Writing Great Copy is Like Dancing…So, Let’s Tango
Let’s see…how do I put this politely? Just because you think you can dance doesn’t mean you look good doing it.
There, I said it. No offense but as you probably well know, even if you took a few ballroom classes back in the day, it doesn’t mean you’ll be the next competitor on Dancing with the Stars.
The same goes for writing awesome sales and marketing copy. Just because you passed your English classes in college, and you know how to open a Word doc, doesn’t mean you can write stellar copy.
And by stellar, I mean copy that motivates your audience to take action.
Break it down.
Let’s say you’re performing in the local community theatre and you’re part of the opening dance number. Are you just going to go out on stage and hope you know the choreography? When 13 other dancers go left, are you going right?
Of course not. You know the the steps. You’ve been to rehearsal. You’re prepared and you’re not going to wing it.
So why not apply that same philosophy to your copywriting? See the big picture, but break it down into smaller steps. Know what you want to say; how you want to say it; and what you want to accomplish before you construct your next sales letter or marketing blog.
If you really want to sound like you know what you’re talking about, actually write an outline first.
Learn from the best.
When you want to learn how to tango, you sign up for a class with an experienced tango instructor. When you want to learn how to hone your writing skills, it certainly helps to emulate someone who’s been successful in the marketing world.
Read some of the marketing gurus like Guy Kawasaki or Neil Patel for inspiration. Emulating the best sales and promotional writers is just like mirroring the steps of 2017 World Tango Champions, Germán Ballejo and Magdalena Gutiérrez.
In either case, you might not win a contest, but you’ll certainly have the advantage of studying the best techniques, and your writing and dance moves will show it.
Think outside the box (step).
Once you have the basics down, try to add some style; make it your own. Sure, anyone can learn a simple box step, but it takes practice to really dance it like you mean it.
Writing a more persuasive, enticing, engaging sales letter might feel awkward at first, but as you keep practicing your new skills, it will get easier. You’ll begin to find your voice and add your personal spin or experience to the basic elements of your sales letter or marketing email.
While you’re on your way to becoming the next great marketing copywriter/world tango champion, here are some proven techniques you can apply right now:
- Start with one big idea and convey that in your headline.
Grab your audience’s attention immediately so they want to keep reading. A good headline focuses on one idea that your target market wants to know about. How is your product or service useful or unique? Why do your readers need it, or how will they benefit from it?
- Sales copy is different from academic writing.
Make it easy for your reader to understand. The objective isn’t to show your teacher the big vocabulary words you know or how you’ve mastered compound complex sentence structure. Readability is key. Use short, easy to digest sentences that convey an idea or visual image your readers can relate to.
- Tell a story.
Stories add interest; everyone loves a good story. What’s yours? How did your business get started? Is there an anecdote you can share that has the potential to connect personally with your audience? The more you do that, the longer they’ll keep reading.
- Solve a problem.
Instead of droning on about how awesome your product is, or how unique of a service you have — both of which are undoubtedly true — tell your readers (potential customers) how you can solve their problem. Maybe your product is the solution they’ve been looking for, and you can persuade them to take action by telling a story about how great it works. See? Now, they need one, too.
Successful copywriting, like anything else, takes practice. You might trip over your own feet a few times, but that’s OK. You’re learning, right?
Dancing with the Stars contestants trip over their own feet in rehearsal all the time. But, the more they practice the steps, the better they look doing it when they’re out there on stage, where it matters most.
And, you will, too.
Want help with marketing and writing? For more than 11 years, the pros at Solutions 8 have been tangoing with the best of ‘em. We’re always learning new steps and adding more style to our proven techniques, too. Come say hi and see how we can help.