black female activist with loudspeaker on street

Why brand voice is important in your blog posts

Your brand voice is an identification of how you sound when you talk about certain topics that are important to you and your brand. Use it well, and you’ll pull in your raving fans. Use it poorly, and you waste a great opportunity to give your audience a better idea of who you are as a brand.

Some people think brand voice is a luxury for once they are more established, but the truth is, you are consolidating a brand voice with each piece of content you put out into the world.

How to differentiate yourself

Think about a recent social media post or blog you created. If you search for the keyword you were writing about, you’ll find lots of your competitors have talked about this issue. But they will have taken a different slant. They have certain values that are important to them, they do business a certain way, and the why of their business model is different from yours. Their voice is an extension of their values and how they feel about that topic. And likewise, whether you know it or not, your voice and how you talk about that topic is an extension of your values and viewpoints. If you want to know more about brand values, check out my most recent blog post.

How brand archetypes shape your voice

If a certain brand is a rebel in their industry, then how they talk about a topic will be different than those who follow the crowd. They will want to shake it up, their tone might be angry, they might question how your industry currently works. Likewise, someone who doesn’t have a strong brand voice will fit in with all the other content around them, saying generic platitudes, and their content will give you that dissatisfied feeling at the end, like you learned nothing. By staying in the shadows, not having anything controversial to say, but also not having a particular slant, is giving a lot of cues to your audience too. And mostly, those cues tell people that you are dull, you hold the line, and that you can do the bare minimum in your industry.

When you can’t find the right clients

If you are putting out content on issues that are dear to your heart but not finding that connection with clients, or have discovery calls that don’t lead to sales, it is possible that your voice is not strong enough in content, you are not telling potential clients who you really are and how you work. I always suggest coming back to the internal why at this point, not going out and looking at what others are doing, as is often recommended. Why do you do what you do, who are you serving, what change do you want to make in the world, and why? If you’ve worked as an employee in the past, then your story of why you moved out to start your own business is often important.

Tell your story – or don’t

You don’t need to tell people how you ended up doing what you do now and the story of moving from an employee to a business owner. If this doesn’t feel comfortable to you – don’t tell it! Sometimes a full explanation of where you are now and why you work the way you do is enough. But sometimes people want to feel connected to that past, and if your business is new, then explaining your background can add to your credibility, even if it isn’t in the same field. For example, I am an ex-attorney. I often talk to potential clients who have been burned by freelance writers who have taken their money and then not finished the job. Explaining my background and that it is imperative to me to do everything I can to satisfy a client (as I did as an attorney) can often assuage that fear.

Be you

At the end of the day, brand voice comes down to confidently being yourself, no matter the situation or potential client involved. Why you’re doing what you’re doing, how you do it, and why you came into this position can all help a potential client understand who you are and how you work – and whether to take a risk on you.

dominoes being set up

Why your brand values need a CONSEQUENCE

It’s really easy to come up with some brand values, am I right? Just pick a few random words – authenticity is a good one, ooh, and respect. Maybe communicate? Slap them in your annual report, if you’re really onboard, paint them on your board room wall, your clients will love that.

And then? Then carry on, as you did before.

It frustrates me so much to read news reports and articles about brand values. Mostly because I can see that those at the top are just paying lip service. Someone told them it was important to have these. Create a mission statement, and a vision statement. Oh, and don’t forget the brand values.

But if you really want to connect with your audience, work to create content that draws your audience in and doesn’t just echo your competitors, and refuse to compete in a race to the bottom on pricing, you need to start with your WHY.

Your Why is your Differentiator

golden circle

I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek and his idea of the Golden Circle. It  is based around the idea that at the center is your WHY, and that informs your HOW and also your WHAT. For me this is not dissimilar to identifying your UVP (unique value proposition) or differentiator. What makes you different from the others in your industry is directly related to your WHY and your values.

Your HOW is how you do business – the processes and frameworks you use as you create your products and services.  Your WHAT is your product or service – the end result of working with you. 

If you work to use your WHY as you find your values, you’ll discover a remarkably easy way to connect with your audience and find things to talk about in your content.

Business values aren’t morals

It would be really easy to pick ‘honesty’ for example, as a value, or ‘respect’. But would you actually want to work with a business that was dishonest? Or who didn’t respect others?

If you pick a moral as a value, then it isn’t really telling your audience anything about you expect that you are a decent set of human beings. And your values should definitely go above and beyond that.

You want to find a value that is relevant to you but not others in your industry, without suggesting that they are doing it wrong. The opposite of your value should not be distasteful.

Luxury v Budget, for example, is a perfect example of values that are relevant and useful to understand. If your brand is luxury, and your competitor’s is budget, then neither of you are in the wrong. 

Your values attract your audience

Using the luxury v budget values as an example, we can see that these really just attract different audiences. From this perspective, it is a good thing that our competitor has picked the opposite value from us. For those who are conscious of how much they spend, the budget brand will be attractive. For others, the luxury brand may be more appropriate.

Focusing on your why first – why you serve the audience you do within your industry – will help you niche into the specifics of your audience. That will allow you to focus on talking to exactly the right people – attracting them into your brand and what you offer.  And it will also allow you to ignore those people who probably aren’t a right fit for your brand anyway and were never going to work with you.

Your values can determine HOW you work

This doesn’t work for every business or organization, but if you spend time thinking about your why, it often leads you to a better understanding of the particular way you work and why that’s different to others in your industry. For example, as a copywriter who focuses on brand voice, I often encourage clients to send me voice memos rather than written outlines. I attract clients who struggle to write about their business – for good reason.  I find it incredibly easy to write in any voice – and so can listen to and really hear a business owner and recreate how they want to sound as they talk passionately about what they do. My why – really seeing and hearing you and what you’re trying to put out into the world – helps determine how I work and the processes I put in place to be sure that all my clients feel heard and represented.

Your values can determine WHAT you produce for your audience

I have a client who is a photographer. Part of her why includes the importance of children seeing themselves on the walls of their home – understanding the intrinsic value that they have within their family unit. As a result, it is important to her that her WHAT is not just digital files, but artwork that will stand the test of time and have center stage in a home.

Spending time thinking about the values that your organization holds dear can lead to an epiphany about WHAT you want to produce, especially if you feel caught in a race to do things the same as everyone else in your industry. Understanding your why can lead you to streamline your offers down to just a few options, ones you feel passionate about. Or possible to starting fresh with new offers that feel more relevant to your organization.

You need to live your values

This is a big one that I think a lot of larger organizations miss. You  need to live your values – they need to be part of your day-to-day business life or else what is the point? If you wouldn’t hire or fire employees, contractors, or clients, on the basis of your values, why have them at all? Enron included the following values in their 2000 annual report: Respect Integrity. Communication. [ ]. By the end of 2001 they were bankrupt and we were all aware that they had not lived any of those values. The culture in the organization was clear about how they should operate, but that culture wasn’t connected to the values at all. 

If you are a one-person organization, understanding your values can help you make decisions about all kind of things in your business – from making your content creation easier, to deciding what to offer next or how to engage your audience. As you start to add employees, your values will help them to understand how to recreate your business without you always being involved in every aspect of it. If your brand as you scale to add employees and contractors is your legacy for your business, then you need to be certain everyone involved in it understands what you are passing on. Without values, it will be a compass without a north star.

Your values need consequences

Which leads me back to the first point. Your values need consequences. It’s not enough to say that you are a budget brand. What does that mean? What consequence does that have for your business? Does it mean you spend less on marketing than your competitors to keep your price low? Does that mean that as a photographer you only offer digital files and not wall art? Does it mean as a copywriter that you don’t do customer research and therefore risk the copy not converting as well?

What values does your organization have? And what consequences does that involve, both for you and for any employees or contractors? 

If you’d like to delve deeper into this, but aren’t sure how to go about using it to create maximum impact in your brand, I’d love to help. Contact me to arrange a Brand Builder Session, where we can spend a half day identifying your brand values, vision, and voice, so that you can allow others to keep your brand strong in your business even as you scale and grow.

audience awareness journey

Business Blog Posts – who are you writing for?

*This is Part 1 of the Better Business Blog series.*

Before you start writing blog posts for your business, think about who you are writing for. You want to write posts for your Ideal Audience. But who are they?

Is this the same as your Ideal Client? Not necessarily! Your Ideal Audience is made up of a number of people who are on a journey from:

  • knowing nothing about who you are (and possibly not much about what problem they have)
  • to your Ideal Client at the point just before they buy from you,
  • to existing clients who you want to keep and turn into Raving Fans.

When you plan a selection of blog posts, either as a series or over the course of a month, you want to be sure you are writing to each of the different types of people who make up your Ideal Audience.

Write for all stages of the buyer’s journey

It’s easy to focus on the audience who are at point B and nurture them so they are ready to buy from you. But then you miss out on moving those at point A toward becoming your Ideal Client at some point down the line. They’re not ready to buy yet, but you want to keep them engaged and explain more about the problem they have just discovered. You want to get them to point B.

And your existing clients don’t need to know anything about the problem they have already fixed. But you do want to reassure them that you care about your customers and that you will work to keep them satisfied even after they’ve handed over their credit card details.

Use a Content Calendar to write to everyone on the buyer’s journey

Lots of people avoid creating a content calendar – they’re not marketers, they just make up blog posts every so often when they have some downtime. But it makes sense even for those of you who are only going to write blog posts for your website once a week or bi-monthly. You want to plot out content that will be appealing to everyone on the buyer’s journey. Not only does this give you loads of ideas of what to write about (if that causes you a problem) but it also means that whoever finds your site, chances are at least one of your posts will be relevant for them and keep them engaged.

A content calendar doesn’t have to be complicated. And it SHOULDN’T be a collection of random motivational quotes. Each business should have a calendar that’s as unique as they are.

Create a content calendar in minutes.

Identify your Ideal Audience, and make sure you are hitting at least the 3 stages of Newly Aware of a problem, Ready to Buy Ideal Clients, and Existing Clients ready to be turned into Raving Fans. Split your page into sections for each part of your audience, and note down a post you could write for each of these groups. They can all be related posts (in which case you likely have a series) or they could be unrelated, but at least you’ll know that, over the next weeks and months, you’ll spread your content out equally across each of the groups. Set up a spreadsheet, Trello list, whatever makes sense to you, and keep a running list of any blog post ideas you have for each group within your audience. Make sure you’re taking from the different groups in turn.

And there you have it – the easiest content calendar you ever saw! If you still need help listing out the kinds of posts you need, contact me to find out about my Trello Content Calendar – a cheap and easy framework that walks you through the questions in this post and more, and helps you populate a calendar of social media content.

The big picture of your content

Blog Writing Basics – part 2

Imagine the content your business creates as pellets being fired from a shotgun. If you walk into a room and spin around, shooting randomly, there will be a scatter of pellets that hit everywhere.

Now picture your Ideal Audience as a circle on one wall of that room. Did your content hit your Ideal Audience? Some did, probably. But a lot of it wasn’t relevant for them or didn’t appear where they consume content.

Before you create any more content – think about where that circle is on the wall, and be sure to aim for it. That way, even if your shotgun of content produces a scatter across the wall, most of it will land in the circle. Later in the process – at part 5 on editing, we’ll discuss how to refine that process so even more hits the circle..

Big picture strategy is one of the hardest things for businesses – not because it’s hard, but because it takes time, and because they are normally already creating wealth of content, and just want to keep doing what they’re doing. To take an audit of what you’re doing, and then analyze why, takes time and causes you to pause on your content creation. It feels like a backward move.

But I promise that if you do the big picture strategy session – picture the whole room that your walking into, and find that wall that is your industry, and then that circle that is your Ideal Audience, then you can focus your content so that the time you do spend on it gives you a much better return on your money.

And who is your Ideal Audience? If you assumed it was your Ideal Client, think again. And check out my next post to find out more about how to identify who you are really writing for.

This is part of a series on Blog Writing Basics. If you want to check out the other posts in the series, you can find them here:

Part 1 – Blog Writing Basics

Starting May 4, I’m running a 5-day challenge in my Blog Writing Basics private FB group. Want to join? I’ll be covering many of the things I write about in this series, but in more detail. Our goal is to support each other in a private, safe space, to post content and also to practice engagement on each other’s posts. We’d love to see you!

Business Blog Writing Basics

If you’re a small business owner who either contracted out your blog writing or never thought about it at all, you may be tempted to roll up your sleeves and do your own content creation in these current times.

You have more time. Or less money. Or a bit of both. But how hard can it be, right?

Turns out, it’s not that hard to put something up on your blog. Something your clients want to read, something a potential client finds when searching Google, well that’s a whole different matter.

I’m about to start a 5-day challenge on writing a killer blog post on my FB page Blog Writing Basics. I believe most small business owners can do their own content creation, if they have the time and the desire. Once you’ve mastered it, you may decide you want to contract out some parts. The writing, if you can afford it. Other parts like posting to social media, or editing and polishing, more likely.

Strategy, however, is something you should always have a hand in, even if you hire a consultant or get support. Posting motivational quotes you found in an $11 content calendar won’t cut it. And while I can’t go into great detail about that strategy in just 5 days, I will be posting more about it in that FB group after the challenge is done.

In the 5 day challenge I’m going to cover:

– WHAT to write about and how to plan your content (Strategy)

– HOW to write your posts (Outlining and First Drafts)

– REASSESS your content (editing)

Are you ready? Head to the group now, or jump to the other posts in this series for more information!

branding for artists part 3

branding 101 for artists: part 3

Who is your ideal buyer?

In part 1 we looked at what art you create. In part 2, we identified your superpower and origin story. In the last part of this branding 101 for artists, we’re going to identify your ideal buyer, and pull everything together to create your artist bio.

Consider who has purchased from you before, and who your fans are. When you go to shows or display your work, who gravitates toward it? Start to identify this buyer and picture them as an actual person. Are they generally male, female, what age range are they in, where do they shop and what magazines do they buy? Are they likely to hang around on Facebook arguing on a Friday night, or are you more likely to see them scrolling through inspirational quotes on Instagram? The more you can create a person in your mind, the easier it is to identify where you should post and what you should say – just imagine yourself talking to them directly.

Who are you?

Not to get all existentialist here, but what about you as an artist attracts your ideal buyer to your work? While they love your individual pieces, chances are that they also love your backstory, the fact you commonly paint landscapes, or that you only work with natural materials. Perhaps the fact your pieces are constantly dealing with the theme of rejection might pull at dark places in their heart that need some light shone on them. To remove yourself completely from the equation is to ignore the connection your ideal buyers already feel with you.

Create a consistent brand

This is more than just making a logo to represent your business when displaying your art. You want one consistent impression across all the social media platforms and places where your ideal buyer might find references to you or your art. A logo helps, but so does one bio that can be used in various places, one core mission that is driving you, and one place where all posts and mentions of you will take a reader. Ideally, that should be your website, so you have control over what people see and read about you, but it could be a Facebook page or Instagram account, an Etsy shop or a Google My Business listing. If you want to create a coherent bio, download my Artist Bio Work Sheet.  Use it to write your own, and if it works for you, let me know, I’d love to hear about it!

If you want me to polish up your first draft, I offer a discounted fee for editing a bio based on this worksheet – that costs $100.  And if, after using the worksheet you still can’t get to the essence of what you want to say, I also write bios from scratch. Reach out to me directly either for the editing service or a bespoke bio, and we can work out the details so you have your bio ready to go in no time!


Branding for Artists Part 2

Your Artist Origin Story

Welcome to part 2 of Branding 101 for Artists. In part 1 we focused on the art you create, how you do it, and what themes you explore. In this part, we are going to look in more detail at your origin story as an artist. 

This is where it can get a little squirmy for some people, especially if they don’t like talking about themselves, but never fear. We’re going to practice without anyone else seeing. The goal here, as I mentioned in part 1, is to be practiced enough so that when a potential buyer asks about you, you don’t stumble over your words and come out with something that you cringe about after. Get the cringing out the way now, build your ideal elevator pitch, and you’ll never be lost for what to say again. And I’ve included some tips at the end to help you move the conversation on if you do get asked that question. You’ll have a polished answer, and a way to move the focus off you and onto how you can find out more about the person you’re talking with.

You are a superhero! Why your origin story matters.

When you think of a superhero’s powers, they usually involve strength, speed and abilities that help them save the planet. As an artist, you don’t jump buildings or run down bad guys (unless you take parkour classes, in which case more power to you) but you do have super abilities that the general public don’t.

 You probably shrug when someone tells you they love your work or that it makes them feel a certain way; maybe you think everyone can do this. The truth is, they can’t.  You have an ability to create art which is a conduit for others to feel (and sometimes process) their emotions. It is frequently acknowledged that creatives feel emotions more intensely, but the opposite of that is that the general public often have a hard time tapping into those wells. When we connect those emotion-inducing tools of art  with our themes – what we love to explore, we find a way to connect to our audience, and move them in ways that they don’t normally experience on a daily basis.

When you were working through what kind of art you make in part 1, how did you do that? Journaling? Talking it out? Recording yourself word vomit? Whichever one worked for you, do that again with the next exercise!  Work through these questions to identify your origin story and why you do what you do:

  • What kind of art did you make or enjoy as a kid? Was it the same as now or different? If it was different, what has changed?
  • Did you stop creating art for a while? When and why? What encouraged you to start again?
  • Do you have any formal art education? Why did you choose to do that? What did you think you’d get out of it? Did you? What else did you find out about yourself and your art during that time?
  • If you are a self-taught artist, how have you learned? Have you done any classes, or worked with other artists?
  • When was your a-ha moment, when you realized you wanted to ‘be’ an artist, and not just create art as a hobby. What else was happening in your life at the time? Why was this the point when you made the decision and not earlier or later?
  • Since you became an artist, what have you done differently in your life to make this a career/job and not just a hobby?

Prepare your elevator pitch

elevator buttons

Now that you’ve got that all out, let’s turn it into an elevator pitch. Fill in the blanks, if it helps, or write your own sentence (or 2, max) that describe you as an artist.

I am a [kind of art] artist who loves to work [with materials/using this process]. I learned [include formal education/by [what did you do when you were self-taught] and while I have always created art, I discovered [when/how did you realize you wanted to be an artist] and now I [what about your life shows your commitment to being an artist and not just creating art as a hobby].

Now you’ve found a formula, you  need to practice saying it out loud! If you’re still uncomfortable with the idea, then practice in front of the mirror or record yourself on your phone.  Once you’ve tried that, go find your supporter, who you talked about your art with in Part 1, and try it out on them. Find a few cheerleaders, who know you and your art, and check in with them that this feels true to who you are as an artist. The more you say this out loud, the more comfortable you will become when you have to say it to a stranger or potential art buyer.

The next time you’re going to be at an event where it’s likely someone will ask about your art or what you do, write down your elevator pitch and put it in your pocket or purse.  You can check it in the restrooms if you get nervous, but even the act of writing it and keeping it with you will help.

If you find someone asking you the question ‘what do you do?’ or ‘what kind of art do you make?’, then you should be ready to confidently answer them, with less umms and ahhs.

And if you’ve given them your pitch, and you still feel uncomfortable, what next?

The easiest thing is to ask them a question back and get them talking about themselves. Ask them what kind of art they create (if they are an artist) or what kind of art they enjoy (if they aren’t). Listening to people talking about what they like about art and how it makes them feel to create it or experience it is a great way to understand more about why people enjoy art and why people become buyers. And all that ‘market research’ will be incredibly useful in Part 3 where we identify your ideal buyer and then you can craft your artist bio!

circle on background with title branding 101 for artists

Branding 101 for artists: part 1

Identifying your art

Artists often shy away from the business side of things – and as a creative type myself, I understand why. It’s hard to find your flow and create beautiful things when you’re worrying about marketing and what you might say on a Facebook Live (if you even knew how to set one up).

But the truth is, just like with companies, buyers identify with you as an artist as much because of who you are as because of what you create.

They want to know your backstory, what common themes show up in your work and why. If you can tap into how someone feels when they own your art – what causes are they aligning with, what kind of person do they think has this kind of piece on their wall, then marketing yourself will become much easier.

We want to be part of a bigger group, we want to identify with others because we all share certain ideals, values, beliefs, desires. If your art helps someone do that, then it is worth your while identifying what group they see themselves as part of, and what ideals, values, beliefs and desires they connect to your art. Social media is a giant ocean of people looking for content to consume, yes, but also looking for a way to find their group, and share their values and desires. If you can pinpoint where ‘your’ people hang out on social media, you can spend less time on it, and just focus on the areas where you are likely to connect with your ideal buyer. And that will allow you to get back to the studio and create art more.

So, how do you do that? Welcome to Branding 101 for Artists!

In part 1, we’re going to work through what kind of art you create. In part 2, we’re going to look at your origin story as an artist (because artists can be superheroes too, right?!) and in part 3, we’re going to focus on your ideal buyer, who they are and where you’ll find them.

Ready? Let’s dig in!

painters hands with paintbrush


Talk about your art

You probably feel a bit uncomfortable when someone asks you about what you create, or what kind of artist you are. But the truth is, once you start trying to sell your art, people are going to be asking these questions all the time. And they are legitimate ones to ask – before someone will buy from you, they need to be able to feel a connection to you and your art. So let’s get practicing – because the more you try this out in the comfort of your own home or studio, the easier it will be when you’re asked it out in the real world.

Talk it out

I’m very into journaling as a way to find your way to what you want to say. Block out an hour just after a creative session to think about this. Find yourself a cozy space where you won’t be interrupted, bring your favorite drinks and snacks and a notebook or computer, set the timer on your phone for an hour (and silence it so you don’t get distracted) and jot down everything you feel and think about your art. At first it might sound stilted and formal – that’s okay. The chances are, you won’t hit your stride with this until at least 20 minutes in – the trick is to power through this first bit until your brain realizes nothing scare is about to happen and you can settle in to being truthful. 

If you’re struggling – just jot down words and phrases that come to mind when you think about your art and the process of creating. Remember that your first thought is often your best thought, don’t think too much, just note down what you’re feeling and what words are coming to mind.

The goal here is to break the artificial barrier we create between our thoughts and the act of expressing them – for me, journaling does this perfectly, but if you’re not a writer and can’t get through that barrier even after making notes for a while, then consider having a conversation with your best friend who gets your art – or even just talk out loud and use the memo function on your phone to record it. How can you honestly vocalize how you think and feel about your art and your creative process, so that your thinking brain doesn’t get in your way?

Feel free to make whatever notes and points come to mind, but if you need some prompts to get you started, you could use these:

  • What recurring themes do you find in your art? Are they intentional? If not (and even if so), why do you explore these and keep coming back to them?
  • How do you feel as you create – does it give you energy, leave you feeling depleted? Does it bring emotions or old memories to the surface? Does it inspire you for the future?
  • What materials are you drawn to using and why? What about their speed of use, immediacy, permanency, color, impression, do they create that you like? What other materials have you tried that you didn’t like, and why do you avoid them?
  • How do you know when a piece is finished? Is it an internal feeling? Does something about the piece show you it’s done? Do you come back and add to it over time or is it completed in one sitting?

Hopefully spending a bit of time thinking about what and how you create has allowed you to gain some clarity about your art. We’ll use this to create a stronger brand and artist bio for you in part 3, but for now, use this sentence to help you create a one-liner you can use if someone asks you what kind of art you create. If this mad-lib style sentence doesn’t work for you (hey, we’re creatives, we don’t like to fit into a box) then the brainstorming session should at least allow you to make up your own sentence.

I’m an artist who works with [materials] to create [type of art] that a) focuses on [common subject matter] or b) uses [process].

Email me at gillhill@gillhillwritingservices.com and let me know what you came up with, or feel free to leave a comment here, I’d love to know what you come up with! And check out part 2 so we can dig into your origin story as an artist, and move you closer to identifying your brand and crafting your artist bio.

2 front doors side by side

Why you should write your home page last

When you sit down to write your website, it’s all too easy to start with the home page. You probably imagine your ideal reader finding themselves there first. But is this really where they land? And even if it is, writing this page first is the worse idea. Let me explain why.

Your home page might not be where your reader first lands on your site

Imagine how a reader lands on your site. If they are looking for you, and you specifically, they might well put your business name in a search engine. In which case they’ll find themselves at your home page in no time (fingers crossed!) But if they found you through social media where someone shared a blog post you wrote, or through a funnel for a sale you’re running, or maybe even by searching for a specific product or service, they could land on any number of different pages. As you set up these specific pages on your site, think about what you want a reader to do when they land there. They can use the menu at the top to navigate to different pages, and perhaps they will choose your home page next. But if you want to have more control over which button they click next, you need each page to be compelling in it’s own right, to be on brand, and to lead your reader to where you want them to go next.

Your home page is your storefront and greeter combined

shop front of The Family Business Tatto Parlour Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Your home page should be a summary of all the things you say on your other pages. You want to give snippets of information about you, your services or products, how to contact you, your testimonials, all within easy scrolling distance. Your reader should be able to click through to find out more details about any of these items as they read them. And as I mentioned in point 1 above, there should always be a Call To Action to help guide your readers to where you want them to go next. The best way to provide a comprehensive but short teaser of a more detailed page is to write it after the comprehensive page has been drafted and finalized. Scan your final copy for the nuggets that shine, really displaying your goals for that page. Rambling copy that leads you to what you really want to say is for first drafts of pages. Pull out the best copy and summarize that for your home page.

If you must draft your home page first, use placeholders

I understand that sometimes the urge to get the home page down is so great you can’t resist – I’ve been there! Sometimes it helps to write the rambling summary first, and once you understand what you’re aiming for, work on making those points on your other pages where you have more room. If you must do this, please don’t see that summary as your final copy. Put it in square brackets, write DRAFT before you start, write it as bullet points rather than full sentences. Once you can see how your homepage flows and you’re in the mind of your ideal reader, you can go on to work on your other pages, but don’t forget to come back and delete those placeholders, and write fresh summaries for your home page.

Consider your CTAs – primary and secondary

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More than any other page on your website, you want to be crystal clear on what you want your reader to do next, and you want to have that Call To Action button prominent and above the fold. Top right of the screen is the most common place to add your main CTA, although if you go with limited words and a large visual, the center of the screen above the fold works well too. Do you want them to call you, set up an automated appointment, buy something? There will be one overarching goal for your site, something you want your ideal customer to do before they click away and are caught by some other competing interest. What is it?

If readers drop in on your home page and aren’t ready to commit to that big picture CTA, however, you need to offer them incentives to stay on your site. The way to do that is by using secondary CTAs, that move them around your site learning more and/or gets them to sign up to your email list so that you can continue to nurture them as a lead. Think about where during the process of scrolling through your site you want to place your secondary CTAs. If you are summarizing your services or products, it can be useful to allow readers to click through to those dedicated pages and learn more. If you add a testimonial, you might want to add a ‘sign up for my newsletter’ CTA after. It’s always important to have a final CTA at the very bottom of your page, on the off chance your reader has made it that far.

When you’re ready to sit down and write your website copy, consider keeping your home page until last. And if you’re finding the thought of writing all these goals, CTAs and summary copy overwhelming, contact me to find out how I can help! I offer a Done With You package starting at $499, where I provide you with a template to complete all these sections, and I take it from draft to done, guaranteeing you website copy that wows just 2 weeks later!

Thanksgiving Special - website copy audit

Website Copy Audit – Thanksgiving special

Are you ready to spend your holiday relaxing? Let me work on a copy audit while you do so, and by the time you return to work (rested, and possibly having eaten too much turkey), you will have some actionable goals to polish up your website copy so it wows your customers for the rest of the year, allowing you to leap into 2020 with your calendar already filling up! Get in touch between now and December 1st to unlock the $250 special, and start the last month of the year right!

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