We all want to be remembered and recommended. The best leads come via our contacts, because the ground work is already done; you’ll already have been talked up, so there’s less explaining to do. Your website should fill this role of referrer too, it should be full of useful content – tangible examples of how you help, so it’s easy for potential clients to remember you as ‘the people to go to for….’
Writing memorable copy is what copywriters are paid to do – we create those catchy little phrases that hook brands and products into customers’ minds. But you don’t need to be a copywriter to start creating unforgettable content, you just need to pay attention to the following rules.
Rule 1. Get to the point fast. You know the way it is when someone asks for directions: ‘Left at the Queen Victoria pub, straight on, right at the second lights, third exit at mini roundabout, second on the right.’ All we remember is the ‘left at the Queen Vic’ bit. When you’re writing about what you do, be succinct. Don’t add too many layers to what you’re saying. Say the most important bit, clearly, and deal with the rest separately.
Rule 2. Shine a light on memorable details. There are hundreds of IT consultancies that deliver better systems and an abundance of leadership consultancies that help businesses develop their management teams. So how do you stand out?
- Who do you work for? We met a Financial Advisor recently whose clients included many premiership footballers. That kind of detail is great for referrals – he’s the man who advises top footballers.
- What campaigns are you proudest of? Be known as the people who got deliveries to customers in the harshest winter Britain has ever known.
- What’s unique about your service? Is there anything you do very differently to your competitors that will improve the lives of your clients?
Create content on your site that breathes life into these details, so that readers can quickly understand them and relate them to their own situations, and those of their friends and acquaintances. I mean content like case studies, Q and A’s, blogs – well written information that roots your offer in the real world. It’s show not tell, again.
Rule 3. Think heart not head when constructing your messages. We remember things that pack an emotional punch more easily than those that are purely rational. Do your potential clients care most about implementing their HR strategy, or do they just want a day when the phone isn’t ringing off the hook? Consider how your services connect to your clients on a human level, and give these messages top billing on your website. Use these emotional hooks as the basis for strong home page messages with clear calls to action.
Rule 4. Engage, don’t preach. Back up your messages with content that demonstrates how your service makes their working lives easier – think about creating an ‘is this you?’ quiz, ‘service health checks’ video blogs as well as more traditional testimonials from happy clients.
Rule 5. Use memorable analogies. Analogies and metaphors are great for bridging the gap between head and heart quickly. They’re useful when you’re thinking about your key messages, and also when writing blogs that develop and deepen your theme. However, if you compare your help desk to a box of cats, no one’s going to forget it, so think of comparisons that are useful as well as memorable.
Rule 6. Make people smile. Humour can be a tricky one on websites, and we wouldn’t advocate filling your site with a stream of ‘have you heard the one about the…..’ and YouTube viral funnies. But using wit in headlines and body copy, and creating engaging content that surprises is a great way to get people to want to share your site with others.
Content is key to getting referrals. It’s the proof you need to show what you do, and it’s memorable material for your contacts to spread the message for you. Use these 6 writing rules to create unforgettable messaging, and develop creative content that makes it come alive.