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This is hype. We see it all the time: the over-the-top claims, grand statements, and fluffy messaging.
It’s so common, in fact, that we often stop seeing it. It just blends into the background of all the online noise.
And it works – especially if you’re selling to the masses. But it’s not the only way to promote your offers. And if you’re a heart-based business owner, it likely feels all kinds of icky when you do.
That’s often because it’s misaligned with your personal and brand values. You can feel it deep within when something you write is a true echo of you – and when it’s not. And if you’re still unsure, an easy way to check is to ask: “Would I really say this out loud, in person, to someone who wants to work with me?”
I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to pick up the phone and scream: “HEY JANET! THIS IS THE FASTEST FAT BLASTING SHAKE ON THE MARKET! BUY NOW!”
So how can we write without hype – while still selling our awesome programs and products? I’ve got a couple of tips to help you get going…and I think you’ll find it can be super simple and fun!
Know your why
A big reason why folks might lean on hype to sell is because they’re not laser focused on their vision and mission. And so, there just isn’t enough detail and depth to articulate the true value of their offer.
Whether you’re just starting out in business or want to rejig things, it’s worth taking a little time to hone your brand soul (your vision, values and mission) and identify the real impact of your work. No hype, just honesty. Because that’s what we all want more of right now: genuine relationships built on trust and integrity. And if you can integrate that into the fabric of your business, it’s much easier to fold it into your sales copy.
Let’s start with the basics: why you started your business in the first place. What’s your vision for the future – and how does your work play a part in creating it? Start small with this statement: if you could just impact one life, one business, one thing, what would it be?
You can then expand it out to capture the greater impact of that vision.
For example, let’s say you want to teach people how to bake their own bread, so they can feel more confident in the kitchen – and more connected to the food they eat. That might then feed into your bigger vision of a more sustainable, self-sufficient world.
When you get crystal clear on why you do what you do, it’s a heck of a lot easier to invite people to join you on that journey.
Trust it’s enough
Now you’ve nailed your why, take a moment to tell yourself it’s enough – just as it is. It doesn’t need to be any bigger, or bolder, or lit up in neon. It is enough.
The capitalist patriarchy wants us to believe the lie that we must appear to be more than we are: more accomplished, more expert, more confident, more wealthy.
But we don’t.
And anytime you feel the pull to do that, return to your brand soul. When you stay focused on that, you won’t need to sugarcoat your messaging or amp up its value – because your vision is true and compelling to the folks who are ready for it.
There’s a reason why so many businesses use hype marketing: because it’s easy. It takes a lot more effort and energy to carefully craft your copy with integrity.
So something I encourage all my clients to do is be brave. Show the real you. Unearth the courage to speak up for what you believe in – to shimmy when others samba, to go left when they go right.
Building a sustainable business that supports who you are at your core is incredibly rewarding. So I’d really love to challenge you to start with your sales copy. Let it showcase your differences, your desires, your drivers. Be an example of ethical entrepreneurship. I promise you’re not alone (come join our community if you haven’t already!)
Something I see a lot – especially in coaching and wellness spaces – is a lot of flowery, abstract messaging. Now, I love lyrical language. But what we mean isn’t always obvious to others, who might misinterpret it or simply switch off.
So when writing your sales copy (even your About page), think about who’s going to access it. Are they already in your orbit and understand your unique approach? Or do they need a little more nurturing and simple speak to guide them along the way to working with you? Perhaps you’ll need to do a bit of a mix, so you appeal to both groups.
I suggest writing your “front door” copy (the stuff people see first, like your homepage) in simple, clear language that anyone can grasp. Note that I didn’t say boring! You can still showcase your personality – just be mindful of anything that might confuse new visitors.
Then as you invite folks to journey deeper with you (say in your blog posts, podcast or onboarding emails) you can start integrating more unique, abstract concepts and copy.
Share true transformations
Reviews are a really wonderful way to highlight how your work impacts others – without hyping it up.
You can sprinkle client testimonials throughout your copy, and also write your copy with the exact words and phrases they use when talking about your programs.
For instance, you might notice many of your customers say you helped them feel more energised. So you scan your copy and swap out any synonyms (like “invigorated” or “alive”) with the word “energised”. That way, it’s likely to appeal to the people you wish to work with in the future.
If you haven’t started collecting client feedback, start now! Keep it in an email folder, Trello or Asana board, or somewhere you can easily access and update it. This is one of the easiest ways to write sales copy, so consider adding it to your list of regular business admin tasks.
Real it aloud
Alright, friends. Here’s my final tip on how to keep your copy free from hype. And that’s to read it aloud when you’re done.
Does it sound like you? Would you say these things in person to a prospective buyer? Are there any words or phrases that speak around the real meaning of your message? Perhaps there’s a hint of hype that’s crept onto the page that you can rewrite using the tips I’ve already shared.
Sales copy is always going to be a little persuasive – that’s the nature of it. But it is possible to call in your clients and community by being genuine, honest and real.
I’d love to know how you go! Come share in our Facebook group.