I hate boring copy. (What? You, too? OMG, we should totally work together!) Seriously. 90% of all copy sounds the same. It’s predictable, bland, vanilla.
Vanilla is great – for baking.
But even in ice cream, vanilla is boring (but necessary). Vanilla ice cream is the solid base that supports seriously scrumptious toppings or takes a fabulous pie right out of the oven to the next level.
But vanilla by itself is forgettable and often overlooked.
Think about it. When you’re pushing the cart down the ice cream aisle, you usually are scanning for the most interesting flavors. No one stands with the freezer door open debating between Vanilla A or Vanilla B (boring). No! We’re deciding between Purely Pecan Bliss or Decadent Triple Chocolate and Salted Carmel Delight! (Mmmmmm.)
Vanilla is basic and will always be there for us, but it’s not intriguing.
If you’re going to start an ice cream company you are certainly not going to make vanilla your flagship flavor because you will never be found among the hundreds of other vanilla ice cream choices.
EVERYONE has vanilla ice cream. It’s basic. It’s good. But vanilla is, well, vanilla. Vanilla has become a term to mean basic and uninspiring.
However, a flavor like “A Day At The Beach” … a coconut-banana swirl ice cream with pineapple bits and dark chocolate, now you create attention and intrigue! The very name makes you want to say, “Oooooh, what’s in that?!” (BTW, if you’re an ice cream company, I think you should make this flavor. Be sure to let me know, I’ll be first in line!)
BORING COPY IS FORGETTABLE COPY
Boring, utilitarian copy is like vanilla. It’s also like listening to Charlie Brown’s faceless teacher go on and on in a monotone voice. (zzzzzzz)
Sure, you need the basics in your copy but unless you add some flavor to it, no one is going to read it because you sound like everyone else (wa-wa-wa-wa). If you want to be like everyone else – go for it.
You may be thinking that if everyone else is writing plain-Jane copy, then it must work. Sure, it’ll work…to a degree. You’ll be average, a C-player in your field.
Why do most people stick with plain copy? Because it takes less effort and they equate basic, stoic words with professionalism.
If you are talking to a bunch of high-brow folks who like “just the facts, ma’am” then plain copy with impressive-sounding words is perfect! Yet most microbusiness owners are not marketing to high-brow folks or other professionals in their industry.
We are talking to p-e-o-p-l-e.
People who honestly don’t care about all the letters next to your name or your high-achievements. Want they want to know is if you’re going to take care of them and how you’re going to do that.
REMOVING THE WA-WA-WA-WA-WA FROM YOUR COPY
Subconsciously, in our effort to try to stand out, we actually all say the same things, trying to convince people to give us their business. We tout the exact facts and rhetoric as everyone else, such as:
- offer the best customer service.
- genuinely care about our clients.
- operate with excellence.
- go above and beyond.
- have the highest professionalism.
- are there to serve you.
I could go on-and-on. The purpose of copy isn’t to expressly tell people what and who YOU are, the purpose is to connect with a specific reader. It’s to write copy that communicates, “I get you!” and “I understand what keeps you up at night and what makes you smile.”
And you don’t do that by SAYING that directly. We have to learn to communicate the same message as everyone else but in a creative manner. Through words that speak to YOUR audience. We all say we love things, people, food, ideas. And when we want to really tell someone we love them, sometimes it is communicated effectively when we say it differently. For example, instead of saying, “I love you”, you can say:
- You look amazing.
- My heart beats faster when you’re around.
- I was thinking about you all day.
- You’re my favorite person to be around.
Basically, to remove the WA-WA-WA from your copy, write like you’re talking to a real person and be SPECIFIC in HOW you care and can be trusted as a business.
Speak to your audience like you’re sitting across the table from them in your favorite cafe or casually lounging by the fire with a drink in your hand. Suddenly the pressure is off to impress and you’ll find that fresh ways of communicating rise up and out of you. It’s not unprofessional. In fact, it’s your way of saying, “I’m more interested in talking to you and finding a touchpoint between us than spouting off a bunch of irrelevant and boring information about how great I am or my business is.”
Sometimes you NEED to be basic and detailed in your copy. That’s okay, but here are a few ways to dish out the vanilla (and still focus on the tantalizing, engaging, and intriguing copy that makes your readers say, “I want to know more about this person/company”):
- Use a bullet point or number list for basic information.
- Create a link to a separate page with all the WA-WA-WA stuff and details.
- Offer a download with any extra and yawn-worthy information that you want your readers to have access to.
WRITE TO YOUR READERS, NOT TO YOU
There used to be a time when stoic, stuffy-sounding copy was impressive to the average person. Businesses were trying to be important-sounding and come across as smarter than their readers. Those days are quickly fading away.
Casual writing, even among businesses, is preferable because no one wants to feel talked down to anymore.
Instead, folks want to connect with a business or service on a more emotional, personalized level. It’s real. Authentic. People want to do business with real people. So…are you ready to try something other than boring copy and add some flavor? Start by:
- Getting into the head and heart of your reader.
- Be yourself by thinking about what you would want someone to say to you.
- Write the same way as you talk.
Don’t want to write your own copy?
If the idea of casual copy that’s engaging and intriguing piques your interest, but you’re not sure where to start, then let’s talk. I don’t use fancy words or clever phrases. Nor will I write like a Ph.D. – or as if I’m trying to impress. What I will do is put myself in your reader’s shoes, think about what’s going on in their head and heart, and write about how you can meet those needs and desires. Sound like your cup of tea (or flavor of ice cream)? Get more info here or press this link to connect with me. (I’ll get back with you ASAP!)