Getting Over Copy Shock

A few weeks ago I wrote some copy for a business owner “Marvin.” My copy was hard-hitting but honest and down-to-earth. He’s really good in his field, so coming up with benefits was easy. What wasn’t easy was convincing him to run with the copy on his duller-than-dust website.

“It’s well, sales!” Marvin said.

“That’s the idea,” I replied.

“It makes me sound really great!”

“You ARE really great. I’ve seen your work.”

Finally, I showed the copy to a friend who needed Marvin’s services. She was ready to pick up the phone. Then I showed her Marvin’s original website. She made a face. “Boh-ring!”

She hired Marvin and told him why. Marvin’s about 90% convinced.

I understand where Marvin was coming from. When I created my first website, I practically begged people to go away. But when I began revising my sales pages, and people began buying, I saw the light. People who buy from me are smart professionals. Many have advanced degrees. They’re not the type to be suckered in by a snake-oil sales pitch.

And now I encourage clients to understand what good marketing copy can do for a business.

Let’s face it, most of us were taught, “Don’t brag. Don’t show off.” And in truth, there’s no need for hype and absolutely no reason to exaggerate what you can do. But clients want to buy from strong, confident business people. And if you don’t have anything to brag about, why are you in business?

Alas, many of us experience a form of copy shock, similar to what happens when we hire a professional resume writer.

“Is that really me? I don’t want to exaggerate,” we say.

But the whole idea of hiring someone to promote ourselves is to, well, promote. Sell! Get excited! Share the good stuff!

Whether I’m working on a resume or a piece of copy, I’ve learned a trick for helping clients defuse copy shock.

Show a trusted friend what your hired gun promotional consultant has written.

“A little strong isn’t it?” you’ll say nervously.

Almost always your friend will say, “Not at all. That’s really who you are. Very accurate.”

“Not too sales-y, is it?”

“Not hardly. This is what I’d call gentle persuasion. Get a life!”

A few iterations and copy shock goes away. Soon you’ll be plastering “My business rocks!” posters all over town. And you’ll believe it.

About The Author

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant, helping midlife professionals take their First step to a Second Career.

“Ten secrets of mastering a major life change” mailto:[email protected]

Contact: [email protected] 505-534-4294

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