How to write copy that sells your creative services like crazy

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When clients read the right words, they pick up the phone and call you.

It’s that simple.

Writing those “right” words for your your website, brochure, or anything else, is actually really simple too.

The bad news: If you’re like the hundreds of other freelancers whose marketing I’ve glanced over, you’re probably not doing it right.

Sidenote: Once you finish, read how 4 freelancers built recurring revenue models that changed their business. You'll love it.

The good news: it’s easy to get on the right track today, and I’m going to show you how.

In fact, there are only two steps:

  1. Find out what your market wants.
  2. Give it to them.

In this post, I’m going to dissect how exactly you can do that and give you live examples of turning the knowledge you have of your clients’ problems and desires into powerful copy to sell your services.

Sounds good?

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To keep things simple, I’m going to use “web design” as an example throughout. But this works for ANY freelancing service under the sun.

Alright, onward we go.

Step 1: Listen

In consults with new prospects, I’m sure you too have heard:

  • “I feel like my current website is outdated.”
  • “Our branding just doesn’t express what we’re all about.”
  • “Our marketing is too cluttered.”
  • “The copy doesn’t connect with the customer.”

…and a few dozen things like it.

In step 1, you write out a list of all of these problems your clients have with their current marketing. Then, order them from the most common to the least common.

If you haven’t heard these things, you’re most likely just not asking this important question when new clients come your way:

So, what brought you here in the first place?

That question often opens up a big old can of worms. Not only does it reveal what each respective client is looking for…but each client also sheds light onto what hundreds of others are looking for, too.

Ever heard the saying, “If you receive 1 complaint, there are 100 more who think it but just haven’t said anything?”

The same goes for things clients express about problems and desires they have. If one says it, there are hundreds more out there who feel the same way.

That means you can take those problems and transform them into compelling copy for your website, which is exactly what we’ll do in step 2.

Step 2: Transform problems into solutions

Let’s say these are the top 3 problems new clients have when they come to you:

  1. “My website just isn’t getting results.”
  2. “My website is too cluttered.”
  3. “My website doesn’t represent what my company is really all about.”

Next, you’re going to write 3 paragraphs – one for each problem, describing how you can help with each of them. Let’s take a look at some samples I whipped up.

“My website just isn’t getting results.”

Here you’re going to write about how you DO get results. For example:

We explore your market’s needs and wants through our intensive research process. This tells us exactly what colors, shapes, words, and layouts are going to really connect with them, helping you get more clients.

“My website is too cluttered.”

Here, you write about how your design contains no clutter at all. For example:

We believe in clean, minimalist design. Your website will give your visitors a pleasant, enjoyable experience. No clutter, no confusion.

 “My website doesn’t represent what my company is really all about.”

Here you explain the process you take to ensure your design really speaks volumes about your clients’ personalities:

Before we write a word or start the design, we’re going to get you on the phone and ask a LOT of questions. We want to really get to know your company from the inside out so we can create a website that beautifully represents it.

And so on and so forth.

Repeat this for the top 5-6 problems your clients express to you. Other examples might include:

  • “The last designer I hired was terrible at communication. It took weeks to get a response.”
  • “My last designer used the exact colors I told them I HATED.”
  • “I really want to work with someone local.”

You just rinse and repeat until you’ve countered the top 5-6 objections you hear the most. You can also create a quick checklist for others that are less common, but still get voiced. So, for example, after my 5-6 paragraphs, I might add:

  • We’re really friendly. In fact, clients more often than not become our friends.
  • We respond fast. Send us an email, and in 24 hours or less you’ll get a detailed reply.
  • In a hurry? Though we work fast by default, rush options are available. Just ask!

Step 3: Insert some snazzy headlines

Now, let’s give each of those paragraphs a cool headline that instantly communicates the main benefits. Then, let’s see what it looks like with those bullets added to the end too:

Websites by Jane Freelancer.

Your website won’t just look great. It’ll bring you more business, too.

I explore your market’s needs and wants through my intensive research process. This tells me exactly what colors, shapes, words, and layouts are going to really connect with them, helping you get more clients.

Clean, minimalist, beautiful design.

I believe in clean, minimalist design. Your website will give your visitors a pleasant, enjoyable experience – without any crazy confusion or clutter.

Your website will truly reflect who you are.

Before I write a word or start the design, I’m going to get you on the phone and ask a LOT of questions. I want to really get to know your company from the inside out so I can create a website that beautifully represents it.

  • I’m really friendly! In fact, clients more often than not become friends.
  • I respond fast. Send me an email, and in 24 hours or less you’ll get a detailed reply.
  • In a hurry? Though I work fast by default, rush options are available. Just ask!

Not bad, right? It really is that simple.

Listen to the objections and concerns your clients have. Then write content that addresses them head on. That’s all there is to it.

Already with the few, simple paragraphs I threw together (in just a few minutes, too), you have the workings of a great page to sell websites.

Just rinse and repeat for every service you offer, and create a new page in your brochure/website to advertise each one in-depth.

Questions? Thoughts?

I’d love to hear what you have to say, and help in any way I can. Leave a comment!

 

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About David Tendrich

David Tendrich is the co-head of creative agency Unexpected Ways, as well as the co-founder of Reliable PSD: the first-ever PSD to HTML & PSD to Wordpress service run by designers, for designers. He co-runs his companies from Portland, Oregon with his lovely wife and biz partner, Lou Levit.

 

More about David’s business: David is co-founder of Reliable PSD – what happened when a group of designers got fed up with PSD to Code companies… and created their own. Check them out, and see why freelancers & agencies are head over heels for this amazing new service.

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Comments

  1. So simple and so Good!!

  2. Great ideas man! I will defenietly use them.
    I just started to design self promotional stuff. Thanks for sharing!

  3. SoldadoPeregrino says:

    I feel like this was written just for me. After you guys offered some wonderful advice on my site I decided to re-brand and will be doing that these next couple of weeks. I was just thinking about how to nail the copy to really reach the client.

    I love your suggestions, short, clear and simple. Thanks so much. Very helpful stuff.

  4. Well, there wouldn’t have been a better way to present this.
    As I read through the writing, I was feeling guilty.

    Thank you for this.

    • Haha, I’m glad, it means you realized where you have work to do, and what work you have to do 😉 Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll see what I can do

  5. Idgie Pena says:

    Great article!

  6. Dean Scholey says:

    As a designer and business owner, we should always make the buying process as easy as possible for the client. Proof again that we should all commit to up skilling or commit to partnering with a copy writer. Great article, even better example. Keep up the great work.

  7. Kara-Anne Cheng says:

    LOVED this post! Thank you!

  8. Sharon Pettis McElwee says:

    Awesome suggestions. What about for new freelancers? How do you find out what people need if you’re new to the area and/or just starting out?

    • Hey Sharon – GREAT question.

      Here are a few resources:

      – Forums where your market hangs out (lurk around, you’ll learn some pretty insightful and amazing things)

      – Amazon Reviews (find popular books that solve similar problems that you do and read the reviews. The positive ones will tell you what the market IS responding to, the negative ones will give you insight into what’s lacking that the market NEEDS or WANTS.)

      – Blog comments (same concept as the two above)

      – Interview anyone you know who’s in your market and dig deep.

      That’s probably a good start 🙂

      David

  9. Katrien Se Gesigboekie says:

    Excellent article!

  10. Second time today I’ve read one of Millo’s articles about client “problems.” My clients don’t seem to have problems, but goals. They want to reach more people by making their marketing better by looking better–thus earning more money, etc. Marketing isn’t a problem–it’s what they get to do since they have the privilege of owning their own company or having a job.

    • Hey Michelle,

      Respectfully have to disagree. I’ve found that when you dig deep enough, goals / problems / fears almost always end up being different words for the same things.

      I don’t think there’s a single person on this planet who doesn’t have problems though, as well as goals. Because of this I always try to speak to both of these feelings, leaning one way or the other depending on the market I’m speaking to and where they’re at within themselves.

      Of course, you have every right to market how you see fit, and I wish you lots of success.

      David

      • Many of my clients are life coaches who have apparently rubbed off on me…although i don’t think I’ll ever reach their level of perkiness. I don’t disagree, and actually have experience being human. LOL

        • Haha, gotcha. In that case, for your market that kind of lingo just might do the trick 😉 Sounds like you know what you’re doing to attract the perkier among us 🙂 lol

Trackbacks

  1. How to write copy that sells your creative services like crazy

    The bad news: If you’re like the hundreds of other freelancers whose marketing I’ve glanced over, you’re probably not doing it right.

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