Did what you wrote have the same meaning as you intended?
Body language doesn’t work on the page. Tone is not easy to convey. And you can’t smile, look shocked or surprised either – your words must do it all.
You’ll always want your meaning to be clear. A small misunderstanding in a set of instructions could have a big consequence. And in business where money is on the line you always wantclear communication.
Here’s some strategies to help you get it right:
Being genuine is always a good strategy.
You’ll use recommendation letters to highlight your performance to prospective clients. But too much “gush” grates.
Over-zealous testimonials read like they often are – phoney. Don’t even correct spelling errors and use the originals, scanned or photocopied, if it’s practical.
In promotional letters, when you write about your offering, do you promise to deliver your client AMAZING results or LIFE-ALTERING change?
You’ll need case-studies or other evidence to back up your mind blowing results. Claims are good – you need to make them. And then you need to quietly back up your claims.
Trust, to be honest.
“To be honest, the truth is that you can trust me…” Yes, naturally…
Sales letters with “trust”sentiments don’t usually give the right impression. And often, those words are well meant. But clients who hear those words start wondering what you might be hiding.
However, you do need to be positive and promote yourself. It’s a fine line! Too much and you’ll sound like a salesman, too little and your prospect will feel you don’t care. So write your sales copy with both extremes in mind.
People buy from those they have confidence in.
Short Words Simply Work.
Heavyweight words words give a knockout punch, don’t they? But showing your adeptness with commas and complex construction may not bring the sale you wanted. You don’t want to confuse ‘em. Confused prospects don’t buy.
Many people don’t grasp the subtlety of wordplay; fewer will understand clever construction. Your message will get lost. Simple. Short. Sold.
The Answer isn’t More Graphics.
That is, unless your business is selling graphical effects or font-of-the-month.
Three fonts or colours is plenty – and not in the same sentence. That’s more distraction, which you don’t want. At worst, graphics that don’t quite work make your advertising unreadable. Your clients want to read your message, not be jarred by a ‘beautiful’ design.
5. Back Yourself.
Your clients and prospects get many messages from you. These need to deliver a consistent message. You may use written material in your business from a variety of sources, such as old instruction sheets or product descriptions; direct mail written by one copywriter; blog posts written by someone else, and so on. You need to ensure that the language is similar, and the presentation of your service is consistent. It’s that old trust element again, this time unstated, but strongly present.
People judge using the evidence they have. Make sure your written material won’t work against you.
It’s one of the things you CAN control.