Most of us have fond memories of the children’s classic, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” (There’s a fun karaoke version here.)
If I were to rewrite that tune for copywriters, I’d change “happy” to “different”.
Because emphasizing differences is key to effective copywriting, especially if you need your copy to boost conversions, leads and sales.
Here’s a case in point, based on a podcast I did a few years ago…
It was my wife’s birthday last week. A milestone. So I decided to order one of those wonderfully corny, slightly embarrassing lawn signs and have it secretly set up in the middle of the night.
But when I Googled “birthday lawn signs” for my area, I was stunned. There were dozens of companies that offered this service. They all looked alike. All had pictures of lawn signs on their websites. All had midnight delivery service.
The sameness from one company to another made it difficult to choose. So I just randomly phoned a few and asked questions.
The guy at the second company I called said something that immediately sold me. He said, almost matter-of-factly, “We don’t just write your wife’s name on the sign with a marker, like most companies do. We use a professional calligrapher who hand paints it on artistically.”
You can guess why that persuaded me! Which would I rather my wife see on the front lawn in the morning? Her name scribbled in magic marker? Or hand painted in professional calligraphy?
It was a no brainer.
But if I hadn’t called that company, I wouldn’t have known that. Because they did NOT have that information on their website!
Instead their website looked the same, and said basically the same things, as every other lawn sign company.
As a result, I suspect they are losing sales because you don’t attract customers by blending in. You attract them by standing out.
And the best way to stand out is to take something that differentiates you – a feature, an advantage, even a quirky characteristic – and highlight that in your marketing copy. Make it jump off the screen or page.
Think about your own business for a moment.
Say you’re a freelancer who writes website content, blog posts and marketing emails for coaches. There are a lot of other copywriters who can say the same thing. What makes you so different?
It might be that you were once a professional coach yourself. Would your prospects see that as an advantage? Of course they would.
Say you own a leadership training firm. There are more leadership trainers around than coffee beans at Starbucks. How do you stand out? Well, perhaps you’re one of the few who specializes in working with retail managers and supervisors. Your niche is what differentiates you.
Say you’re the marketing director of an AI tech firm. What could get your company noticed in that increasingly competitive market? Perhaps it’s your company’s project track record. Unlike so many new players, your company has implemented dozens of platforms with documented results. It didn’t just jump in because AI is the next big thing. Your company is way ahead of that group of wannabes.
Whatever it is that makes you different, emphasize that on your website and in your other marketing materials.
It doesn’t have to be a huge difference. Even a minor feature, characteristic or advantage you have that most of your competitors don’t have can be enough to make you stand out and get noticed.
So, when you’re writing marketing copy, don’t forget to sing the tune: If you’re different and you know it… say so, loudly!
This article was originally published in LinkedIn Pulse here.