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  • Writer's pictureJen Haken

A-Z of Copywriting: How to write expertly, engagingly, and empathetically

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Pastel rainbow background. Text reads: The X, Y and Z of copywriting. X is for eXpertise, Y is for You, Z is for Zzzz...  Logo: Jenny Haken Words that Work

It feels right to combine the last three letters of the alphabet into one post. Writing this A-Z of Copywriting has been fun, but I must admit that I’m glad it’s done! I can tick this off my list. What a great feeling of both relief and accomplishment!

It’s taken a while to get through the alphabet. I started this back in January 2021 with A is for Acknowledge your Audience, in which I suggest both how to figure out your buyer persona and various ways to write to them enticingly. This post is predominantly about how to write engaging copy ... let's face it, most of my posts are about writing engaging content!

I hope that this series of copywriting tips has been helpful to you. Let me know what’s helped and what you’d like to know more about.

Now, to the X, Y and Z of copywriting...

X is for eXpertise

This is your expertise, of course. All your knowledge and experience gained over the years. It's time to share the fact that you’re an expert in your field for your customers – prospective, old and new – to see that you really do know what you’re talking about.

No need to be overt. By writing regularly about how your product or service solves problems, helps people’s pain points or improves their lives demonstrates that you know your onions. The more consistent you are with your newsletters, blog posts, and other marketing activities, the sooner your expertise will be recognised.

The more you signpost people to your website for more in-depth information about your products and expertise, citing other genuine sources on the subject, and being as visible as possible, the more people will trust you as an expert.

I’m sure you know this already, but it’s worth repeating: Writing with authority about your service or product helps build trust. As you keep sharing your expertise, whether in the written word or at events, both online and off, you'll find people increasingly approaching you for help.

Do keep in mind why your customers need your products when writing your marketing content. Be authoritative while tempering your knowledge with empathy and emotion. Pull at the heartstrings! If you’re concerned that you’ve gone over the top with emotion, ask someone to read what you’ve written for an objective opinion.

As you write, put yourself in your customers’ shoes to really understand why they need your service, how it makes their lives easier, and what problems it solves. That way, you can be both the expert and engaging in your marketing.

Y is for You – your customer, not you!

One of the best ways to engage with your customers is by writing to them, not at them. This is where using second-person pronouns in your copywriting really helps – ‘you, your, yours’ rather than first-person ‘I, me, we, our’ – essential when you need to write engaging copy.

Your customers want to know something about you, your team, your background (your eXpertise!), and your business, as well as the product itself. People want to get to know who they’re about to buy from. Keep the 80:20 rule in mind and apply it to writing your content – 80% is about what the customer wants and needs, and only 20% should be about you.

Write as if you’re writing to a friend, wanting to help them out of a tight spot. But a friend who doesn’t care about you and only wants to know what’s best for them! Not much of a friend?! But they could become a very good customer. And who knows, they could even become a very caring friend!

Z is for Zzzz – sleep on it

Once you’ve written your content, brochure, newsletter or whatever, and you’re happy with its structure, length and tone, not forgetting that all-important CTA (Call to Action) at the end, put it aside. Sleep on it.

Tomorrow, go through it and cut out the fluff. Edit hard and hone it until it’s slick and professional.

When you sleep on it, you may wake up with an urgent need to change something or include another important fact. The number of times I’ve done that! Those waking thoughts often make all the difference.

Your final edit can transform what was a perfectly adequate piece of writing into a powerful marketing piece that people will react positively to.

And finally…

If you’re too busy running your business and don’t have the time to write your content with the authority and empathy they deserve, then do get in touch. I’d love to help.

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