It isn’t as well-known as James Dean’s Porsche. But far more people are cursed with it, and you’re likely one of them. It won’t keep an entire city of baseball fans hopelessly waiting for a World Series win. But it may keep you from communicating effectively with your audience.
The curse I’m talking about is the curse of knowledge, and it pretty much makes you incomprehensible to your readers. Luckily, you don’t need a rabbit’s foot or a special pair of socks to beat this calamity. All you need are the following copywriting tips.
Start Where Your Audience Is
Experts have a tough time remembering what it was like to be a novice. As a result, their readers have to consult reference books. Even knowledgeable readers may question your conclusions if you don’t provide them with the right background information.
To overcome your tendency to speak in the stratosphere, pay attention to the questions your clients are asking. Being mindful of how you explain concepts in person-to-person meetings will help you explain those concepts in your writing.
Toss the Jargon
As oft-repeated as this advice is, it’s tough to follow. You are so immersed in your industry that jargon doesn’t sound like jargon anymore.
To relearn how to speak plainly, imagine yourself talking to your spouse or a friend about your topic. You’ll quickly realize that acronyms are often unnecessary (or else always requiring explanation) and the jargon that flies in the boardroom sounds awkward elsewhere.
Stick to Your Topic
I know. I sound like your eighth-grade English teacher. But maintaining focus is essential to writing for business. As an expert, you see the big picture and feel compelled to explain it in all its glory. But your readers are looking for a single gold nugget. To them, the rest is just a pile of pebbles.
To stay on target, write the purpose of your piece in one, simply worded statement on a sticky note. Everything you write must relate directly to that statement. Put that sticky note on your screen and refer to it anytime you are tempted to go on a tangent. Then, read your draft and cross out anything that does not support your topic.
You don’t have to do the Gangnam Style dance to be entertaining. You can insert humor or tell a compelling story. Above all, take Psy’s lead and write with the kind of enthusiasm for your industry that the superstar rapper has for his wacky music and dance moves.
Just as the Curse of the Billy Goat keeps the Chicago Cubs from the World Series, the curse of knowledge can keep you from realizing your business’s potential.
Sometimes business owners have trouble thinking from the client’s perspective, junking the jargon, focusing or communicating enthusiasm. When this happens to you, call in an experienced copywriter who can do all those things with panache.
A professional freelance writer will pinpoint what makes your business better than your competition, also known as your “Elvis Factor.” Then, through diligent research, the freelance writer will translate your Elvis factor into the benefits your clients need. Oh, and she’ll also do it with same amount of enthusiasm that burns in your belly.
When great content works its magic, it turns curses into blessings. Your knowledge will become the reason customers flock to your business.