Are you struggling with writing your website copy? Are the words coming out all wrong – stilted and lifeless? But you have to write in a “professional” style right? You need to create an aura of “authority” for people to take you seriously, surely?
So many heart-centred soloprneurs get completely stuck writing their copy – in some cases bringing their entire website to a grinding halt so it never gets launched. This is sad as it means that the people who most need their help never get it…
But what if, I told you that it was not only acceptable but PREFERABLE to write in a way that feels entirely natural to you…as if you were simply having a conversation with your most perfect client? You can finally breathe a sigh of relief…writing has just got a whole lot easier (and more fun).
You feel really heard…understood, that the person behind the website has really “got” where you are at…
Empathy is really powerful. We ALL want to be understood. And when we are looking for a solution to something that we are struggling with and find not just an answer, but someone who really understands us, we immediately feel connected.
This is why empathy is the absolute best place to start when writing your website copy.
Making it personal
To write in this way forget all you have been told about writing in a “professional” style, yes really!
(To answer the question that I originally posed – yes it is not just ok but, in my book, highly recommended to write in the first person).
Corrina Gordon-Barnes from You Inspire Me describes writing with empathy like writing a love letter to just one person in your Tribe.
You’d never have a conversation in the third person would you? Yet we are often told in a business context that unless we speak about ourselves in this way we are being far to “friendly” and won’t be seen as professional and capable at what we do.
But how do WE feel when we come across a website written in this style? Disconnected, and that the business owner is at a remove from us? I know that I do…
(For some types of business this style obviously works. For instance it would be plain odd if a firm of corporate lawyers with many partners, and whose clients were other big businesses, wrote in the first person).
But you are not only a solopreneur, but someone who is offering a heart-led service to your Perfect People. It’s your mission in life to make a difference to the lives of your individual clients.
Please don’t fall into the trap of trying to appear to be a bigger business than you are, this is not what your clients want. They LOVE the fact that you are giving them your personal undivided attendion, and work with you because you are YOU.
Rapport is built through empathy – trust is built through expertise
Writing in a personal style certainly doesn’t mean that you need to shy away from your expertise. Showing you know what you are doing, and have the qualififactions and experience to back this up is essential in building trust.
I’m not suggesting you including your entire CV on your About Page, but do include not only your qualifications but a link back to where you trained/gained them.
But the absolute best way to show credibility is through the words of your happy clients. Testimonials are great social proof, especially if you include a photo and link to their website (if you are working with business owners and they have one).
(The one place that I suggest it’s ok to write in the third person is if you choose to write a short “cute and paste bio” and add it to the bottom of your About Page – to make it easy for others to share your bio, at the end of a guest blog post for example).
Over to you
Please do share examples of websites that really speak to you in the Comments below – especially where you have gone on to work with the person behind the site!
If you are struggling with where to start writing (or re-writing) your website copy, help is at hand in Module 7 of my new online group course, I Wish I Loved My Website. I am working with Madeleine Forbes who will be on hand to answer all of your copywriting questions in the Q&A in that week of the course. Sign up to be front of the queue and find out when booking opens for January 2016.
Photo credit: Carli Jean on Unsplash