- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 01/6/2009
- Writing for the Web
Mid-life career changeSocial marketing participants create dozens — perhaps hundreds — of messages every day. They rarely think of their postings and messages as copywriting. After all, these arenas are supposed to be, well, social. So we tend to relax and forget everything we learned about writing copy for our websites and sales letters. As a result, a lot of time invested in social marketing gets wasted. Readers might find you and like you. You share some enjoyable virtual interactions. But if you’re reading this article, chances are you didn’t join places like Facebook, Twitter and Ning to find new friends who invite you over for a backyard barbecue. You want business contacts. The reality is, every time you communicate with a customer, client, or prospect, you are writing copy: words designed to market your products and services to your target market. Your first copywriting challenge: help readers categorize you as a potential client, potential resource, competitor, or friendly colleague. It’s not always easy to summarize your value in a sentence or two.
But don’t give up: You can get more specific than promising to teach clients to creat
e messages from the heart as well as the mind. Here’s an example of how one introduction might read: ‘If you’ve got a great talent but you don’t know how to tell the world how great you are, I can help. I teach Independent Professionals the Soft Promotion technique that reaches clients who would be turned off by traditional pitches.” And now you face an even more critical (but often ignored) copywriting challenge. Recently I happened to be reading a Facebook friend’s home page. Her services seemed perfect for a couple of my clients. So I went to her site. I was looking for a continuation of what I read on Facebook. Instead, I found beautiful photos, links to a press kit and a place to sign up for a free consultation. ‘Where,’ I wanted to ask,’is your About page? What are your credentials to offer your services? Most visitors are like me, I suspect. They want to get a sense of who you are, what results you achieve, and why you’re qualified. They want to see signed testimonials and success stories.
When we refer someone, our own reputation is on the line. So we need to learn as much as possible from your website. Sure, visitors could email or call, but most likely they’ll just click away to the next name on the list.