Here’s a thought.
People reading your website aren’t going to remember very much about it at all.
Within a couple of days all that hard graft you put into sculpting perfectly phrased passages outlining the benefits of your wares will have slipped from their working memory into the place where all such things go.
Words do that. Our brains aren’t made to remember them.
Images are different. In the Memory Magic workshop I teach, I always start by doing a version of this exercise. Run it through and see just how clever you are!
But let’s get back to words for a moment – specifically your words and how you can make them memorable. Because if you can do that, it might just be the reason a client calls you, and not your competitor.
Case Study 1 –
A design company I’ve been working with on a couple of sales letters recently asked me if I’d brush up their web copy. I hadn’t looked at their website since we first made contact. As I was riding home from our meeting I tried to think what I remembered about it.
One line, it turned out.
It was about one of the developers in their team and it went something like this:
“He doesn’t drink tea or coffee, which we still don’t understand”
Why that line?
I don’t know. There could be all sorts of reasons. But I reckon it’s got something to do with this:
That line opened up a door to a much wider scene. It’s personal, and human. Reading it I pictured the mild office banter that naturally accompanies someone not participating in the tea run. It told me something about their character. It created an image – a scene – in my head, and it stuck.
So what? So nothing, really, apart from that it was the one line I remembered. Had I been a client, I wasn’t going to make a decision to work with them based on a junior developer’s aversion to caffeine.
But maybe, actually, so something. As the video above shows, we’re hard-wired to remember images. The same thing is true for both images we have seen, and images we have created ourselves.
So if we can pick words that tell these little stories – if we can use our writing to set scenes and paint pictures – then perhaps we’ll give someone that little extra reason to remember us. And hopefully, to work with us.
Because let’s face it.
Every one of your competitors’ websites is telling you that they’re experts. Not only that but they’re dedicated, professional and passionate experts and they’ve got 35 years experience (usually written just like this without the apostrophe).
So what can you do? Three options as I see it.
Option 1: Have a passion off.
Option 2: Write years’ experience using correct punctuation. The grammar geeks will love you, which is a start.
Option 3: Focus on what they haven’t got. You.
I’d go for Option 3.
And the best thing about this? You can do it however you like. Just so long as you give them something to connect with that feels real. Something that says a little more about who you are. The ‘About Us’ page is often a good place to do this, but it can fit in anywhere on your website.
When clients come to me through my website, they always tell me that the one line that stuck with them was from my Services Page. Have a look – it’s the bit about doing a client interview over a cliff walk.
Now I’ll tell you that not every client takes me up on this. But most of them like the idea of it – they picture a scene of sea air and open space – and it gives them a good idea of the kind of things I like doing too.
The funny thing about this? I nearly took this line out because I thought it was too ‘unprofessional’.
Most businesses I meet share this fear of looking unprofessional. But people buy from people. However you do it, giving potential clients a little look into your world is almost always a good thing.
So here’s the take-home. Don’t be afraid to slip in these little, personal details when you’re writing your copy. The image you leave on the page might just be what brings clients back to you when they’re ready to buy.
P.S – Hopefully I’ve managed to weave a couple of ‘scenes’ about myself into this blog post. Have I succeeded? Is there anything that sticks with you?