(What follows is the outline I wrote in advance of recording the video. They’re my talking points. Not a regular post or article. Just an outline.)
This question came up during some back and forth over homework a student submitted as part of my course on Conversational Copywriting.
Here it is…
“Are there any quick and dirty tricks I can use to making corporate-sounding sales copy feel authentic and conversational?
There are two answers to this.
The NO answer and the YES answer.
Let’s start with NO.
No… you can’t use tips and tricks to try fooling your audience into thinking you’re suddenly listening to them and truly interested in engaging in conversation.
The road to true conversational copywriting starts at the cultural level.
This has to be real. The marketing group has to buy into the idea that engaging in true conversation with prospects and customers is actually a good idea.
And then, as will all good conversations, you start by listening.
Invite your audience to talk to you and ask questions through your social media channels.
Listen to what’s important to them. Listen to how they talk. The language they use.
That’s how you really get into conversational copywriting.
It takes a commitment an it takes time.
OK… now for the other answer. The one you’ve been waiting for.
The YES answer.
This will only take you so far. But it is a start.
And it’s a super quick and dirty trick. You can start doing this today. Right now.
Express simpler ideas in shorter sentences.
Here’s some text from the website of a coffee services company, trying to persuade companies to have them install their machines in their offices.
“It only takes a moment to make someone’s day a little brighter. That’s why we take great care to craft each cup with the needs of your business in mind.”
I like the first sentence. No complaints from me. But I’m not even sure what that second sentence is trying to say.
It’s the wrong idea expressed in the wrong way.
Here’s what I think they’re trying to say…
“It’s not hard make everyone’s day a little brighter. Just give them great coffee. We can help you with that.”
Simple ideas in short sentences. It immediately sounds more conversational.
So yes, you can make a start with getting conversational simply by changing the language on your marketing materials.
But the real value lies in that cultural change that results in actually listening to your prospects and customers, and talking back to them in their own language.
I hope that helps a little.
Do you have a question for me? If so, add it in the comment box below.
NOTE: I have an entire course devoted to the craft of Conversational Copywriting. Find out more about it here…
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