Personality matters in website copywriting for the same reasons personality matters in sales… and pretty much everything else! Aside from boring your visitors to death, web copywriting that doesn’t connect you to your visitors isn’t worth much, is it? The problem, of course, is that there is already so much heavy-lifting to do on your website. We’re thinking about the architecture of your website and the user experience. We’re thinking about your fundamental marketing, and, if you’re me, we’re thinking about the entire business and its business development strategy. We’re thinking about how your web copy fits into your overall sales cycle. We’re thinking about SEO objectives. Now, how do we take all of that and give it a strong but empathetic human voice? Moreover, why should we even bother? And, dammit, Scott, why do we have to think about our brand? Isn’t it enough just to laundry list the features of our business and prattle on about how great we are? Um, no.
People buy from those they trust, respect and admire.
Whether serving as a brand strategist, a brand consultant, a copywriter or a company naming consultant, I face one fundamental challenge on every project. You’d think it would change from client to client or industry to industry, but it doesn’t. It’s, how am I going to connect you to the people that matter most to your business? While brand-savvy marketers know that simple statement opens up myriad, simultaneous inquiries and a scope of brand discovery few entrepreneurs and small businesses have planned for, let’s start with the basics.
People buy from those they trust, respect and admire. We agree on that, right? Good, but uh-oh. Here comes the rub. 99 times out of 100, your creative brief won’t spell out how to get to trust, respect and admiration. Your unique value props may provide a start, but they won’t get you to the T-R-A trifecta, either. Your whiteboard sessions where the team got together to list out all of your many features and benefits? A worthwhile endeavor, to be sure, but it provides no sure path to cultivating trust, respect and admiration. What we have, in most environments, are terrific supporting points, which is the equivalent of a great speech delivered by an egocentric, uncharismatic boor. (Be honest about your company’s personality. Put some adjectives on it. Now, send those adjectives off to a cocktail party or a picnic and ask yourself whether the guests enjoyed your company’s company.)
Example of website copywriting with personality and humor;
image from the Kalish & Sons’ website.
As a Los Angeles copywriter with over 20 years’ experience, I’d like to share 10 points with you on the uber-serious purpose of humorous, personality-infused web copy:
- You have somewhere between 3 and 7 seconds to show web visitors their time investment is going to be worthwhile. In other words, it’s show time!
- You will garner that attention more reliably by putting yourself in your targets’ shoes.
- When you put yourself in their shoes, you suddenly find they do not want to engage in a conversation with a cold, sterile enterprise. They want — all people want — to connect with something. Your business has a far greater chance of forging genuine human connections when the business itself is perceived as real and human.
- To be perceived as real and human, breathe life into your brand with web copywriting that pops with personality.
- If you can make them laugh, great! There are few things that can bring people together like a well-made joke and a shared laugh.
- If you can’t make them laugh, at least show them that your presentation to them mattered to you — prove that you were willing to invest in the sale, just as you are asking them to invest their time and attention.
- Instead of claiming to be a leader, demonstrate that leadership with a strong voice and an unapologetic Point of View.
- Instead of claiming success and experience, demonstrate that successful experience with web copy that telegraphs business maturity.
- In addition to arresting attention, you will also keep that attention, which leads to better traffic flows and increased dwell times… both of which lead to higher conversions.
- The big win: by committing to website copywriting that has a distinct, tonally-appropriate personality you will achieve far more than greater credibility, greater engagement and greater sales. You will have set yourself apart from the competition (and competing demands on our time and attention) by providing a memorable experience, one that speaks volumes about the future value you have in store for them.
Example of website copy subhead with brand-building personality;
image from Texollini website.
Have fun with your web copy. It’s okay. Tell ’em Scott said so. Even in B2B.
If a business enjoys what it does, if it takes its work seriously but not itself, a funny thing happens. By expressing itself more freely, it more freely attracts others to it. This includes customers, of course, but also the kind of employees and strategic partners that will also lead to future growth.
So go ahead. Start that new website of yours with a strong concept that lets visitors know from the get-go they’re in for something special. Then, use headlines and subheads throughout that, yes, make the points they need to, but while simultaneously exuding human warmth, intelligence and wit. Throughout, try to balance your sale on the table with their needs to express their own vision and values.
In the hands of the right website copywriter, you’ll have more fun with your marketing. More importantly, your targets will have more fun with your marketing. You’ll make more connections. You’ll make more money.