These days, the real challenge of marketing your creative business online lies in gaining attention from an audience that’s overwhelmed with information.
That’s where good content shows its value.
It lets you build trust with your readers and provides you with an opportunity to show them the reasons why they might want what you have.
No matter how they’ve first encountered your business; through search, social media, or a live event, the next step is a visit to your website or online store.
There, you provide lots of information and education that helps them understand what you have to offer, and how it’s different from all the other businesses in your niche.
That kind of content on your site is essential to getting and keeping customers who buy more than once.
As valuable as it is, though, good content alone is not enough for a business website.
There’s one more thing that’s essential, and that’s a way to gather leads and generate sales.
Sometimes creative people are allergic to words like ‘leads,’ ‘sales,’ and ‘marketing,’ but if you need to earn an income from your creative business, that activity is necessary. If you hate the businessy words, just don’t use them. For a different way to look at marketing, read this post.
That doesn’t mean you have to come off as a stereotypical pushy marketer. It’s possible to integrate sales copy with the rest of your content in a way that lets you feel good about selling what you’ve spent all your time, energy and talent creating.
After all, it would be a shame to put so much effort into showing readers all the reasons they should become buyers, without asking them to actually take that final step.
Connect with them on their first visit to your site, and keep reaching out to feed their interests.
Then tell them what you’d like them to do next.
That’s the critical function of good copy. It drives the actions that lead to a sale, or to a continuation of the process that leads to a sale down the road.
- The brief messaging that asks the reader to do something, like that on email subscription forms and other calls to action. It’s very short, but it’s also very powerful, so it needs to be right.
- Product descriptions are the place to have fun. Boring descriptions are the anti-sale.
- The tagline: the punchy bit at the top of your site that tells people what you’re all about, in just a few words.
- The front page, which expands on your tag and provides more information about what you do and why visitors should care, and gives them motivation to explore further.
- The ‘about’ page. Sometimes we don’t think of this page as something that requires persuasive writing techniques, but it’s one of the pages visitors read most often. Done right, it helps build trust and shows visitors why they should explore further.
- Sales pages. The purpose of a sales page is to make an offer and prompt the reader to act. Here’s where good copywriting really shines.
- Landing pages. A landing page is a page on your site that’s a link destination from elsewhere on your site, from social media, from online advertising, or from other websites. Sometimes a landing page is a sales page, and sometimes it’s a page with relevant content. It focuses on a specific topic or product, and often it doesn’t have any distracting features such as menu navigation or sidebars.
Follow through is really important.
In the context of your website, people need to be told what to do or they won’t do it. Not in an obnoxious, stereotypical plaid-jacket salesman sort of way, but in a manner that’s in keeping with your values.
- Give them a reason to want more
- Tell them what to do next
- Provide a reason to act immediately
- Make sure it’s really easy for them to follow through
Do you need help developing the kind of messaging that pulls interested visitors through the steps to becoming a customer? Here’s where to start.