Hammer the competition… not your thumb!
A hammer is a hammer, right? Well, apparently there are dozens of hammers… For example, a nail hammer is great for light household chores and nail pulling. If you want more control when hammering large nails into lumber then a waffled-face hammer is a better choice. If you want to rip apart wooden fruit boxes then a milled face framing hammer should help you get the job done while reducing the effect of flying nails.
Ahem, is this a copywriting blog? NOPE. It’s Australia’s #1 Copywriting Blog! So WHY am I talking about some hammers, right?!?! Okay, hold on as there is an *IMPORTANT* marketing lesson for you here and I will bring it all down for you…
Now listen to this… You can use a small hammer to drive small nails and tacks and a sledgehammer to break up concrete. There are also straight-peen hammers, cross-peen hammers, claw hammers, lead hammers, rawhide hammers, club hammers, soft-faced hammers, roofing hammers, sheet-metal hammers, drywall hammers and a handful of other hammers that you and I probably don’t even need to know about!
Have you heard about the sore-thumb hammer? I have one of those! It’s the one that hits your poor thumb when you miss a nail. I missed several nails recently when wife decided to hang some pictures in the hallway.
But, seriously… What does that have to do with your business or website? Probably more than you think…
Many business owners (and some marketers) are guilty of making too many assumptions about their prospects and clients. If a client says he wants to drive a nail, they figure a hammer would do. Easy. Problem solved.
WHAT IF your prospective client doesn’t want a traditional hammer with a wooden handle (remember those?) but a modern, steel handle hammer with a rubber grip?
So, I think it’s important that you ask yourself this question…
If a typical client was looking for a product or service LIKE yours what would he call it? What keywords would he type into the Internet browser? How would he begin his search? What does a typical prospective client call your product or service? Let’s go back to the hammer example…
Is he looking for a hammer or is he looking for a straight-peen hammer or a mallet? Maybe he wants a hammer with a wooden handle. Maybe he wants a hammer with a glass-fibre handle? Then again, perhaps he wants a heavy-duty power hammer or nailer to fix his garden decking!
Do you go into such painful detail when you sit down to copywrite an email or sales letter? Do you think in terms of what your reader really wants OR what you THINK he / she wants?
Look. A typical office worker probably knows zilch about hammers. However, a professional contractor with a wide vocabulary and years of experience on the tools knows that there is a hammer for every job. So, let me ask you these questions…
Has your typical prospect or client heard about your product or service?
Has he used it before? If so, what is his perception of it?
Is your solution the ONLY one he considers before making a decision to purchase?
Chances are that he will also check what the competition is offering. And when (NOT if but ‘when‘) he does how do you think your product or service compares?
It’s easy to sell a standard hammer to an amateur like myself when all I want to do is impress the wife that I can do more than just type away at the keyboard. It takes a little more talent to persuade a skilled, knowledgeable and professional tradesman who is just a click away from your competitor’s website.
If you want to persuade a more ‘sophisticated’ audience then chances are that your copywriting needs to be a little more personal and targeted. You need to use specific keywords. Real examples. You also need to KNOW what your prospects and customers are saying about you, your products and services, and your competitors.
That’s why you need take the time to get to know your customers on a more intimate level… It’s called research. You need to research your clients to find out not only WHAT they want but also HOW they want it and WHY.
Make your copywriting, web content and sales letters as SPECIFIC as possible. Sometimes a slight variation in how your product or service is packaged or presented can dramatically improve sales and conversions.
Also, don’t try to sell a hammer when a cross-peen hammer with a rubber handle could save your client a lot of time and embarrassment… and save his fingers from early arthritis!