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The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
The power of words
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The power of words

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Tips on writing more effectively

Tips on writing more effectively

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  • An introduction to me and how I ended up here helping you to use words more effectivelyThe important things to remember when you’re using words to promote your businessPut those things into action with an exerciseSome general tips to write more effectively Some specific tips on writing for different types of mediaLook at some specific concerns that people raised last monthQuestions – but please feel free to chip in to stop the sound of my voice
  • Did my degree in English Language and Literature.Got a job in publishing.Realised that could do you a pretty solid marketing campaign that would come in on time and on budget and get you a decent response, but I’d never set the world on fire. But was pretty good at writing.Wanted to (a) make a move into websites, which were just taking off, (b) work for myself and (c) move to Ledbury.Fortune smiled – part time web copywriter role just outside Malvern, so I could do all three. Did this for eight years.In 2012, decided to take the plunge and go full time – Pippin Consultancy was born.Was named because I wanted to work with the local food sector and be able to offer more than just copywriting – so apples and consultancy.Just started GrowthAccelerator programme to help me grow my business and position myself more effectively, hence “written communications consultant” – I’m offering a wider service that encompasses all types of writing whether to your customers or to your shareholders / funders / team. I’ll be targeting charities and the public sector plus consultants.
  • Today we’ll be looking at using words to promote yourself.Two key things to remember: USPs and benefits.
  • Unless you’re lucky, there are lots of people out there who do what you do. You need to differentiate yourself from those other people. This makes you more memorable.Arboricultural consultant anecdote - your USP may not make you appealing to everyone who might work with you, but it will make you appealing to the people you do want to work with.I say I specialise in local and sustainable projects, so a fracking company isn’t going to come knocking, but that’s OK!
  • We’re all only interested in what something will do for us. For example, I’m a copywriter. So what?I help you to grow your business by writing materials that attract new customers and retain existing ones.The copywriter is the feature. What I do for you is the benefit.
  • Text in italics is the feature.Text in roman is the benefit.The “so what?” test is very useful. If you can say “so what” after any statement you make about your business, you’re using the feature not the benefit.
  • Put the USPs and benefits into action.Write your elevator pitch – the thing you’d say to someone asking you about your business. Or the thing you’d say when we go round the table introducing ourselves.I’m doing this because it’s the thing that I hate the most – take me to task if I ever say “I’m a copywriter and I write press releases, blogs etc” ever again!
  • Some general tips on how to write more effectively.Ask yourself questions about the people reading it. This will focus your mind on the benefits you need to push. For example, if I’m writing for marketing consultants, they’re going to be interested in how I can save them time. If I’m writing to small business owners, they’ll be interested in the time saving, but they’ll also be interested in the expertise I can give them.Plan the points you need to cover and decide which order they need to go in. This is particularly important for articles and leaflets – places there is a word limit, so you know you’ll get everything you need to across.Try to proof read a couple of days after writing it or better still, send to a friend, especially if grammar and spelling aren’t your strong points. People like me really notice misplaced apostrophes and we do make judgements about you on them!
  • This is a sales tool.Cut to the chase – people know that they’re reading about a company, so there’s no need to be shy! You’re trying to sell to them, so you can be overt about what it is you’re selling and why it’s good for them. You also need to get your point across in an immediate way, so this isn’t the place for reams and reams of text.Don’t forget to promote your other means of communication – website, Twitter name, Facebook page as well as phone number.
  • Overt sales tool, so sell, sell, sell.Use keywords – these are the words that people looking for you will use on Google. Don’t get too hung up on it – you should be using them naturally. It’s a good thing to bear in mind to stop you using jargon. For example, people in the window industry might talk about “UPVC windows” but we talk about “double glazing”.It’s much harder to read on screen, so you need to help your readers as much as you can. [go to BBC website]
  • It’s almost about looking at benefits again. You need to find an angle on what you want to say that will make it interesting to your target audience.“A new member of staff has just joined Acme” isn’t interesting. But “Acme’s confidence in the growing economy sees it take on new staff” is.Start with the most important information. That way, you won’t waste readers’ time and they can decide for themselves if they want to read on.
  • Why work with a copywriter?Saves you time if you’ve got too much to do, hate writing or just don’t enjoy it. I work with a client who’s dyslexic. He’s perfectly capable of writing his blog / web page, but it takes him forever. He chats to me about what he wants to say and I write it.Which leads onto – talk to your copywriter and tell them everything you can. This will allow them to understand the way you talk and they’ll be able to reflect this in what they write for you.Give them as much information as you can both about the information you need to get across and why you need to get it across. They’ll keep confidential information confidential, but the more you share, the better the end result.
  • Specific areas of interest.People asked about plagiarism and the legalities of what you can and can’t say.
  • If you’re taking someone else’s work and passing it off as your own, this is plagiarism.I think there are a couple of rules of thumb here.If you’re selling products that are manufactured by another company, then it’s fine to use their description of it (as long as it suits your target market!) In fact, I’d probably even recommend it because you’re using the work they’ve put in.If you’re writing a response to someone’s article, then mention where you got the idea for your own article from. If you’re using someone else’s words, put them in quote marks (or if you’re paraphrasing, mention where you read it).
  • What can you say and what can’t you say?Use your common sense and your own moral compass. If you’re not comfortable with saying it, don’t say it. In most cases this is fine. But for medical topics, children’s toys, there is something bigger at stake. Advertising Standards Authority and Committees of Advertising Practice websites are great sources of practical, targeted information.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Using the Power of Words How to use words to grow your business Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 2. Today • • • • • • • • An introduction to me The important things to remember An exercise How to write more effectively How to write for different media Working with a copywriter Specific areas of interest Questions Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 3. Me • • • • English Language and Literature degree Direct marketing in publishing Web copywriter + freelance copywriter Freelance written communications consultant Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 4. How to use words to promote yourself • USPs • Benefits Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 5. Unique Selling Points (USPs) • What makes you different from your competitors? • Why would someone choose you over your competitor? Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 6. Benefits • What’s in it for me? • Features • Benefits Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 7. HD Television With Full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution you'll be able to catch your favourite programmes in crisp detail and vivid colours for a completely immersive televisual experience. Boasting 100 Hz BLB technology the Panasonic Viera TX-L32EM6B will ensure smooth onscreen motion with reduced motion blur and great picture clarity, even if you are watching fast paced action movies or sport. Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 8. An exercise • Write your elevator pitch Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 9. Writing more effectively • Ask yourself: – – – – who will be reading this? what will they be interested in? what do they need to know? where will they be reading this? • Plan • Proofread Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 10. Leaflets / Flyers / Sales letters • Sales tool • Cut to the chase • Don’t forget to add all your contact details! Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 11. Websites • • • • • Overt sales tool Keywords Headings Short sentences Bulleted lists Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 12. 'Exceptional weather' with rain, wind and high tides to hit UK Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 13. Press releases • Find the hook • Start with the most important information Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 14. Working with a copywriter • • • • Saves you time Gives you expertise Talk to them Give them as much information as you can Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 15. Specific areas of interest • Plagiarism • Legalities Pippin Consultancy Ltd, Hillside Farm, Rodley, Westbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, GL14 1QZ
    • 16. Plagiarism • The "wrongful appropriation" and "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism) • Product information – OK to use • Articles – credit them Pippin Consultancy Ltd, Hillside Farm, Rodley, Westbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, GL14 1QZ
    • 17. Pippin Consultancy blog Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 18. Legalities • www.asa.org.uk – Advertising Standards Authority Ltd • www.cap.org.uk – Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk
    • 19. Any questions? Gloucestershire WiRE Network 20 February 2014 Pippin Consultancy Ltd | www.pippin-consultancy.co.uk

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