After ranting about the abundance of ‘We we” in a lot of marketing copywriting recently, this week I’ll provide some practical tips on how to write about yourself without spoiling your pants.
The golden rule is to always focus on the customer. Talking about yourself and using phrases such as ‘We’re great at this...” and “We’ve done that...” and We’ve won this award...”( We, we, we ) is known as the client we-weeing all over themselves.
Other words that are suspect are “I”, ‘"Me", My”, “Our”, as in: “My government...” “Our commitment...”
This post will show how to avoid “We we” and its confederates Aye aye, Mimi, Hehe and Chi chi (“I, I,” “Me me,” “He he,” and “She she,”) as well as the dreaded third person affectation.
As I said in the previous post when you start talking about how good you are in your copywriting, your customer’s eyes start to toll and their belly begins to churn.
What to Do?
Tip #1 – Testimonials
An oldie but a goodie, always use testimonials to establish your authority, credentials and ability. Preferably use one from someone in a well known company and locally based. When someone else says it, it simply has more credibility.
Tip #2 Awards and Certifications
If you have awards and certifications from recognisable third party bodies, then work them into the page, either in sentences or images. By the way an award from an online university in Bermuda probably won’t cut it.
Tip #3 Professional Qualifications
If you have them, use them.
Tip #4 Customer Reviews
Another oldie Goldie, but customer reviews work, even the bad ones. Just look at Amazon. Its product pages are classic examples of letting the previous customers validate and endorse the product.
Also, see below for more on Social Proof.
Super Tip - Provide a Demonstration
One of the best ways to demonstrate your competency is to simply do what you do best. That is, provide a demonstration, example or case study. Depending on your product or service this can be with a video, before and after photos, a diagram, infographic, and even a case study.
If you can, let them use the product either thru a free trial or an interactive test. Mortgage calculators are one obvious example.
Use Social Proof
All of the above are great examples of social proof, where you let others do the talking about you for you.
Plus you can also re-purpose reviews from Yelp, Google and Linkedin on your website.
You don't have to do them all at once, but if you place them selectively throughout your website, brochure or other marketing material, then they will build up a powerful brand profile for you.
Credibility, authority and trust are some of the main keys for engaging a customer and closing a deal, so it pays to work on the above tips.
Don't be Gollum - Avoid the Third Person
This is another common mistake I see all the time, people and companies talking about themselves in the third person. IE: “Jane is a passionate, dedicated individual who can...”
Who’s saying that?
This is the type of thing insecure celebrities start doing: “Oh the Bieb doesn’t do ...” “Britney is not happy,” ”One is not amused.”
So don’t do it, it’s just weird, narcissistic, schizophrenic and you end up sounding like Gollum.
A Note About Eyes
“I” is a tricky one as there are many instances where grammatically you have to use it. The trick is to only use it when you are taking responsibility for something, as in a guarantee.
But make sure you work in the client’s “you” so that you are in effect promising them something.
EG “I guarantee that you will get...”
That is, you’ve made it about them rather than yourself.
Similarly with “we” if you are talking about what your company did for somebody, as in a case study, or making a commitment, then it may be acceptable. However, if possible avoid it all together and just focus on the client’s “you”.
No More Piddling Platitudes Puhleeeze
Metaphorically peeing your marketing pants may make you feel warm and cosy and give you short term relief, but your customers will avoid you.
Rather alarmingly some marketers, advertisers and even some copywriters are the worst at making the above mistakes.
They should know better, but just go to a few of their websites and you will see the ‘We” word everywhere.
It’s even more noticeable with many online marketers.
It’s a bit of a worry, especially if you are the one hiring them.
So look out for any words or copy that are egotistical and puts the focus on them or their company.
It’s not that you can’t ever use these types of words, but use them sparingly. The majority of your copywriting should use words that focus on the customer.
That’s enough from me, how about you?