In my last article, I discussed how using silly clichés and the like in the face of a recession and shrinking sales is … well … silly. I also said you need to recognize the recession exists and then start doing something about it.
I went through this myself. I noticed this past spring that my contacts from my website were dwindling. Since my contacts are the lifeblood of my business (generally, every client I get and writing project I do starts with a contact from my website), I knew something had to change.
Now, in my case, that meant my website’s copywriting and message. I was still getting as many visits as I was before, but my website stopped converting that traffic. And when you depend on the web for your contacts, your website’s ability to convert traffic with an appealing message is key. My website copywriting and message needed changing.
I have to pause for a second here to acknowledge the elephant in the room (he stinks, too, so let’s get this out of the way): I am a copywriter. I exist to help people get their websites to convert. And my own website stopped converting once the recession really started biting. Could I do for myself what I claim I can do for others? That would be the big test (okay, we’re done … shoo, elephant)! I’m happy to report that yes, I succeeded.
Here’s what I did:
1 I analyzed why my old message worked. My old message was essentially, “If you need a copywriter, Dan’s your guy, and here’s why … ” It worked well for years. It stopped working once the recession hit. But the important part was it used to work, and it addressed my readers’ needs at the time – they came to my site needing a copywriter, and I told them I was what they were looking for.
2 I dug one level deeper. To me, this is the big key. I asked myself, “Okay, they need a copywriter … now, WHY do they need a copywriter?” You see what I’m doing here? I’m drilling one level down.
3 I then addressed that reason. My clients, by and large, need a copywriter because a copywriter makes them more money. But my old message didn’t really address that – it addressed the need for a copywriter, which was fine in “good times.” But in bad times, a message that addressed the “a copywriter will make me money” need would likely be more effective. So I changed my message to a much more return-on-investment focused, “Dan’s the copywriter for you, because he makes people click.” And it worked.
I believe this can work for anyone. If business is bad, address what brought your customers to you in good times, and then drill down another level and incorporate THAT reason into your message.
Until next time!
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