A Copywriter’s Secret Weapon for Small Business Owners
Small business owners are the true jack of all trades. One skill just isn’t enough to run a small company. You’ve probably had to become your own accountant, architect, and even your own lawyer at some point in time. You learn on the fly and find the most efficient ways to be successful.
So, when it’s time to write copy for your brand, it may come down to just you. Unless you decide to hire a freelance writer. So here you’ll learn a copywriter’s trick for effectively churning out quality writing — specifically for small business owners and startups.
This step should come after you’ve already created a brand for your business. Maybe you hired a writer or designer to help you out, or maybe that’s just another hat you had to wear. At this point, you should have the main things: a name, a logo, your brand values, and a business card. Maybe you’re even working on a website — which means it’s time to get down to business.
Writing things like an about page or an email sign-up might seem straightforward. But every line you put on your website is an opportunity to say something about your brand. That’s where my tried-and-true copywriter method will come in handy.
Make a Word Bank.
Word banks? Yep. Just like those things from middle school quizzes. You won’t be filling in blanks, but your word bank will help easily guide what you want to say about your brand. It’s easy to get caught up in writing a paragraph and forgetting what it exactly it is you want to get across.
This method will take you from writing basic information to the next level of being a brand-minded business owner. Your company will quickly go from a “business” to a “brand.” It will be memorable, relatable, and powerful.
So let’s get into the details.
How Exactly Do You Create a Brand Word Bank?
Thesaurus.com is your best friend for this exercise. As is your imagination. I’ll give a recent example of a brand I just worked on. The project was for a three panel brochure, and the brand centered on veterans and independent living retirement. Time to break out my word bank. I started with the basics: Veterans, Independence, and Freedom. I wanted words that exuded strength and self-reliance.
Start with the thesaurus and see what you come up with. Here was my final word bank for this project:
How to Use Your Word Bank
Set your word bank next to you while you write. Start by trying to write a headline or an opening sentence with one of your words. Soon, your copy should start flowing naturally. Anytime you slow down or get stuck, look back at the list. Don’t waste your time on frivolous adjectives and nouns that don’t say anything about your brand.
Say goodbye to nice, good, very, and things.
You also may notice something about the word bank above: There are no adverbs. They are remarkably, absolutely, not helping your brand.
For this brochure project — I ended up with three strong headlines that guided smooth body copy:
- “Life in Your Command.”
- “Complete Care at Your Service”
- “A Community Built on Independence.”
Once you’ve gotten a few solid paragraphs written — it’s time for the next step.
Spend Half Your Time Editing
I’ll be honest, I probably spent more time editing this blog than I did writing it. An entire list of words is a lot to keep in mind while writing — so don’t feel pressure to nail it on the first draft. Read back through your copy and look for opportunities you might have missed for using the word bank.
You don’t need to make it perfect. Read the paragraphs all the way through, as long as it has a steady flow, it’s probably all right.
Pretty soon, you’ll have cohesive copy that works to strengthen your brand. And customers will begin to recognize your voice above all the others.