1.Know Your Audience
Ok, Ok, I can already hear you cringing reading this. You’ve probably seen all of the Ideal Customer Avatar worksheets that are floating around the internet. You might have even filled some of them in, but then wondered what the point of it all was? The point, my friends, is that when you know who your audience is, you can write specifically for them! You can talk about their pain points, their passions, their dreams BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHO THEY ARE! If you write for everyone, you’ll just be adding to the noise.
The Fix: Do the work of narrowing in on your ideal customer, so you can write to them. Amy Porterfield has a great ideal customer avatar worksheet that could be a powerful resource for you, if you want some more information.
2. The Curse of Knowledge
Here’s the wikipedia definition for you, in case you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about. “The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that occurs when an individual, communicating with other individuals, unknowingly assumes that the others have the background to understand.” Business owners do this all the time! They think everyone is an industry expert and they think they are writing for their peers. The truth is, people are coming to you because you are an expert and they want you to fix their problems or buy your products and services. They are not experts, they need you. And they want to work with someone who doesn’t make them feel dumb.
The Fix: Go back to the beginning, before you were an expert in your industry. Remember what it was like to be a beginner. Simplify your language and be kind to your reader by eliminating any industry specific words that aren’t necessary (but keep your SEO in mind when you do this).
3. If You Confuse, You Loose
Friends, this is a big one. This is probably the most common mistake I see small business owners making. I know their hearts are in the right place, but when they go to sit down and write about their business, be it social media, email marketing or website copy, they just have too many ideas! And then the ideas get all jumbled up and the writer gets overwhelmed and the whole thing just becomes a headache. It’s okay. It happens. Here’s something that might help.
The Fix: Use the Writing Process. Yes, yes, I used to be a high school English teacher and this might bring you back to your own high school english teacher (hopefully you liked them!). There’s 6 stages to the writing process: 1) Prewriting 2) Drafting 3) Revising 4) Editing 5) Publishing and 6) Reflecting. Writing is a process. It takes time. Even the best writers go through this process and don’t just sit down and write their masterpiece in one sitting. And you probably won’t be able to do that either. So approach writing about your business with some realistic expectations about the time investment it will require.
4. Embarrassing Mistakes
Ever go back and re-read an email or post and it’s full of typos, only to be mortified? It’s ok, it happens to the best of us. However, professionalism matters and people will judge you if your work is littered with spelling mistakes, grammar errors and boring writing.
The Fix: Proofread your work or sign up for a chrome extension such as grammarly. Use spell check and if possible, use a computer instead of your phone when crafting professional writing for your business. Your eyes will catch things easier when you have the space to re-read before you hit send, publish or enter.
5. No Clear Call To Action
Many small businesses are losing opportunities to make money because they are not calling their audience to action. They think they are being nice, but the reality is, if you don’t tell your audience what you want them to do, they won’t know and they won’t do it. Make sure your website has a clear call to action. It’s also a great idea to include a transitional call to action, for the people who might not be ready to pull the trigger, but who are still interested in you and want to learn more.
The Fix: If you don’t have clear call to action buttons on your website, get those added in. You should have one in the top right of your header and on your “Above the Fold” section of your website. Use the same wording on the button. Create a lead magnet for your business and include a transitional call to action, inviting your audience to download your article, quiz, video etc. If you are interested in learning more about your website content, lead magnets and nurture email campaigns, Book a Consult and I’d love to help your business thrive.
(See what I did there 🙂
6. Don’t Forget About Visual Communication
So many websites, emails and marketing materials completely forget about visual communication. The images, headings, fonts, format and layout are SO IMPORTANT to communicating about your business. Capturing the right look and feel that is consistent and authentically represents your business is paramount to your success online. How the words are arranged is just as important as the actual words you are writing.
The Fix: Add more white space. People can’t digest large blocks of information, so you have to break it up for them. Use images that relate and instantly communicate your ideas, inviting your audience to read more. Use online tools such as Canva.com to help you if you need design help. Work with your web developer, copywriter or graphic designer to ensure that you are consistently branding your business with style.
7. Attitude is Everything
So this one might be something you haven’t considered. Your audience can feel the attitude that you bring to your writing. If you hate writing about your business, your audience can feel that. If you don’t like writing blog posts, your audience can feel that. If you don’t like being in front of a camera or doing instagram live videos, your audience can feel that.
The Fix: Do what works for you. When you show up in service to your audience, they will feel it. When you sit down to write, bring a positive attitude with you and do it from love. I guarantee you this will create different results. Also, if you don’t like writing blogs, then don’t write blogs. If you like doing videos, do that. Whatever your content strategy, it has to be something that you are excited about and that you like doing. The other option is to hire out the writing that you need to an expert, who can help you position your business, engage your audience and help you increase your profits.
There you have it folks, the 7 common mistakes entrepreneurs make when writing about their business and how to fix them pronto. I hope this helped give you some food for thought and maybe re-consider how you approach writing.
I’m Becky Nethery, a copywriter, located on the shores of Lake Huron in Goderich, Ontario.
I’m passionate about writing clear, organized and effective messaging. Small businesses deserve to feel proud of how their company is portrayed online and I’m here to help make that possible.
If there is anything I can do to support your small business writing needs, hit me up!