If you’re still carrying the scar tissue from interminable high school English classes where you sweated blood trying to be creative, then this post is for you.
All good writers know that stories often have similar story bases or arcs:
- The fish out of water.
- The case of mistaken identity.
- Boy meets girl.
Writers take these story bases and simply zhuzh them up with their own twists and characters.
Then there are writing master formulas. Some people argue that the hero’s journey is the ultimate writing master formula and is the basis of every other story. You can find it in everything from Star Wars to Game of Thrones.
Bottom line: using a writing formula is not cheating in the world of English literature and movies!
Writing sales copy about your business is no different. There are story bases and master formulas you can use in everything from writing the About Us page, through to applying for j-o-b-s.
The 3-step formula for writing sales copy
The simplest and most versatile is the 3-step writing master formula. If you can follow a recipe and cook a decent meal, then you will be able to follow this formula to create compelling words for your solo business.
As the name suggests, it’s a simple three-step process.
Step 1: Tell people WHAT you can do
Most business owners can sort out step one. You see websites filled with lists:
“We install power points, lights, light switches, etc.”
You also see it in applicants for j-o-b-s:
“I can use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.”
The writer then walks away, dusting their hands, and wonder why they are not getting calls.
Step 1 is purely transactional. People don’t know exactly what makes you different from your competitors, so they struggle to choose you. Stopping at Step 1 is like stopping a race only a third of the way through.
Step 2: Tell them HOW you do it
In step 2, you add in the process you use to make sure that the client gets a brilliant result. By adding in this level of detail, you will be more effective than 75% of all other businesses or applicants.
“We are Master Electricians who use premium wiring and parts to ensure that your electricals are safe and built to last.”
“I am an advanced user of Microsoft Word, with skills that include complex mail merge and macro recording and playback.”
If you have two candidates in front of you – one says they can use Microsoft Word and the other says they use Word including mail merge, which one will you pick?
People look for detail. They want to know why they should hire you and not the business down the street. By adding in the “How” you make it easier for them to choose you.
Step 3: PROVE how good you are at doing it
Step 3 is where you add in the proof to really bring your difference home. When you add in credibility boosters or testimonials, you turn boring lists of stuff into a super power.
“We were awarded WOMO electrician of the year in 2016 based on feedback from happy clients.”
“I was appointed as a level 2 help desk to troubleshoot Word Macros for all admin team members within the organisation.”
The combination of how you deliver and demonstrated proof are what creates the copywriting magic. These two extra steps make you stand out from your competitors like Cinderella at the ball.
Over to you
If your callbacks have been lacklustre, check to see if your sales copy has only gone as far as Step 1. If so, add in Step 2 and 3, and prepare to shine!
Feel free to share your sales copy below and let’s see if we can figure out where things might be going wrong (or right!)