It doesn't matter how wide your experience is, how great your expertise, how skilled you are or how innovative your business/ product is- if the very people you are relying on to make your business or idea feasible don't understand why you are so valuable to them, you might as well be wishing upon a star for success.
The problem with many forms of written business marketing or informational content is that it either says too much, doesn't say enough, or is too vague for people reading to understand how the business, organisation or individual in question can be useful to them. If your target market don't have a clear understanding of how you can prove your money's worth to them, it's highly unlikely they will give you the chance to prove your money's worth to them in the first place! Below are the three biggest obstacles I see that get in the way of businesses making a real connection with their target market:
Mistake #1- saying too much
If your business is fairly straight-forward and has a simple operational process, having too much written content on your marketing material can instantly make the reader (your target audience) feel overwhelmed and cause them to skim over important details that could make the difference between fail or sale- and that's if they even bother to read past the opening few sentences!
Mistake #2- saying too little
In other cases, especially with businesses that are selling innovative concepts or products, the intended target market (again, the reader) doesn't appreciate just how useful the product or service is to them because nobody is telling them! Sometimes, the best method of generating extra exposure, more calls to action and greater sales is to say more. To give you a better idea of what I'm saying, imagine for a moment that a young bachelor is creating his profile page on a dating website. This young man loves snowboarding, has visited every continent on Earth and plays guitar in a rock band. Not only that, but he is joint partner in a hugely successful online adventure clothing store and is on the verge of launching a new line of high-quality snowboarding equipment. He makes friends easily, is financially comfortable and has a great passion for travel and the outdoors. There would be plenty of girls who would want to know more about this guy straight away, if only his written profile didn't consist entirely of:
"Single and looking for a partner in crime. I like to work hard and play hard so if that sounds like you, let's chat!"
In the same way that this enthusiastic, genuinely interesting and ambitious young man will miss out on plenty of potential dates from selling himself short, many businesses also miss out on big one-off sales or even regular customers because they don't sell themselves enough.
Mistake #3- say what?
While it's especially true in this age of multiculturalism that English is not everybody's first language, there is still no reasonable excuse for your (predominately) English speaking target audience to have trouble understanding what it is you are selling and how that will benefit them. Although you might totally understand what it is you have to offer and can easily explain it to people when chatting to them about your business, if the written content for your business is vague, incoherent or lacking a clear purpose or call to action, then results will be underwhelming. A poorly written site littered with grammatical errors or non-sensical sentences reflects poorly on your business and strongly implies laziness, inexperience and lax attention to detail. A big sales killer. To put it bluntly: It doesn't matter how great you are, how original your idea is or what you can do for people, if your written content is poor or they don't fully understand your key points then they'll never understand why they should hand over their money to begin with!
A copywriter has the knowledge and the experience to minimise these sales speed-bumps. In some cases it may involve explaining in more detail why your business is wonderful and why the person reading your site/ brochure/ flyer/ profile should think the same and subscribe, order now or at least call you to chat. Other times it involves keeping the written content short, sharp and straight to the point. Why dance around the ring waiting for a points decision when you could win the money with a direct knockout punch? Then there are the times where a copywriter will understand that something as small as a simple edit (and spell-check!) can be the one thing that makes a huge difference between an epic fail or an epic sale.
So if you want your businesses' written content to sound professional, persuasive and like you know what you're doing, the proven way of getting these outcomes (and in turn generating greater results for your business) is to entrust the job to someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to written content- a copywriter!