You’re staring at your computer screen, looking at the marketing copy for your latest program and you don’t know, but…something just feels off.
If your copy feels a little blah or is not generating the interest you thought it would, it might be because of what I call the Everything Plus One syndrome…
You know one of the reasons kids love those self-serve frozen yogurt places so much? It’s because they can make their yogurt exactly how they want it. When my girls were younger, they’d usually start with a tower of yogurt – at least two to three flavors.
Then came the toppings, typically some of almost everything, plus one more. Strawberries and Smarties, M&M’s and crushed Oreos, gummy bears and sixlets, and more….all topped with a shower of sprinkles, shavings and caramel sauce. It was a riot of color and flavor.
Once, I asked one of them what it tasted like. She thought for a few seconds, stumped, and then said, “Yumminess!”
I knew she loved it, but she couldn’t really describe it. And I couldn’t really imagine exactly how it tasted either.
This is the same type of problem newer coaches, healers and creative entrepreneurs have sometimes creating marketing copy for their programs and services. They talk about everything the program can and might and could do. They list every conceivable benefit and result someone might experience. They go on and on and in the process lose sight of the purpose of the program. Potential clients can get lost in the copy or it doesn’t resonate. They can’t really see how it might help them.
When we create something we love, it’s natural to go on and on about the benefits of it.
We see the value of this service and want so badly to share it with others that sometimes we lose focus.
However, when your ideal clients are looking for help, before they decide to work with you, they need to be able to picture, I mean really visualize, how you would be able to help them.
And if they can’t quite see that, or think the program doesn’t really relate to the problems they are experiencing, they won’t have enough trust to decide to buy.
So how do you decide what to focus on when writing marketing copy for your programs?
How can you avoid writing about Everything Plus One?
Remember the problem.
The most important thing is to remember why you created the program in the first place. What was the problem you are trying to solve for your clients? Is it decluttering their workspace? Helping them increase their work satisfaction? Supporting them to stop dieting? Helping them thrive in the face of a difficult relationship?
The benefits you describe need to directly, and clearly, relate to the reduction of those problems. There may well be, and probably are, other transformative benefits to your program but adding them in gratuitously can cloud the story for your potential clients.
Let’s say you’ve created a program designed to help women declutter their houses to give them a personal sense of freedom, you might know your program will help clients a whole host of other things, such a relationship issues, money problems, etc.
If you focus on these types of side benefits too much in your copy, potential clients might not see themselves as being a fit for your program. They might say “I’m not so sure this program is for me. I don’t need help with my finances, I just need to get my basement organized so I don’t go crazy every time I have to go get something out of the freezer!”
Highlight uniqueness where it counts.
There are probably elements you love about your program, ones that truly reflect you, your heart. If it’s something that makes you distinct, go ahead and talk about it in your program marketing. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.
On the other hand, if it’s something you do that a lot of other practitioners also offer and isn’t not centrally related to the problem you’re trying to solve, consider scaling back.
Early on in my business when I was focusing on only coaching writers, I created these beautiful inspirational cards clients would receive weekly while working with me. I loved (and still do love!) these so much. They lifted my heart every time I saw them, and I was so, so excited to share them with potential clients.
On review though, I realized my copy focused on them too much. They’re something unique to my practice, so I listed them as part of the program but kept the copy is simple. Now it’s a three-word bullet vs. the three full sentences I used to have.
Having another perspective can help you clarify the strong points of your program and make sure they are coming out in your copy. Former clients who know your work are a great resource. Beta testing a service with a small group and asking them targeted feedback is another option to make sure you are highlighting what is most important to your potential clients.
You can also seek support of a trusted colleague or a coach. Let them share with you what they see as the most important elements of the program based on what you’ve written, and if it doesn’t align with the purpose, you can adjust.
Make a roadmap.
As you create your program, it’s helpful to have a set of guiding principles in mind. I created a free guided visualization and worksheet to help uncover the unique essence of your program as you start to create it. You can then use this information again to help you make decisions as to what to include and what not to include as you write the marketing copy.
Although sometimes I miss the days when girls shared bites of their Everything Plus One yogurts with me, now one of their favorites is strawberry topped with white chocolate chips.
Easy to visualize and anticipate how it’ll taste.
With the marketing of your programs you want the same thing.
Focus on how the program solves the problem for potential clients; highlight elements where it makes sense; seek input and use your program’s essence as a roadmap.
Your copy will be clearer, and your potential clients will more easily see you’re the one to help them.
And that sounds delicious to me.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash