Mind Your Language

What makes a piece of writing really compelling for you? How can you write something compelling for your customers or prospects? Have you noticed that sometimes you’re hooked immediately and other times you’re bored and click away to another website or turn the page of a magazine? Follow the steps here and be compelling!

Imagine we’re looking at your website home page and you want prospects to read it and feel compelled to take further action.

1) Who are you talking to? As you write, imagine you’re having a face to face conversation with your ideal prospect. First of all, be sure you know who your ideal prospect is! Know what interests them. Know why they are likely to have landed on your website. Know their type of business and typical challenges facing them. It’s important that first of all you build rapid rapport so they know they are in the right place and that you understand them. If your ideal prospect is a company with 50 employees who needs to train their staff on Microsoft software products, you might say “If you need to increase your staff proficiency with Microsoft Office, you’re in the right place. Whether you need tutor-led training or online self-paced video training, we’ve got the solution.”. If you understand your target audience and what they’re looking for - chances are they’ll stay on your site. This form of wording is more effective than purely a headline like “Training for Microsoft Office”, but you could use both.

2) It’s all about them Ensure you don’t bore them with how great your company is and how lovely your office is and how fantastic your team is. There’s a time and a place for all these topics, but initially you need to focus on THEM. For those of you who do business networking, you’ll know the rule - don’t start by talking about yourself. If paragraphs you write tend to start with “We always try to…”, “Our team like to…”, “Our company speciality is…” and so on, then you’re talking about yourself! There’s a place for this - it’s on the “About Us” page. Ensure you focus on them and their challenges and needs. “You probably find that…”, “If you need help with…”, “You might like assistance with…”, “One of your challenges might be…”, etc. This continues to build empathy with the reader, showing that you understand them. Few of us writing websites are trained and experienced writers, so this might all feel like a lot to think about. But by just following a few of these guidelines you’ll soon be writing like an expert and keeping your prospects hooked. (That was me building empathy with you, in case you didn’t realise).

3) How can you help them? Having established that you understand their needs, now you can suggest some ways that you can help them. “If you’d like your team to have instructor-led courses to learn Microsoft Office, you can book your team members onto our regular open courses. And if your needs are more specific - training to use specific in-house templates for example - we can run a bespoke course for just your staff.”.

4) So what should they do next? Don’t just leave your prospects hanging, lead them by the hand. Don’t even assume that they would now look at your price list or click a contact page. You’ll help them far more - and increase the number of sales you generate - by telling them what to do next. Make your language very directive. “If at this point you’re ready to speak to us, call us on 01234 56789 or use the contact form. And if you need information on Tutor-led courses or online training, just click the corresponding menu item at the top of the screen. And if you’d like to hear what other customers like you have said about the help our training provided, click on the testimonials page.".

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By: Rob Pickering

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