Stick and Stones Can Break Your Bones. Bad Copywriting Can Break Your Business.

Let’s face it. We’ve all seen it before. A well-designed book cover at Barnes and Noble catches our eye from across the room. A newspaper headline beckons you to grab it. A website glamours us like an experienced vampire. So what do you do? The same thing we all do. We start reading.

Mission “Grab Your Attention” is now complete. Some graphic designers do an excellent job at accomplishing this mission (especially if they work for Dakno). Shameless plugs aside (our designers are the best, though!), you’re now entranced and looking forward to reading what this author or business has to say. Oh joy!

A Lost Fish Equals an Empty Plate

The Reel is as Important as the Hook

Then it happens. Word after word of dry, emotionless fodder falls off of the page in front of you. That once sense of glee and anticipation you experienced has now been replaced with regret as you drudge through this futile attempt at writing. We’ve all felt it before. Are your potential leads feeling it now? Scary thought.

You won’t have two chances at a first impression. My grandfather used to say:

“Once you get a fish on a hook and your line snaps, you’ll never hook THAT fish again.”

In business, that sage rings very true. Consider that the presentation is the hook which means the content/copy is the line. The strongest hook on the weakest line equals a hungry fisherman.

“Happy Birthday” or Milk and Eggs?

Take your copy seriously. This is the chance to build a foundation that will either instill faith and confidence in what you do, or, it’s what will cause your lead to go with a competitor. You could have the best team and real estate experience bar none, but, your copy isn’t about proving that. It’s about putting potential clients in a position where they dare you to prove it.

Don't Be a ChecklistFor example, what’s a more interesting read? A birthday card or a grocery list? Both are based on objective criteria, but, the birthday card wins every time. Why? Well, the first reason is it’s designed to keep you visually engaged. That’s why you picked it up in the first place.

The second thing is once you have it in your hand, it evokes a desired emotion. Either it makes you laugh, feel warm, or feel somber. The key is, you felt something. You have no emotional ties to a grocery list.

Don’t let your website or marketing materials be a grocery list, whether obvious or hidden. Your copy should never simply be line items that you want the buyer or seller to know. You have a personality. Show it. Nowadays people want to get to know you before they actually get to know you.

Blah Blah Blah

Good copy isn’t about who can write or talk the most. Have you ever been car shopping? There’s a reason you try to avoid the salesperson until you’re ready to ask a question. It’s because they have a knack for giving you a ton of information that you didn’t ask for before you even ask anything. Rambling actually makes it appear you have no idea what you’re talking about even when you do.Don't Ramble. Speak with Purpose.

When it comes to copy, don’t ramble. Extra filler is just that, extra…filler. No one likes a steak that’s 92% fat and 8% meat. Also, know when to say what. If someone clicks on your bio, they expect an articulated and personable read that may run a little long (and that’s fine). However, when they’re on the front page of your site they expect to get a quick and powerful glimpse into what you’re all about.

You don’t go to McDonald’s for a 3-course meal. You go because you’re short on time and you want a tasty meal, fast. When you do have the time to visit a 5-star restaurant, you expect a more flavorful and thought-out dining experience. If the server brought you a 3-course meal in 5 minutes you’d call the health inspector. The same applies to copy. Know what section is fast food and what sections are fine dining. Give them what they want, not what you think they need.

Pride Precedes the Fall

I’m not ashamed to admit that I can’t fly a fighter jet. I mean I could give it a go, but, have medics on standby. There are also NASA engineers that can’t bake lasagna, but, a chef can. Everyone has different talents and now, more than ever, real estate is a team sport. The most successful agents surround themselves with individuals who excel in their own way.

Your talent is real estate. Our talent is marketing your talent (even Brad Pitt has an agent, folks). One way we do that is with custom, personalized, and powerful copywriting. Always remember that a beautifully-wrapped box full of rocks is still just that: a box full of rocks.

Until next we speak,

– Patrik

2 thoughts on “Stick and Stones Can Break Your Bones. Bad Copywriting Can Break Your Business.

  1. Hi Patrik!
    Great post. It’s so true, whether we are reading books, articles, blog post and such. That eye catching cover or curious headline gets us interested and then bam! The content is a big yawn!
    Thanks for the very well-written tips 🙂

    1. Hi Lisa!
      You’re so correct. Few things are worse than a bad read after an eye-popping visual. It’s like the really bad movie with the legendary trailer (we’ve all been victims of this). The trick is to marry both great presentation with powerful content.

      Thanks for the read and comment!

      – Patrik

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