You're writing copy for your site or updating a brochure and, wow, there's so much to say! So many keys points to share with your ideal clients. It's hard to leave anything out.
You're in a groove but after a while you actually look at what you wrote. And, o my, you've got a bit of an explosion. Now what?
Hey, I get it. We've all been there. Because we want to help our ideal clients truly understand how we can help them, we often feel compelled to cover all the bases. We're afraid of leaving out some vital bit of information that might convince them to move forward.
However, there's a downside to your generosity.
"A confused mind says no."
With just 3-6 seconds to grab your ideal clients’ attention―whatever marketing piece they’re reading―it’s critical your message is CLEAR, so people immediately understand:
1. Why it should matter to them (i.e., "What’s in it for me?")
2. What should I do next? (i.e., like signing up for your free gift, free session or webinar)
The clearer people are about why your message matters AND the fewer questions, hesitations or stumbles people experience, the more you can excite them to keep reading. And ACT.
However, as Dr. Suess once said:
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs
is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
Overly long copy―wordy copy―opens the door to confusion. Unnecessary words dilute your message and can cause readers to lose focus and interest. And when your message confuses your ideal client, yikes. They won’t waste another moment with it, especially in today’s noisy, distracted, info-packed world.
The tricky part is, when you’re the author, it may be difficult to see where your words need paring back and refinement. But with a fresh mind and easy-to-use editing recipe, you can create a more svelte, powerful message that will enhance your marketing success.
Editing―the gift that keeps on giving.
It’s true! Mindful editing helps achieve this primary goal: to clarify your message so curious readers convert into prospects and clients. Again, clear copy sells because the reader knows exactly what's in for them and they know what to do next.
The best way to clarify your message? Slash every non-critical word that’s not laser-focused on your message goal. The sharper your message, the greater the impact.
For example, check out this word cutting magic:
Version 1 = 50 words
Where do I begin? There’s so very much to tell you about this subject. This may surprise you but if you wish to get your message across loud and clear you can cut an astounding variety of words and phrases to improve clarity and focus, and really heighten reader enjoyment.
Version 2 = 18 words
To make your message clear, cut words and phrases to improve clarity and focus, and heighten reader enjoyment.
Version 3 = 9 words
Cut words to improve clarity and heighten reader enjoyment.
Here's another example!
Summary: Before -- So very wordy
Pretty neat, huh? By eliminating long-winded excess words you help your ideal clients’ iprove their comprehension, speed their reading time and enhance their retention, which better primes them to want to ACT, and take the next step with you.
Summary: After -- Sharp
Neat, huh? Eliminating excess words enhance your ideal clients' comprehension and retention, which better primes them to ACT.
Did you count the deleted words in the pared-down summary paragraph? 20 of 38! That’s a 53% cut!, and invaluable leap in clarity and power!
Here’s your quick guide to successful editing.
Now it’s your turn. Pen ready?
1. Review your draft and cut every word and phrase that doesn’t strengthen your core message/goal for that section, paragraph or sentence.
a. Cut 30-50% of your copy.
b. Eliminate as many adverbs and adjectives as you can.
c. Find phrases you can replace with a single word; e.g., replace “in the first few seconds” with “within seconds” and save 3 words!
d. Be RUTHLESS.
2. Read aloud.
a. What’s still longwinded? Make more cuts.
b. What makes you hesitate or stumble? Cut or polish until smooth.
3. Find someone to read your edited item―to themselves AND out loud to you.
a. Where do they stumble? Where does it sound longwinded or confusing?
b. Cut and polish more.
4. Update your draft, print and set aside.
a. Then walk the dog, sleep, eat, do other work—whatever.
b. Step away for several hours or overnight to refresh your perspective and editing powers.
5. Repeat steps 1 - 4 until satisfied and/or your deadline hits. And know that the time to complete these steps diminishes with each round.
6. Rejoice! Your clear, sharp message will help inspire ideal clients to step into your world. And you can apply this powerful magic to all your writing to boost your connections and conversions!
How about you?
What are your editing challenges? Share in the comments below!
Have a splendid day and talk soon:)
P.S. Want more tips to creat compelling website copy and more? CLICK HERE now!