If you feel a little shaky about your writing, you’re not alone.
Many of the health coaches, doctors, and wellness practitioners I work with feel uncomfortable about their writing. They confess that they:
- Procrastinate writing articles and blog posts
- Feel lost about what to put on their website
- Would rather chew their arm off than attempt to write a webinar or sales page … even if having one will attract more clients to their business
If the idea of writing practically gives you hives, don’t worry. Your writing is actually less important than you think.
I know that must sound strange coming from a professional copywriter. But it’s true.
Many people are surprised when I tell them there’s something that practically “neutralizes” poorly written copy. In fact, this is even more important than your writing.
What is it?
It’s your messaging.
In fact, if you have the right messaging, most people won’t give a hoot about your writing!
In this post, I will show you the difference between “writing” and “messaging.” You’ll also see why your messaging is more important. And by the end of the article, you’ll know how to create the right messaging … the kind that attracts people who want to work with you.
Why messaging is more important than copy
Once upon a time, before the boom of the digital age, radios had knobs. You’d turn them to change the station. If the knob wasn’t exactly in the right place, you’d hear static or crackling noises. The same thing would happen when you drove near the edge of the transmission signal.
When you were in the car searching for something to listen to, you’d turn the knob until you got to a good song. Well I remember plenty of times my friends and I would listen to a staticky, crackly station if it was playing our favorite song. Because the song was the “message” we wanted to hear.
We cared more about that than how good it sounded.
And if you have the right message, people will put up with staticky, crackly writing to read it. You can think of it this way…
Messaging is what you say … and copy is how you say it.
Of course it’s best if you have both of them “dialed in.” But believe me, people won’t take the time to read something if they don’t care about the message, no matter how beautifully it’s written.
What’s “good messaging?”
Good messaging makes the reader feel like it was written just for them … almost like the person who wrote it can read their mind.
It shows them that you know what they’re going through. You understand how the problem makes them feel. And you know what’s important to them.
Let me give you a simple example.
A lot of people hate to cook. They’re all about the convenience of “grab and go.” Now if this type of person wants to lose weight and a coach offers them a meal plan with recipes, it would fall flat.
It wouldn’t matter how great the food tastes or how quickly it would help them reach their weight loss goals. They wouldn’t care. They’d only be interested in something that fits their grab-and-go lifestyle … maybe like meal replacement shakes.
Now I would HATE meal replacement shakes because I love to cook! And I love to sit down to meals with my family. So the last thing I’d want is to sit at the dining room table sipping a shake while I watch my family eat. I’d want recipes I could prepare that would help me lose weight that my family would enjoy eating, too.
So the messaging you use has to match what your perfect client cares about. In the copywriting world, we call that “entering the conversation they’re having in their head.” That’s what a brilliant direct marketer and copywriter named Robert Collier said almost 100 years ago. And it’s still 100% true today.
So you need to become a mind reader.
How to become a mind reader
Sharpening your mind-reading skills is actually quite easy. The trick is that you need to know what problem you want to help people solve. Because once you know the problem, you know where to find out what they care about.
This kind of research is actually the most important part of copywriting. In fact, when I’m hired to write copy, I spend a lot of time researching before I write a single word.
Here are some of the places I go to listen to the audience I’m writing to:
- Online forums that focus on the problem. You can find them by typing the problem and “forums” into the internet search bar, such as “diabetes forums.” You can also look on Reddit or Quora
- Search for Facebook pages and groups
- Go to Amazon and find books related to the topic. Then read the reviews to find out what they say about the problem
- Search for magazines about the topic. Read the headlines and cover blurbs
As you do this, look for 2 things:
First, you want to identify patterns. What types of things come up over and over again?
Second, you want to find the specific words they use to talk about the problem. This is really important because that’s how you’ll write copy that makes a strong connection with them. It also helps you to overcome a problem of your own …
You Have The Curse of Knowledge
Yes, you most likely have The Curse of Knowledge. It happens as soon as you learn something. Because once you learn something new, it’s very hard to remember what it was like to not know it.
I saw a perfect example of this recently with one of my clients. I was working with her to create a webinar. She works with older women who have memory loss, which she referred to as “brain fog.”
After I told her how important it was to use the same words that her clients use, she started paying more attention to what they said. She said none of them used the words “brain fog.”
Instead, they’d say things like, “I don’t remember things as well as I used to,” or “I have a hard time keeping up with conversations,” or “I lose focus easily.”
So my client asked a few of them if it felt like they had “brain fog.” They weren’t sure what she meant.
If she had launched a webinar that talked about brain fog, it would have flopped. The message wouldn’t have resonated with her ideal clients at all.
The only way to create messaging that will resonate with your ideal clients is by spending time listening to how they talk about the problem. And there’s another huge benefit you’ll get out of it…
You’ll get a better idea of how the problem affects their life. You’ll hear about the things they’ve tried that haven’t worked. You’ll start coming up with ways to solve these problems. And that will give you loads of ideas of what to write about!