer, or you can present them with options and ask them to vote.
Tip #3: Follow up with questions
Finally, you can dig a layer deeper and follow up with them with some thoughtful questions about why they prefer certain words over other.
Sometimes a word might be too limiting, too narrow.
I found this out early on in my business after pulling my audience in preparation for a course I was developing. I was surprised to learn that the term "health and wellness professionals" didn't capture all members of my audience of health and wellness businesses. And after some follow-up, I ended up naming my course, Copy for Healers + Helpers.
I would've never landed on that name on my own, but it was the choice that ended up speaking to the majority of my audience. So why wouldn't I use it?
Other times, the word might be too broad. This is closely related to the problem of trying to speak to everyone, which we already know is just a recipe for bland copy that ends up reaching no one.
Finally, like in the story I shared earlier, sometimes a word is simply off-base. And when that happens with enough of our audience, it's not the end of the world, but it is information.
And it's our responsibility as business owners to release our grip on that particular word or phrase and course-correct.
It's all part of practicing, healthy, effective communication in everything we do. It's not always easy for sure, but we're up to the task.
We've got to be.
Want to explore more ways to market your health + wellness business? Check out these blog posts:
- How to get referrals for FREE
- 3 common website mistakes (+ how you can fix 'em!)
- 3 sneaky places to find website copy inspiration
- How to write great private practice website copy
Let's take action!
Ready to implement what you learned in this post? I like your style!
- Choose 1 of the research tips in this post and test it out in your business.
- Curious about the Challenge I talked about in this post? Come join us here!
- Want more actionable tips + real-life examples to help you reach more of your dream clients? Subscribe to my email list!
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