Becoming an entrepreneur has you writing a lot these days: Captions, content for your website, messages in emails… It’s a TON of work, and you don’t love being a copywriter. I get it.
Here’s the thing — Words are like the connective tissue of our brands. They make you easy to relate to, connect with, and understand on a deeper level, and they hold your brand together with a cohesive story across several platforms. See, our businesses aren’t just the things we sell to other people. The WORDS that lift up our businesses shed light on more than just what we’re selling.
I’m sharing 5 EASY copy fixes that you can make RIGHT NOW. Tune in, then log off and put these tips into motion. Because your words matter and it’s time to put some confidence behind yours.
Where to Start
Remodel your about page. For most businesses, especially digital businesses, the about page is the most visited page on your website. It’s where people go right away to get a snapshot of who you are, what you’re about, and what you’re bringing to the table. By the way, the key word there is SNAPSHOT. So we don’t want this section to be a novel, because I can almost guarantee that people won’t make it through 17 paragraphs about how your cat inspired you to find a way to work from home or your favorite hobbies ranked 1 through 30.
On the flip side, it’s really important that this page isn’t sterile and cold. The old cut and dry messaging works for law firms and medical practices, but odds are, you have a personal story connected to the heart of your brand, and this is the perfect place to share it. Don’t be afraid to get your personality on the page and capture people’s attention with your wit, charm, and hilarious dad jokes. I want you to do a little brainstorming with me and answer the following questions:
The first questions is WHO are you impacting, helping, serving, and providing value for? Write a list of attributes in your perfect customer or client and write to that person or group of people every single time you craft a piece of content, especially your about page!
Number two. WHAT problems do you solve, gaps do you fill, and questions do you answer? What makes you unique and irreplaceable and a knockout in the marketplace? You need to have every lick of confidence possible that what you provide is outstanding, but to have that confidence, you need to know exactly what you bring to the table.
And three. WHERE are you located, and where is your perfect customer located? Can you meet them where they’re at because you provide some sort of digital service? Or do you only take clients in a certain city or part of the country? Get real specific here.
Number four. WHEN can your clients expect results or experience the value that you’re offering them? Is this a long-term relationship you’re forming with your ideal buyer, or a one and done kind of deal?
And probably most importantly, number five. WHY do you do what you do? What was the moment in your life when you decided you needed to step into this space of running a small business or taking control of your life? We all have a handful of BIG, life-changing moments that impact us greatly and literally change the course of our lives. Whatever yours was that landed you in your business, share that openly with your people, because I can promise they will love to hear your journey and admire you so much more.
How to Structure Your About Me Page
Now that you have all of the details figured out behind your why, writing your about section should come pretty easily. You want to start with what value you provide pretty much at the top of the page. All that stuff about how your business is different and what problems you can solve for others should be the main bulk of the content.
Then you’ll want to go into the WHY. Why you do what you do, what your big AH-HA moment was that got you into this business, and your quirks and fun facts. Even those little lighthearted things are really significant because they make you more human and approachable to random internet strangers.
And the last thing you’ll want to include on your about page is an invitation to connect. Whether you have an email newsletter opt in or a place to leave feedback, always end with a tangible ask that they’ll feel inclined to do. Make it friendly and use your voice — like really, write the way that you’d speak to a person if they were right in front of you! You’d be surprised how much this can change a call to action from being stuffy or aggressive into a friend asking another friend to hang for a while. Know what I mean?
Check Your Work
Before you hit publish, always always ALWAYS proofread your content. This goes for all copy in all the places. It is so apparent when people rush through writing a bio or caption and there’s a blatant word missing or misspelled.
Even if you thoughtfully put together this incredible piece of content, a typo can significantly take away from its impact. People are harsh, y’all, but you don’t need me to tell you that. Of course, accidents happen and we all miss a letter or comma here and there, but proofreading takes a minute or two, tops, and it can save you from so many of those small mistakes. A quick read through will make your content all the more standout and memorable for readers.
If you’re not the best with grammar or spelling, or just details in general, get someone on your team or a friend who is a grammar nerd (we all have ONE) to go over your stuff before hitting send. An extra set of eyes is always a good idea to make the content as primed and pristine as possible before hitting the interwebs.
Write Better Instagram Captions
Okay, now that your about page is looking fly as can be and we’ve gone over proofreading, let’s talk about writing better Instagram captions. You know this is my bread and butter and I could talk about captions until I’m bright blue in the face. Really and truly, they don’t have to be the bane of our existence or something we mull over for hours on end trying to think of the perfectly witty but low key but high performing caption! But I know for many of you, because I hear from many of you, that writing Instagram captions is still as bad as pulling teeth most days.
Your Instagram doesn’t have to reach and relate to everyone. Go back to that “Who do you serve?” question, and write specifically to those people. For me, my ideal follower is a woman in her mid-20s to mid-30s who is pursuing ambitious dreams and cares deeply for others. Keep it broad, but still detailed, and then craft captions as though you’re talking to that person over brunch or at your book club. That person is your friend, so write like that!
Now select some topics that broadly relate to you, your brand, and your ideal follower. Mine tend to be body image, business tips, my fertility journey, encouragement, and family, and I rotate these themes throughout the week. I don’t really ever write captions outside of those themes, because I want my audience to know what they can expect from my feed and what I’ll consistently offer to them.
In terms of actually writing the captions, pick one of your themes, and write in a way that feels true to your thoughts and heart. I know this seems vague but it’s because it’s a little different for everyone. If you’re writing about your fitness journey, you could talk about a lesson you’ve learned, advice you’ve found success in following, a workout that kicked your butt, the importance of rest, the significance of listening to your body, how to fit workouts into busy days… The options are literally endless, and that’s just one theme!
And make sure you keep your captions simple. That doesn’t mean they have to be short, but don’t use jargon or bossy language that alienates people. Write in simple sentences and, again, keep it as conversational and casual as possible. And finally, invite your audience into the conversation. Ask questions, invite them to double tap if they agree, say leave an emoji if they’re with you. People are on social media because they WANT to engage and feel like they’re a part of a community. Give them the opportunity to do so!
Subject Lines and Headlines
I’m pairing these together because they’re both the capturers of your audience’s attention, whether it’s an email, blog post, Facebook post, website page, or anything else that has big font at the top trying to snag someone’s eyes.
So what’s the main thing you want to do to capture someone’s attention? I bet you already know the answer… You have to say something that makes them WANT to keep reading, or open the email, or see what you have to say. Think about an email that has a subject line that reads a little something like this:
3 Marketing Tools to Improve Business
It’s not totally bad. It synopsizes what will be inside the email, and it speaks to a specific audience. But how much more impactful is this one in comparison?
3 Crazy Easy Marketing Tools to Get 10X More Conversions
It’s wild what a few adjectives and descriptive words can do to make it so much more attractive and something people will want to open up right away. If I’m a business owner wanting to scale and grow, that second email is going to be the one that lights a fire under my behind to read whatever material you’re dishing up and start taking action.
I’m not telling you to serve up empty promises or get all click bait-y. No way, Jose. That’s so not my style. But ideally, the content you’re promoting, specifically in blog posts and emails, is so informative and valuable that it deserves captivating, alluring headlines and subject lines to get people intrigued so that they click on and read what YOU have to say. Be bold with your invitations through headlines, and then make sure your long form content actually delivers on the promises.
Another way to lead into your content via great headlines and subject lines is sharing a one-sentence personal anecdote that piques people’s interest. For example, I recently sent out an email about my cringe-inducing early podcast days, where I recorded episodes in my freezing car because it was the only place quiet enough to get through a full show. I didn’t have any fancy podcast equipment, and I had next to NO idea what I was doing. I can hardly even listen to those early episodes now because I’ve worked so hard to improve this whole podcast thing I’ve got going on.
My subject line to that email was just my true, emotion-filled thoughts about the content inside. It said, “Well, this is embarrassing…” It wasn’t some hyped-up promise or over-sold delivery. It was just the truth on my heart to show my audience, Hey I’m human too and I deal with beginnings just like you do. They’re scary and messy, and here’s what mine looked like when I started podcasting.
Tell a Story
We talked about crafting your business story in an intentional way when you write your about page, but that’s not the end of sharing stories, my friend. Every day of running a business is a chance to share a customer’s win, a troubling time you overcame, a bump in the road you maneuvered around, an exciting moment you want to relive again and again, or a mistake you made that you learned a tremendous amount of humility and grace from.
We encounter compelling and interesting stories every day, whether they’re our own or someone else’s. These are the glue that bind your ideal audience and customers to your brand, so sharing them well and often is such a big part of communicating with your people. There are a few things every story you write has to have.
When you’re telling a story, whether it’s in an email, blog post, or social post, you need to have an underlying reason why this matters. Why are you sharing this? Why now? Give your audience the reason before you even start sharing what happened so they know what they’re going to get out of spending time consuming what you have to say. Whether it’s a lesson you learned and want to share, or an encouraging encounter you think they might get something out of, or a hilarious occurrence that you know they’ll get a kick out of — let them know why you are motivated to share this specific story.
You also want to make sure your story has a beginning, middle, and end. Duh, basic storytelling here, but always make sure you answer, “And then what?” Even if you can’t wrap up the end with a tidy bow and all the things you got out of it, you still want to follow some sort of story arch to draw people in, get them invested, and provide some sort of resolution. Even if the ending is that you’re waiting to see how something pans out, at least that will give them something to look forward to in an update eventually.
When you’ve finished the story, it’s important to share your takeaway with your audience. What did YOU get out of experiencing the story you just shared? How did it impact you, change your heart, or influence your direction? Give some tangibles for how you felt after experiencing it.
And then, always always provide an invitation or encouragement. I think a lot of times when we write content, we forget someone’s on the other end consuming it. They are investing their time and energy into what you have to say. Provide a challenge or an opportunity to engage or a thoughtful piece of encouragement for them to walk away with at the end of their time spent with you in your story.
The Big Picture
If you deal with writers block or word-phobia, I get it. I know it can be tough to put a paper to pen, or fingers to keyboard, to blast out a bunch of incredible content that changes the world. But it starts with what’s in your heart. It starts with what motivated you to start the business, dig deep for the goals, and implement big action to achieve big results. If you know that story, I promise you have the capability to share it in a way that connects with your dream audience and wins you a lifetime of success. You got this, friend.