How To Use “Visual Copywriting” In Your Marketing

Copywriting. When it’s good, it can be very good. It will bring you new customers, clients, and patients and will keep them coming back for more – just like a good story will. But when it’s bad – and unfortunately most of what’s out there is definitely bad, it can – and will – hurt your business. If you’re a small business owner on Main Street or beyond, the words you use do matter.

Copy is everywhere around us. It’s the words on the side of the cereal box. It’s the descriptions on the restaurant menu, catalog, and coupons. It doesn’t have to be just words. As you’ll see from some of the examples below, copywriting can also be “visual”.

Effective copy will not just educate about your product or service, it will excite, delight, and motivate someone to buy (or move to the next step in the sales process).

Ultimately, copywriting is just savvy salesmanship. It’s about empathizing with your prospect, understanding their problems, needs, and desires, and then positioning your product or service as the solution.

Most small business owners get copywriting wrong. Watch the video below to learn why:

The most important selling skill you can cultivate as a copywriter is the ability to walk in your prospect’s shoes. Indeed, empathy is the master skill of successful selling. You need to develop a real sense of the prospect’s problems, needs, and desires.

One of the biggest blunders that beginners make is coming on too strong in their copy. They mistakenly think they have to twist the prospect’s arm and get him or her to sign on the dotted line. But remember, you’re not in a room alone with the prospect. He’s not sitting in your store squirming for an opportunity to get up and walk away. Instead, he’s reading your ad, listening to your radio commercial, or viewing your Web site. He can walk away anytime.

That’s why the key to selling on paper (and on screen) is authenticity. You have to be truthful, genuine, trustworthy, and have information that is truly meaningful and impactful to the prospect.

In a brick and mortar location you have opportunities to showcase what you do and offer. The sign outside of your store can make or break someone’s decision to come in or not. We know our businesses and we’re sure that someone seeing our sign “gets” it too. But sometimes you need more than words to explain. Here’s an example of a before and after as seen on KopywritingKourse.com for Austin Shoe Hospital:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not everyone knows what a shoe hospital does, or all the services they perform.  So why not just tell people……better yet, why not just SHOW them?  In a small amount of space, these signs educate potential customers they could have these services done to their shoes.

For those who think “it has to be pretty”. Nope. Here’s an example from a service-based power washing company:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These flyers broke out of the generic-looking and non-informative marketing box.  They look and sound very personal, and offer a pretty irresistible deal.

In your brick and mortar location, you have the opportunity to use copywriting through your signs. They can delight or disappoint. Review each of your signs and ask yourself, does the way it is written create a feeling of delight for the customer? If the answer is “No”, change the sing to produce the intended emotion.

Minimize using words like “No”, “Don’t”, “Can’t”, “Policy”, or “Prohibited”. These are so negative. Instead, tell people what they CAN do. Instead of “No refunds after ten days,” try “Refunds gladly accepted up to ten days after purchase.” Rather than “Two forms of identification are required to pay by check” try “Please share two forms of identification when paying by check – Thank You.”

“Visual” Copywriting

Most people thing copywriting is about “words” but as stated in the beginning of this article it’s about telling a story. As a brick and mortar location, you have a tremendous opportunity to use your space to create an experience that tells your story and drives more sales through “visual” copywriting.

Have you ever been to IKEA? They “get” visual copywriting. They don’t do a lot of copywriting on their showroom floor in the traditional sense. They do, however, implement lots of visual copywriting by staging the furniture in full rooms or event full apartment setups.

That couch looks much more appealing in a professional decorated living room than it does placed on the showroom floor, next to all of the other couches.

Great copywriting immediately focuses the reader’s attention on the benefit of a product or service. It answers the question “What’s In It For Me?”

IKEA answers that question by placing its furniture in a way that allows you to see the ultimate benefit – a relaxing, cool, beautiful new room. It doesn’t leave a couch lying there, next to the rest of the couches, and have them all compete on price.

Their “visual copywriting” adds value to the furniture and moves you closer to the sale. They create an EXPERIENCE. You can envision that couch in your home – and you realize you want more than just the couch – you want everything else they’re showcasing with it – the table, the rug, the décor items that make it “home” not a “couch”.

Copywriting is about moving people through your story, and IKEA is brilliant at it. Once you’re in the store, you’re not getting out until you walk through all of the showrooms. By then you’re a bit hungry and thirsty so there’s a restaurant so you can refresh. But you’re not done yet. You then go downstairs where you walk through “areas” where you can grab home décor items you saw in the showrooms above. Good luck getting out of there without grabbing something. You can then pick up your furniture, check out, and grab something to eat/drink for the ride home. IKEA knows how to use visual copywriting to get you excited about a piece of furniture – and maximize their profits.

IKEA’s success is certainly no accident. They’ve careful planned and executed to provide a great user experiences that walks you through the “furniture buying story.” In doing so they don’t have to “sell” furniture . . . the furniture sells itself.

How are you using copywriting strategies to tell your story and create unique user experiences to sell more?

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About Stacey Riska

Stacey Riska, aka “Small Business Stacey” is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small business and rebuilding Main Street. She helps small and local business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients, MORE sales, and MORE money. Stacey is the founder of Small Biz Marketing Specialist, THE go-to place for marketing tips, techniques and strategies that get results. Stacey is also the creator of the Daily Deals for Massive Profits Training Program, an online video training program that teaches small and local business owners how to use daily deal sites like Groupon to skyrocket their business growth and get massive profits. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn’t!) and spending time with her amazing husband.

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About the Author smallbizmarketing

Stacey Riska, aka “Small Business Stacey” is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small business and rebuilding Main Street. She helps small and local business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients, MORE sales, and MORE money.

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