I LOVE when I meet new or fairly new entrepreneurs who tell me not only do they not like writing, but because of their business industry, they don’t need to write well. That is until they decide to purchase a website from Lidyr Creative, our parent company, and we ask for ALL of their website copy, product descriptions, about us information, and if they’re selling products, their terms and conditions.
No matter what industry you’re in, you are going to need copy for your business. Copywriting or copy, is defined as the words that are used to talk about a particular thing, for example, your business, or your website. Below I’m going to discuss the five types of copy that every business needs to have.
1. About Copy
Your “about” copy is what you use to describe your business and what you do. Having strong and clear about copy is essential because if people don’t know what your business does, they can’t tell if you can help with their problem. Your about copy will go on your website, but it is also super useful for you to talk about your business. When you decide how you will describe your business on your website it gives you a framework.
If you don’t have a working foundation to talk about your business, you’ll continue to struggle with your elevator pitch or the introductory sentences your use to describe your business when someone asks you “what do you do?” By writing strong about copy, you’ll be able to use that same information, shorten it, and talk about your business to people you are just meeting, or pitching it to potential customers.
2. Products Descriptions
If you’re a ecommerce business, you’ll need to have product descriptions that not only tell your customers what they’re getting, but you’re product descriptions should also compel people to buy. Your product descriptions should clearly tell people 1)what they are going to get— what’s included in the product or service that they are getting, 2) what problem will it solve for them, 3) How much is required of them, i.e. time commitment, energy commitment, other investment that is needed, etc.
Recommended: On-Page Product Optimization Check List
Don’t conflate your product descriptions and lead your customers to believe that they’re going to get something for nothing and something unrealistic. The idea of getting a customer to buy is great, especially when you need to make money, but you also need to know that if you are deceptive about what a potential client is going to get from you that will ultimately hurt you in the long run.
3. Marketing/Sales Copy
Your marketing copy or sales copy is the words that you use on your marketing, advertising or sales materials. That includes your online and offline materials— for example, your sales landing page, your mailers, postcards and your Facebook ads. The copy on these materials are extremely important because for many of your potential customers, it will be the very first time they meet your business. You’ve heard the saying “first impressions are everything”, and with your business’ marketing and sales copy, this statement could not be more true.
If you want to excel at writing great marketing and sales copy for your business, you need to master the art of writing sales copy without sounding salesy. The best way to do is this to just tell the truth about your product. What problems does your product or services solve and how does it add value to your target audience? The most important thing to know that if you’re products and services are actually what you say they are, then you don’t need to “sell” your products to your target audience, you just need to inform them about the products.
4. Invoice/Collections Copy
Most business owners, especially newer business owners underestimate the importance of invoice and collections copy. Unfortunately in business, there may be times when a customer or client fails to pay or fails to pay on time. Having invoice copy as well as collections copy will help your customers understand a little bit better how your payment system works, how long they have to make the payments and what happens if they don’t pay.
If you’re thinking that you can just send an invoice to every customer and they’ll automatically pay, that may work for a little while upfront. But if you want to put in place systems to protect yourself against customers who don’t pay upfront you’ll develop invoice and collections copy for your business in advance.
5. Terms and Conditions and Other Policies
Your terms and conditions for your business clearly state the terms under which you offer your products or services. It is basically a contract between you and your customers when they make a purchase from you. If you are going to be offering products and services online, you’ll want to make sure that you have terms and conditions in place so that your customers will know what they are to expect when they’re making a purchase from you. You’ll also want to make sure that you include your shipping policy, your refund and exchange policy, or if you allow guest post on your site, you may also want to include your guest blogger policy.
While all of these different types of copy may seem like stuff that’s only important for “big businesses” or people making 6 figures or more from their business, that’s not true. No matter what you do, you want to start with the end in mind. When you create all these various types of copy you are preparing and positioning yourself for success in the long run. I know that it may seem like something you can wait to do, but you really can’t. All 5 types of copy listed here are essential. Even if you’ve been in business for some time, you may be feeling like the copy that you do have is not up to par, or you may be missing some pieces of copy listed here. If that’s the case for you, its time to get started drafting and revising your copy now so that you can make the best first impression now with all of your customers and future customers.