When Cady Heron started her first day at North Shore High in Mean Girls, she was adorably clueless about how the kids were talking these days.
Similarly, when Vivian Ward meets Edward on the streets of LA in Pretty Woman, she doesn’t know what fork to use or how to carry herself at a polo match or the opera.
So what does my amazingly on-point movie knowledge have to do with your homepage copy?
The insider copywriter’s secret
If you want to write copy that makes your ideal client feel like you’re speaking directly to them, you have to speak their language when you’re addressing their struggles and their desires, and also when you’re explaining the benefits of your offering.
You need to know what’s keeping them tossing and turning and what they hope life will look like when their problem is solved.
There’s a saying among professional copywriters that if we do our job correctly, we don’t actually have to write copy half the time (my fellow wordsmiths may or may not have to kill me for revealing that top-secret).
Your ideal clients will write it for you, IF you’re listening closely, creating engagement and asking the right questions.
You want them to read your website and be all like …
OMG YES!!!!! ? or This is ? how I feel!!
3 introvert-friendly tips to get inside your client’s head.
When I write full brand messaging and website copy for my clients, I go all-in on this and interview two to three of their clients.
But since I know you want to put these learnings into practice pronto, here are three quickish, introvert-friendly ways to up your messaging game.
- Send a short, 3-question survey to your email list. ( I might ask: What’s the hardest part about writing your About page? Or what frustrates you most when you sit down to write?) No list? Identify a few potential or past clients and ask them if they’d be willing to give you feedback in exchange for XYZ. It could be as simple as a $5 Starbucks gift card, or you could give them a mini-consult or freebie.
- If you’re a member of any Facebook groups where your ideal client hangs out (aren’t we all?), use the search function to look for your specialty and see what conversations are happening, or post a question to the group. What’s the most stressful part of XYZ, or what do you wish was different about XYZ?
- Go to Amazon.com and search books or products related to your niche. Read the reviews and see what real people are saying. Look for reviews that share insight into why they bought the product. What problem were they looking to solve, and how did or didn’t this solve it? Use that knowledge and that language to help show your audience that you get exactly what they’re going through.
An IRL Client Example
Want an example? You know I’m an example kind of girl!
Recently, I was helping a university develop a new ad campaign for their MBA program.
I hopped into one of my Facebook groups and put out a call. I wanted to interview five people who had gotten their MBA. In exchange, I gave them each $20 via PayPal.
One interviewer said: “Every job description I read that I wanted said, ‘MBA-preferred.’ I felt stuck.”
So this line made it into the final campaign: You’re tired of seeing “MBA-preferred.” Now you’ll be the preferred candidate — with limitless career options.
Ready to do this in your own business?
Pick one or two of the methods above and try to get inside your ideal customer’s mind. Then, go through your homepage copy (and the rest of your copy, for that matter!) and see where you can work some of this messaging in.