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Self-employed folks! Here’s how to write your website copy in time for 2023

Have you ever read the copy on your website and groaned? Well, you’re not alone. A good website is tricky to write, especially when the website in question is yours.

I’ve been there too. Yep, even as a professional copywriter, being so close to my business made it difficult to write my first website. I put it off and put it off, hoping one day I’d wake up and magically know what to say.

If you’re in the same boat, don’t despair!

Been meaning to write your website all year? There’s still time.

Website copy out of date and unloved? It’s not the end of the world…

Yes, freelancers, consultants and companies-of-one need hardworking website copy. The good news is that it’s within your reach. Yippee!

Now is the perfect time to write or spruce up your website copy. With a slick message, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running in 2023. Here are three important rules that’ll keep your copy on track and make your website sing.

Website content vs. website copy

The word ‘content’ is widely used now. And that’s OK, as long as you understand what the difference between content and copy really is.

‘Content’ could be anything, it doesn’t necessarily refer to the text on your website. Videos, audio clips, blogs, photography, social media posts – these are all examples of content. In other words, content is the ‘stuff’ that goes on your website which stops your site being a collection of blank pages. Content could mean text or images, video or graphics and beyond.

Copy, on the other hand, is different. In a marketing context, copy is text that’s written to move someone towards a desired action. Copy is what should be on your website. After all, you’d like your website to help you sell, wouldn’t you?

Whereas content could refer to the vast amount of material on the internet (cat videos are content, for example), copy is carefully-crafted words written with a clear purpose. Copy leads people through a sales journey. Think of a slick landing page: the headline catches your attention, the copy tells a story that draws you in and the call to action prompts you to sign up for a mailing list, book a call, or buy a product.

Copy, as renowned ad-man John E. Kennedy said, is salesmanship in print. If you can nail your website copy, you can feel a lot more confident selling your services. When I finally sorted my website copy, the clarity that having a concise message gave me was immense.

Why lean into copy, not content, in 2023?

When your website copy is sorted, all of your other marketing material falls into place. Everything from social media posts to written proposals become easier to craft. Clear copy plus a unified message equals better communication. And when you communicate a sales message well with your clients and prospects, the better your chances of receiving the sought-after ‘yes’!

'Content' could refer to the vast amount of material on the internet (cat videos are content, for example); 'copy' is carefully-crafted words written with a clear purpose.

Coherent copy builds trust with clients

For those of us that run a service business, our website is our virtual ‘shop window’. And if we don’t have a literal shop front, our website performs a key function: it reassures our potential clients that we are a real business. Whether you ‘meet’ prospective customers online or in real life, people want to know that you’re genuine.

The word ‘reassurance’ goes hand in hand with the word ‘trust:’

  • Can your prospects trust you?

  • What reassurances can you offer that will persuade them you are a safe pair of hands?

Your website plays a vital role in answering those questions. It’s the heart of your online presence, the foundation on which all else is built – from social media to your Trustpilot page, from your Google Business profile to your LinkedIn page.

Your copy, then, is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your credibility. Having a website and some text on it isn’t enough. What about client testimonials? Case studies? These are direct methods you can use to spell out your trustworthiness.

There are more subtle ways too. By taking the time to really think about your key messages, your words will align wherever they appear, be it LinkedIn, your email newsletter, or your website. This ‘connectedness’ adds up to a cohesive, credible picture in your clients’ eyes.

Why spruce up your website copy in time for 2023?

Trust never goes out of fashion! It’s the currency of being self-employed. As a company-of-one, your reputation can carry you far and it’s in your interest to do all you can to tend to the legs that hold those reputations up. Whether it’s conveying a clear message, acting in line with what you say, or sharing a glowing testimonial, your website copy has the power to build bridges of trust with the very people that buy from you.

Why not gather testimonials and incorporate them into your site? Perhaps you could write up a project and display it as a case study to reassure future clients? Get off on the right foot, impress the people that could buy from you and give your business a boost next year.

Trust never goes out of fashion! As a self-employed person, reputation can carry you far and it's in your interest to protect your good name.

You can’t please everyone

When you spend time crafting your website copy, you’ll no doubt reflect on your ideal client. And when you know who exactly you’re writing for, your words will come together that much easier. Best of all, once you’ve nailed your copy and honed your message, it’ll be clear to your ideal clients why you’re the right fit for them!

Let your uniqueness shine through your copy. As self-employed individuals, that is perhaps our greatest advantage: there’s nobody quite like us, because we are the only version of ourselves out there. There may be plenty of other photographers, designers, recruiters or HR professionals, but there’s nobody quite like you! So, don’t try to be for everyone.

And when your copy speaks to the right people for your business, the customers that aren’t for you will be deterred. And that’s OK. You can’t be all things to all people and if your copy helps weed out some of the ‘wrong clients’ then it’s no bad thing.

Why write your website for your ideal client in 2023?

Focus. The last couple of years has proved that there’s very little in life that’s predictable. When you focus on speaking to the types of clients that already love working with you, your message becomes that much clearer. And when your copy is clear and direct you hone your message instead of diluting it by trying to please everyone. A clear message, aimed at your ideal client is much more likely to win you work! So refine your website copy and sail into 2023 confident that it’ll be well received by those people that want to do business with you.

A clear message, aimed at your ideal client is much more likely to win you work!

How to write your B2B website copy in 2023

For freelancers and the self-employed, a good website is vital to our success. It offers reassurance. It builds trust. And it showcases exactly why we’re so good at what we do. All of those things add up in clients’ minds to persuade them that we are a good bet, someone they want to do business with.

Yet for many, writing copy is a struggle. Whether it’s finding the right words, explaining a complex consultancy service, or just thinking of what to say in the first place! The thought of writing a website puts lots of self-employed people off before they’ve begun.

Well, good news! You don’t have to struggle on your own to write copy. You don’t have to cry into your keyboard or screw up copious amounts of paper. My eBook, How to write your B2B website content, was written especially for freelancers, the self-employed and companies-of-one. It guides you through writing your website page by page. So you can take the stress away and produce something you’re proud to share.

Best of all? It’s available for only £25.

I hope the tools and techniques in the book help you as much as they helped me. Happy writing! And don’t forget, whatever stage your business or website is at: Great Copy Matters.


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