Writer’s block. Brain fog. Scatterbrained. These are some of the phrases you’ve probably used to describe that feeling of not being able to articulate what you want to say when writing your website copy and sales pages.
When the words aren’t coming to you or your brain feels like it’s ping-ponging between ideas, it’s time to pull out one of my favorite copywriting exercises: Letting your readers write your copy for you.
Here’s how to use testimonials or feedback surveys to write your copy:
Because, as the copywriter for your small online business, it’s your job to take the words right out of your ideal client’s mind.
[Pssst — Don’t have testimonials or feedback to pull from? Beta test a new service offering in exchange for a feedback interview or run a super fun audience survey (And grab these 13 audience survey starter Qs to get going!)]
1) Compile the results
Compile all of your testimonials and feedback for your service, product, program, or course into one document. Get rid of any attributions (name, titles, position) and don’t fret about making it pretty. This is raw data that we’ll zhush up later.
2) Color code
Work your way down the doc, scanning each line for three key elements and color-code them accordingly.
VOICE OF CUSTOMER COPY PULL
SOLUTION THEY’RE PINING FOR
The “Problem” is the stated issue they’re having (ex: I sit down to write my About page and my mind goes blank.”) I like to highlight these in RED.
The “Voice of Customer Copy Pull” is a line so good, you’ve just got to swipe it and use it. Generally, these copy pulls are referring to the problem, but have a distinct voice or mood to them that sounds just like you’re sitting down face-to-face with them. (Ex: “I can’t pull a room together to save my life!”) I like to highlight these in GREEN.
Finally, the “SOLUTION THEY’RE PINING FOR” is copywriting gold. This is the moment where they tell you exactly what they want, and what you should speak to on your webpage in order to assure them that your service or offering will help. (Ex: “I would love someone to help provide step-by-step options.”) I highlight these in BLUE.
3) List out the major themes or problems
Once you’ve scanned and coded your doc completely, go back through and note any major themes or problems that come up over and over again. I like to compile these into a list at the top of my page before moving onto the next step.
4) Write out a “radio show reply”
If you were on a radio show and your customer called in describing one of these major themes, how would you respond to them? Write out your response to each theme and keep it brief. You need to get your point across before it’s time to head to that commercial break.
How to use your copy swipes
By the end of this exercise, you should have a handful of copy swipes ready to plug into your outline or template. You’ll naturally edit these a few times until you’ve dialed in on exactly how you want to express something, but you at least have something to work with instead of staring down a blank page and blinking cursor.