Earlier this year, we were excited to welcome Jen Feroze of Jackdaw Editorial to our HivePros team! Jen is our web copy specialist, combining her expertise as an editor with her passion for the wedding industry to help talented wedding-business owners put their brilliant brands into words. Jen knows that even little tweaks can make a huge difference to your website copy and its impact, and in this post, we asked her to tell us how. By the end, you’ll definitely have a copy shake up on your 2020 action list!
Wedding season – that colourful, exhausting blur of busyness – is winding down. It’s been fruitful, at times frenzied, and, quite frankly, you’re exhausted. However, as tempting as it is to hibernate until Christmas, now is not the time to slow down.
Tuning your brain muscles to work ON your business rather than IN your business is the order of the day right now, as we ramp up towards peak proposal season. It’s time to put your analytical head on, and look closely at both your website and online presence, and the clutch of weddings you’ve just finished working on. How many of the celebrations you’ve been involved with this year fitted that ‘ideal scenario’ mould? OK, now let’s look at the flipside: how many of them were stressful, and didn’t fill you with joy at the thought of being a part of them, or having them in your portfolio? Be honest with yourself; rose tinted glasses won’t serve you here. If this was a season littered with non-ideal clients, that’s ok. The main thing to remember is that it’s within your power to shift your focus and make next year’s bookings the perfect fit for you and your style.
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
Here comes the good news. Your website copy is a beautifully organic thing. It’s infinitely possible to tinker and tweak your wording in ‘stealth ninja mode’, without having to announce it to the world or launch into a full-scale rebrand. The wording you use to accompany your services and the images in your portfolio is about nuance, and the difference between a gutsy and gorgeously authentic reflection of you and your brand and a clunky and awkward reading experience can often be a matter of a few single words.
Here are my top tips for refreshing your copy when you’re tight on time. They’re small changes, but they can make a big difference to the way clients connect with you.
REVISIT YOUR BRAND VALUES
The goal of your website copy is to create an emotional connection with your potential clients. You need to think about not only what you want them to see when visiting your website, but, crucially, how you want them to feel. So, strip it right back to basics and look at what it is you want to be known for. Get your trusty notebook and pen and splurge (technical term) down all of the words and phrases that you think are connected with your brand. There are likely to be all sorts of things on this initial list, and that’s fine. Have a go at whittling them down to the three that are most important to you. Once you’ve got these fixed in your mind, look back at each page of your website, and ask yourself: ‘does this text reflect these values?’
CHECK FOR SIGNPOSTS
Let’s talk user experience. How easy is it for your readers to go on a journey with you? Are you leaving them a clearly marked path or a confusing trail of breadcrumbs to follow? This is where your subheadings come into their own. Make sure large chunks of text are broken up with snappy subheads, quotes, snippets of testimonials or other guides that will help your readers resist the urge to start skim reading.
THE VOICE TEST
Get your words off the page! This is my top editing tip. When you’ve been working on your website wording, you sometimes stop being able to see little repetitions and weaknesses because you’re so close to it. Take the time to read each section of your copy aloud. You’ll find that the clunky bits, the waffly bits or the repeated adjectives will make themselves known to you!
MAKE YOUR INSTAGRAM WORK FOR YOU
Remember that copy is everywhere. Every time you sit down to write anything, be it a quick email reply, a blog post, a Facebook message or an Instagram caption, it’s a chance for you to make a connection with someone and use your power as a storyteller. Of the above examples, it’s the Insta captions that are so often overlooked. Each caption you write is an opportunity for you to add context and depth to the image you’ve shared. Don’t waste that opportunity by posting a picture of a cake with a caption that essentially reads ‘Oh look! A gorgeous cake’! Go deeper! Why has this picture made it on to your grid? What do you love about it? What are the details and stories behind it that you can let people in on?
Changing your copy doesn’t have to mean scrapping it and starting again. Each of these suggestions will help you to hone and refine what you already have, and get you focused on those ideal clients for your 2020 weddings.
Need some help getting your web copy in shape? If you’ve written the wording for your website but you’re feeling unsure as to whether it truly represents your brand and its brilliance, Jen can help with the Copywriting Clinics she offers to HivePros members. This intensive session will show you how to tighten up your messaging, hone and polish your wording and help you to feel confident that your copy is telling the right stories and reaching the right people. Find out more HERE.