Autodidacts out there, hear the swoosh of my virtual bow. I taught myself to read many, many years ago, but on days like these it looks like there’s not much else I’ll do for myself.
Figuring out other people’s main message is piece of cake compared to writing your own editorial plan. Your own anything, actually.
It’s not that there’s any dark art about it, by the way. We all drop clues, walk around with a cloud over our head, our message on the rainbow. It takes a reader to look and serve it back to us on a silver platter.
The reading, of course, has its method. The right questions to open the way.
But the actual looking for it, curiously engaged with a message extractor by your side does most of the job.
Because we all want to be known and gotten for who we are.
You want your tribe to know what you’re about. You want them to look at your work and say it has your name all over it. A classic you, they’ll say and smile.
Which is why when the website is nowhere near there, you’d rather not speak about it.
Let’s put an end to this Boogie man, though. I’ll say it for you.
Other than your actual place of business, your website is your main shop window. Where people come in to see what you’re about. Actually they come in for what they want you to do for them. Sometimes, something about you will get them in the door even when that message’s not clear. They’ll be intrigued. Or charmed. Either way, if there’re in, it’s on you to get the conversation started.
What do you say? If you skip the awkward hellos, they’ll want to know what you can do for them.
It rarely goes beyond a few lines. It could be even one. And it’s the mightiest of copy. Your hero copy.
Hero, because that’s where you put it, on the first window of your website. And the name says it all. It’s there to save the day.
Good hero copy is what has your clients at hello. It’s the recipe for love at first sight.
But here’s the thing about good hero copy. It doesn’t just happen.
Good hero copy is a sign the house is in order. Meaning your messaging, what you want to say to your clients, is neatly stacked, colour coded and cherished, like DVDs in the ‘90s. Like Star Wars action figures on your teen dorm mantelpiece.
And that only happens when who you are is crystal clear.
You know yourself as a business down to your DNA.
Do you know what that’s like? To just know?
Yes, you do.
You meet someone and know in the first seconds you’ll get along. And you sure know how it feels when this really isn’t going to work. Those Manolos may be gorgeous. But they’re not for you. You’d rather be in Birkenstocks all summer. You say “it’s just not me,” and you walk.
That’s what I do for you, by the way.
I spare you the search. Actually, I spare your clients the doubts.
I write your DNA.
I tell you who you are for your clients.
Call me an oracle. Or a nose. Or, my favourite, the un-tangler.
If your hero copy is nowhere near where you want it to be, it just might be you need some DNA work.
What do I mean?
Say why you think you’re in business is to empower entrepreneurs. It’s who you think you are. Empowering entrepreneurs is a universe. Noble, but vague.
Are you an online platform for personal development dedicated to entrepreneurs? Are you a tech company that offers accounting software for start-ups? Are you a start-up fund?
But if who you are is someone who plants the seeds of entrepreneurship, that’s empowerment in a very specific way. A filter that calls forth a different kind of reality.
And you keep at it until you have it. Maybe it is that you’re a hub for entrepreneurial resilience.
If your unique value proposition is vague, that’s where you need to look. That’s where the work needs to happen. Not in the copy. Copy comes easy when the house is in order.
That’s why good copy can only happen if you have strategy handled first. Here’s a secret good copywriters share: copy is walking strategy.
And a good copywriter is always a good strategist. Which is actually what you need your copywriter to be. Someone who can read your game and power it up with words.
I see brilliant entrepreneurs with websites that breathe who they are, the cloud and rainbow over their head, but no real hero copy. It’s fixable.
Somewhere in that cloud of emotion, the message is sitting tight like a needle in the haystack, waiting patiently.
You could do it on your own. If you’re an autodidact. I put together a guideline that will walk you through it. Get it here and use it to bits. It’s why it’s there for. Then drop me a line. I’d love to know who you are.