One copywriting question I get a lot is, “Are there some magic “copywriting power words” you can use to jazz up my copy?”
Google “copywriting power words.” You’ll find lots of articles claiming to help you become a stronger wordsmith. You’ll also find dozens (maybe hundreds) of power phrases and headline templates.
Certain words and phrases will punch up your copy.
But that’s not where the magic lies.
Steve, an executive coach, has developed a proven method for senior corporate executives to advance their careers by making connections at networking events and using creative techniques on LinkedIn. His brand is all about teaching clients to advance through relationship building, based on his own experience as a corporate vice president of finance.
Steve could begin writing his copy with a list of copywriting power words, such as…
Some will be effective in Steve’s copy; some will actually detract from his message because they’re incongruent with his story archetype, his service, and his audience.
The real magic comes from your story.
Steve worked with many clients who were experiencing conflicts with significant people in their lives. He tells a story about Larry, a finance executive who wanted to pivot to a new job in marketing.
Larry had two challenges. He was a strong introvert who was thoroughly exhausted after a 30-minute networking event. And he was willing to take a pay cut, but not accept a beginner level role.
Steve had developed several ways for introverts to get comfortable reaching out to strangers and creating an emotional spark. And he knew how executives could leverage their background as they moved to a new functional area.
Larry resisted these tips at first, but he realized he had to make significant changes in his mindset in order to reach his new goals. Steve worked with Larry for several sessions over six months. Recently they met for lunch – Larry’s treat! – to celebrate Larry’s new position as a marketing executive in a new industry, with expectations that he’d reach his previous salary within the next two years.
Why does this story work?
(1) The story paints a picture of what Steve’s clients want: to create relationships even though they’re introverts. His ideal prospects will say, “I want what they’re having.”
(2) The story convinces Steve’s audience that he can deliver this outcome.
Now we can begin to create some content, based on this story.
“how to transform your network contacts from jaded listeners to active advocates, five minutes after the first handshake”
“a 3-step system to help seasoned executives transition smoothly to new industries without starting over ”
“how to leverage your contacts at networkimg events to reach a new industry (even if you’re a lifelong introvert”
These ideas would contribute to the first draft of a sales letter, landing page or lead magnet. If Steve were my client, I’d spend much more time learning about him, his clients, his outcomes and his processes.
Your story helps clients decide to say “yes.”
Your story helps prospects decide to say yes when it reinforces your story archetype, paints a picture of your prospect’s desires and shows why you’re capable of delivering those outcomes
Once you’ve nailed the story, you can poke around the lists of power words to see if you can make your copy even stronger. You might decide to add power words consistent with your archetype…but the magic comes from your story, not your power words.
If you’d like to learn more about finding the power story for your own business, check out this free training I made with Sue Dunlevie. Sue is an internationally known expert on profitable blogging for business owners. We talked about using stories for blogs, and the ideas apply to any other form of promotional content for professionals. http://cathygoodwin.com/blogstory
If you’d like to master these ideas and walk away with a new story, tailored for your archetype, check out our new course, Blogging With Stories, starting next week. We show you exactly what stories to tell in order to maximize the revenue from your blog. It’s just $97 when you register by Friday, February 21. Click here to learn more about the course, and begin to see stronger results from your own blog.