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There are also things you can do with language. Like using special terms or jargon used exclusively within a specific marketing niche. Customers know immediately if you're "one of them." Jargon and specialized knowledge help give them clue for that.
There’s an awful lot you can do. And you’re really only limited by that internal editor/critic. So sooner you throw that critic out door, better.
Also, when writing like you talk, you need to be able to keep a warm tone. One way it’s put by sales professionals is to imagine that you’re making “a referral to a friend” rather than making “a sales pitch to a customer.” The examples you’ll usually hear copywriting educators use for this are kitchen table conversation or barstool conversation.
The best way to develop this warm tone is through identification.
Getting to really know your target market (or “tarket”, as Lorrie Morgen-Ferrero calls it) allows you to identify first-hand with their hopes, dreams, wants, and needs. This comes from study and research, although a certain amount of intuition comes in handy too.
You really do need to be able to put yourself into your customer’s shoes in order to be a good salesperson, whether in print or face-to-face. As old saying goes, “Become your customer.” They need to become real in your mind -- as real as that person sitting across kitchen table.
There are plenty of ways to identify with your customer or prospect. Reading trade journals or magazines they read is a good place to start.
But what this skill really amounts to is empathy. Identification and empathy are two peas in pod.
In business, you develop empathy simply by putting your customer first. By actually caring about your customer and making it your avowed goal to help them. By going extra mile to find out what it is that keeps them awake at night. By becoming obsessed (in a good way) with bringing them a product that will solve a problem and make their life easier.
And by listening.
How do you listen to your customer when they're not there? The same way you would if they were there. By asking a question. And then listening for answer. From inside you.
Whenever you write sales copy, you need to continually ask "So what?" after every single sentence you write. The person sitting across kitchen table or next to you at bar is a skeptic. Which is normal and healthy!
By keeping your customer's possible objections in mind every single minute you write, you establish a kind of dialogue. And that's when your customer will really get pulled into your copy. That's when they'll say, "Hey, she's talking to me!"
You'll be getting that empathy. And with it will come that warm, familiar tone.
So practice writing like you talk, keeping in mind that you want to be informal and familiar. Get to know your customer better so you can identify better with them and build empathy.
Eventually you'll get "over hump" and your "right" voice will start to come naturally.
And that's when you'll start to see a steep rise in your sales numbers!
Bruce Carlson is a freelance writer and educator living in Finland. Visit his website at www.dynamic-copywriting.com and sign up for his fr.ee newsletter The Dynamic Copywriter!