Developing content copywriting skills for your small business can be stressful, so let’s chat a bit about systems because I think they form a key part of your development into a confident content creator.
I’m a bit of a bulldog when it comes to systems and making sure they are part of my writing process. I’m also ferocious about note-taking and collecting my ideas/thoughts in a methodical manner.
Now, I know when you hear systems you groan and think: “Not another something to do??!!” But what I’m about to tell you isn’t difficult at all. Your system can be as simple as writing personal stories consistently in your journal, recording voice notes on the phone or typing information daily into Google Docs. If you get to the advanced level, well, it’s like giving Redbull to your content.
Here’s the deal.
Copywriting for your blog, social media, newsletter, etc never starts when you sit in front of your computer. It begins way before then. Ok, this is where I ring my bell because I want to drill this into you.
Every experience you have has the potential to become a future sentence or story.
So learning to capture them in an instant will go a long way in making sure you never run out of stories to tell or things to say.
This applies to your business and social media. As my own business grew I recognized I needed to create more and more content and stories for marketing and my business’ everyday purposes.
I preach to my students all the time about the importance of consistency and showing up on social media, in their newsletters, on their blogs.
This isn’t easy, I’m the first to tell you that. But once you hit a good copywriting stride, you’ll feel like Naomi Campbell on a runway.
Ready to strut your stuff with the hacks I’m about to share?
Why Capturing Your Ideas Matter
There is not a day that I don’t write but I recognised that it is much easier when I can refer to my catalogue of ideas, stories, and thoughts and build several pieces of content from that.
Copywriting clears my head, it makes me see the world in new ways. I record thoughts but more importantly, it also helps me to earn a good living on the web.
From content to promotional copy and personal branding stories, it is important to have a bank I can tap into when I’m stuck or even if I need a boost of inspiration.
Creating a Content Bank
The other thing too is that as your business grows and you morph from a one-person shop into a team, having a bank of stories centers everyone on what content can be churned out during any given week. I call it a bank because it feels like one.
Once it’s filled, hassle-free withdrawals can be made.
I also like that you don’t have to sit there looking at an empty screen and get overwhelmed thinking about what you should write. That’s the biggest relief of all.
David Perrell says on his YouTube Channel that as business owners and content creators we have to make copywriting a daily habit. “A day where you don’t write is the enemy of productivity,” he says. I would say it a bit differently.
I think when you don’t write you’re working against yourself by not connecting to your audience and not marketing your gifts to the world.
The most important thing is to write something every day — no matter what. I’ve taken to doing this for over a decade. With that said, let me tell you about Hack 1.
No. 1| Your Best Copywriting Will Come From Your Own Stories
Yesterday my twin sister came over for lunch. It was the day Jeff Bezos had gone into space and the Internet was ripe with criticism and laments on how many better things the Amazon founder could have done with his wealth.
“We love to hate,” I told my sister adding that “What is important these days is not the outrage, but the appearance of it.” Immediately those words struck me as being special, but not just the words but the feelings.
I also watched Bezos orbit the outer ring of space. Connecting that feeling to the one I had as a child when my father made us watch all moon landings on a small black and white tv screen made the Bezos moment feel more special.
I am not sure at this point where I will use this recollection but I recorded it. I jotted it down in my notebook under sections called nostalgia and courage.
I know there will be a time when I can distill it and use it as a reference in a story I’ll write for the Internet.
Listening to conversations is such a skill. Remembering peculiar phrasing, writing new ideas into a notebook or iPad, collecting images, allowing them to sit there and then mixing some together, adding on layers and new constructs is a wickedly good skill.
When you do all that something meaningful is always born. I feel the best part is that your brand comes to life in so many meaningful ways for your followers, who by the way, are also your potential customers.
No. 2| When Copywriting, Start With A Full Plate
Ok systems aren’t formed in a snap. They take time. If you’re struggling to move from collecting ideas to creating content, I’d say take a second look at your note-taking system and what happens after you jot things down.
Question To Ask: Are you categorizing your stories once you collect them? For example, when you record your voice don’t just leave it as a raw note on your phone or recorder. Consider the keywords and save them alongside other like-minded tags.
Systems, my friends, systems!
You can also group like content with like, assign group symbols if some of your ideas are collectively thoughtful, comedic, self-reflective, etc. You get the drift.
Organization is key, and there are several apps that can help you.
Pro tip: Here is one I have from being a JK, a journalist’s kid.
My father wrote stories for the local newspapers from a position of abundance. He would have all his interview notes, quotes, and references in piles of paper next to his Canon typewriter.
Yes, this is way back in the day.
He’d spend hours typing furiously glancing from the notes on his right to the type bar in front of him, pounding out story after story. Today I work just like my dad but with two screens open on my desktop.
To the right is the content I’m working on and to the left are my ideas, notes, rough stories, research.
The left is my cup and it runneth over. When it does I know I can write from a state of abundance. Notes are like the forest and from there I pluck all the seeds and buds to place into my garden.
REAL TALK: Once your content starts with a rich set of ingredients, your plate will always be full and you will never feel that you have nothing to say.
No. 3| Hack The Heck Out Of Your Favourite Content Creators
Copying has gotten a bad name. Ok, let me be specific. If you’re taking someone’s content wholesale and not giving them credit, that’s plagiarism.
I’m not talking about the Melania Trump type of copying. Instead, think of copy hacking as finding sources of inspiration for study and even imitation.
I recommend it as the highway that will eventually lead you to find your voice.
Oprah copied Phil Donahue until she found her own brand of talk show and became one of tv’s most beloved and talented daytime hosts.
Instead of forced originality, which frankly, sounds forced, look to others. Study them intensely and work towards getting some of their brilliance into your skin. Soak in their energies.
Even if it’s in your head, you’ll feel like you’re having a conversation with them. As you aim for perfection, pay attention to the things that make you feel uncomfortable and that you can do better.
Insert your own stories and feel the tension you feel with your own dynamic, think it all through. You feel your authenticity stretching over you like a warm blanket.
No. 4| Get Copy Templates Like 30 Days Of Content
Ok, I admit I have close ties to this hack. When I created 30 Days Of Content I began thinking about how I could take the grunt work away from my students so they could spend less time on social media and more time in their business.
30 days of Content is a replicable content model.
The content templates and prompts make your day-after-day social media writing effortless. When the month is over you can roll them into the second month, third, fourth etc.
Marketing and content are my jam and I share my hard-won lessons with you in the kit below as well as my Simplify social media systems.
No. 5| Grab All Those Client Questions and Make Your Copywriting Add Value
Good things happen when you listen to your customers. You improve service, efficiency, and of course, get a bunch of questions you never would have thought of on your own
When you develop content to address these questions you’ll be adding big-time value to your customers lives.
Harvesting those questions, creating content from them is something you need to know how to do as the marketer of your small business. This kind of harvesting will become the bane of your work.
It’s the meat and potatoes of copywriting, and it gets your ideal clients to pay attention. This is what greases the wheel of your sales and promotions systems once you are ready to sell.
Now you know how much I love automation and answering client questions so you can create consistent content means you can find ways to automate the process. I’ve got some ideas for you to do just that!
Tips to Generate Evergreen Content
- Create a highlight story on IG which reminds people to ask a question
- In the thank-you section of your Landing Page, create a field for question submission
- In your welcome sequence mention it in several of the emails
- In your various bios encourage questions but of course, don’t forget to send them to a spot where it is easy for you to collate.
Connections are everything. When your customer feels like you understand them, the door cracks open to a new relationship.
Your role is to build an entire house on top of that foundation, by serving content they asked for when you can—that’s how you’re going to add value!
I hope this was helpful. I love writing about content that converts and ways you can be more confident about creating it and marketing your business.
Of course, I wouldn’t be much of a small business coach if I didn’t ask if there was anything you’d like me to focus on in my next article when it comes to content creation.