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How you can start writing brilliant product descriptions

Brilliant product descriptions help your customers to buy the perfect gift.
Photo by Pixabay via Pexels.com

If you have a business that sells anything remotely Christmas related, here’s a statistic for you. 38% of people start their Christmas shopping sometime in October. I know, I was surprised too. The question is, are you ready? Online shopping has rocketed over the past 18 months (by 46% – sorry, I’ll stop with the stats now). The question is, how do you encourage your customers to buy when they’ve only got pictures and a product description to go on? The answer’s pretty obvious when you think about it – you create amazing visuals and descriptions that let them imagine they’ve bought from you already. How do you do that? Read on…

Tell people what they’re buying

This might seem a bit obvious if you’re selling a t-shirt but include a caption that tells people exactly what they’re getting. It just offers an extra bit of reassurance that they haven’t misinterpreted the picture. It also makes your products more accessible to customers who use screen readers. On the other hand, if your product is something out of the ordinary you can use your product description to educate people.

Include technical details

Technical information rarely makes for a scintillating read, so it’s a good idea to put it in bullet point form. Even if it’s a bit dull it’s still important. You don’t want to miss a sale because your potential buyer can’t work out whether that piece of furniture will fit into their house. Tell me that I can chuck that kids’ t-shirt in the washing machine or I’m not buying. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and you won’t go far wrong.

Show them the benefits

This is the bit where you can start to engage your customers’ emotions. Ask yourself what they care about and how you help with that, then include it in your product descriptions. This could mean showing a ‘before and after’. Focus on the result they want and explain how your product can get them there. You can also speak to people’s values. If you sell baby clothes, talking about fabrics that are gentle on delicate skin shows new parents that you understand them.

Product descriptions with all the feels

Photos and video are great for showing a product in action. One of the downsides of shopping online is that you’ve only got a visual to go on, so use your product descriptions to engage people’s senses and fill in the blanks. Talk about scent if it’s relevant. Describe the feeling of wrapping that soft scarf around their neck or tell them that those earrings would be perfect with their little black dress. Letting people imagine using the product brings them closer to buying it.

Show people the process

This might seem like I’m stating the bleeding obvious, but if you want people to buy you need to make it easy. I know that most of you will have a nice big ‘buy now’ or ‘add to basket’ button and an accessible checkout. What if your products are bespoke or can be personalised? Is there a place for them to add extra details or to send you a message? Is delivery included? The easier you make it, the more likely people are to buy.

One final thing. Remember the gift buyers, especially in the run up to Christmas. If something would make the perfect gift for a particular person, tell them. You’ll make their life a whole lot easier and you might just have a new fan.

If you’d rather save your time and energy for everything else you need to do in your business, I can write (or update) your product descriptions for you. Just click here to book your no obligation chat.

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Case study: a Christmas blog for a non-Christmassy business

A Christmas blog for a locksmith - case study
Photo by Katrien Grevendonck from Pexels

How do you market your business at Christmas when your service isn’t seasonal? A Christmas blog sounds like a great idea but what on earth do you talk about? If the problem you solve could come up at any time of year, you might find yourself struggling to make it festive.

The good news is you just need a bit of lateral thinking. You might also need a writer who doesn’t work in your business every day.

The client

The client came to me through an SEO expert they’d been working with to improve their search rankings. They’re expert locksmiths based in Scotland and serving a clear geographical area, so their SEO campaign was helping them to build their local reputation. They wanted to let local people know about their employee credentials and show why their service was better than the competition.

They were already starting to see results and then came the question of the Christmas blog.

The challenge

The great thing about being a locksmith is that people could need your services all year round. This is good for business but not so great for your Christmas marketing. Do you ignore Christmas altogether or try to include it? The client had only just started blogging and didn’t want to lose momentum. They also realised that a Christmas blog would be more likely to attract readers. The question is, how do you make it interesting and relevant to your audience?

The Christmas blog solution

Luckily for the locksmiths, they were working with me, a writer with a strong lateral thinking streak. It turns out that people lock themselves out of their houses much more often at Christmas, simply because they’re distracted or out of their normal routine. There’s also the increased risk of burglary when your house is full of presents. We talked about simple solutions and included details of what a locksmith could help with. It was helpful and sent a clear message.

So, there you have it – a Christmas blog for a non-Christmassy business. If I can help you to create one of your own, email me or book your no-obligation discovery call here.

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Are you ready to start planning your Christmas marketing?

A woman with hot chocolate getting ready to plan her Christmas marketing
Photo by Brigitte Tohm from Pexels

Yes, I’m publishing this blog in May. No, I haven’t lost my mind. If you’re still scarred by the ghosts of 2020, I wouldn’t blame you if you’re leaving your Christmas marketing until the last possible minute. Even the organized people who were sorted by April had to change everything in the autumn. I’m giving myself the gift of optimism this year and daring to hope that we might have a relatively normal Christmas. Even if we don’t, we’ve learned to adapt so we can still plan.

I’m not suggesting that you jump into content creation right now (unless you really want to). All the same, a bit of thought and planning now will make things much easier further down the line, plus you’ll have plenty of ideas if you need to get someone else (like me) to do the creating for you. So, here are a few things to think about for your Christmas marketing.

Start with a blog

You won’t be surprised to hear me suggest this. Even if Christmas isn’t peak season for you, a blog can be reused and shared throughout your marketing, so you build awareness. If it’s your busiest time, a blog gives you a central piece of content that you can break down and share as individual posts. It means you’re more likely to be found by people buying gifts, looking for inspiration or just trying to survive the Christmas stress.

Be helpful

I know that for most of you Christmas marketing is about making sales. That’s OK. The important thing to remember is that you’re more likely to make a sale if you’re being helpful. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Offer them a solution to a problem. That solution might end up with them buying something. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll have created a good impression and started to build a relationship that’s based on trust.

Ideas for product-based businesses

Need some ideas? No problem. If you’re a gift-based business, start by making gift recommendations alongside some lovely pictures and links to buy. You could create a whole series of blogs with gifts for mums, dads, aunties, little kids – you get the idea. If you have gifts for the person who has everything or is difficult to buy for, talk about that. You could even do a round up of Secret Santa gifts if you have lots of stocking fillers to share.

Ideas for business that create the perfect day

If you help to make Christmas easier or more enjoyable, talk about it in your Christmas marketing. Do you do home delivery, help with meal prep or offer gift wrapping? Can you suggest 5 ways to keep the family entertained when they’re full of turkey or sick of the sight of each other? Talk about ways to survive Christmas without getting frazzled or share expert tips for busy people. If you can make the whole thing less stressful, your customers will love you.

What if your business isn’t Christmassy?

Writing a Christmas blog for a non-Christmassy business takes a bit of lateral thinking. It starts with putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. Can you offer tips to make extra family time less stressful? Could you help them avoid a Christmas Day emergency? Quick self-care tips are perfect for this time of year. You could just focus on fun – share some Christmas jokes or write a funny blog. My personal favourite is still this one I wrote for an insurance broker about insuring Santa.

Have I got you thinking? If you’d like to talk over some ideas and find out how I could write your blog for you at any time of year, you can book your free discovery call here.

Further reading

If you’d like to go a bit more in depth on the Christmas blog ideas, I’ve got a whole load of them here:

This is for you if your business sells gifts

If you help to create the perfect day

Or if your business isn’t Christmassy at all

You can also sign up to my mailing list for hints and tips straight to your inbox every month. You can unsubscribe whenever you like and I won’t share your information with anyone else.

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A copywriter’s letter to Santa

Santa reading a letter from a copywriter
Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes struggle to tell people what I really want for Christmas. Mostly because the things I want always sound so boring when they come out of my mouth. “Oh, you know – books, gin, new slippers.” Yes, I have reached the age where new slippers or a nice scarf are the perfect present. But what if we had to be creative and write a letter to Santa as adults? What would you actually ask for? I started writing a list then remembered I’m a copywriter. The impulse wouldn’t be to just write to Santa. It would have to be a sales pitch. So, with that in mind, read on for my list. Then find out how the copywriter in me would pitch it to the big guy…

What I really want for Christmas

  1. A day to myself
  2. A big pile of books
  3. A day out that the grown-ups will love as much as the kids

The copywriter’s letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

How are you? I know it must have been a tough year – did you have to put the elves on furlough for a while or were you able to stay open as an essential service? Hopefully it was the latter because we really need some extra Christmas cheer this year. I know you’re busy and the elves are working their fingers to the bone making all the toys so I’m keeping it simple. That way you can just scatter some of your magic dust in the direction of this copywriter and her family.

The thing is, I’ve been really good this year. In fact, my whole household has. That’s why I’m not just asking for things for myself. I’m thinking of them too. That’s why I really, really want a day to myself. Yes, you read that right. I don’t mind where it happens. Truth is, it’ll take me from a stressed out and, frankly, irritable Mum to a person who’s lovely to live with again. Won’t that be great for everyone?

While you’re in the mood to give me some time on my own, I’d really appreciate a big pile of books to go with it. I know there’s a teetering pile of unread paperbacks by my bed and I’ll get to those, I promise. It’s just that I’d really love to read something that someone else chose because they thought I’d enjoy it. I always think that books are a portal into someone else’s world. We could definitely do with a bit more of that at the moment. If everyone does the same maybe you won’t have to deliver to so many war zones in the Christmases yet to come.

One final thing. I don’t know what it’s like for you up there in the North Pole, but down here in Leicestershire life gets busy. We spend so much time juggling that we forget to have fun. Either that or we find ourselves having the same days out over and over again until everyone is bored and grumpy. I know you’re a big fan of keeping the Christmas spirit going all year so here’s how you can help. Find us a new day out that we’ll all love. That way, when you settle down for your long winter nap you’ll know that there’ll be peace on earth (at least, there will at my house).

Thanks for everything Santa (especially the time off, books and family fun). There’ll be a mince pie and a dram waiting for you at my house.

Happy Christmas,

Love Kirsty x

Would you like to create a new pitch for your audience? (Or even Santa.) Get in touch and let’s have a chat about how I can speak your customers’ language.

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Are you speaking your customers’ language?

Speaking your customers' language helps you have really interesting conversations.
Photo by Anastasiya Gepp from Pexels

Have you ever read something that was so far above your head it might as well have been an aeroplane? Did you look at the opening sentences and realise that it meant absolutely nothing to you? Believe it or not, this can be a good thing. I know a lot of small business owners get worried about using language that will exclude potential customers. The truth is, if you’re specific about who is most likely to buy you can talk to them in a way that will resonate. They’ll read your stuff and think ‘this person really understands me’. That’s when they become a customer. If you read something that really isn’t for you, you can move on. Hopefully that’s what it was designed to do. But if you’re not speaking your customers’ language it means you’re not reaching them in your marketing. Here’s how to put that right.

Is your customers’ language formal or informal?

The first thing to work out is how you want to talk to your audience. Your brand identity will be a big part of this. Do you need to be taken seriously or can you have a bit of a laugh? Of course, there are no absolutes. Even professionals like accountants or lawyers are allowed a sense of humour. You might be an expert who’s trusted because you use straightforward language and don’t try to bamboozle clients with loads of jargon.

Think about how you’d talk to a customer if you met them face to face and take it from there.

Are your customers experts?

I ask this because speaking your customers’ language means meeting them where they are. If you’re a physiotherapist writing something for other medical professionals you can assume they’ve got a fair bit of pre-existing knowledge. A beginner’s guide to human anatomy would just come off as condescending. If, on the other hand, you’re talking to people who don’t know anything about what you do, using industry jargon will just lose them.

It’s all about finding the right level for the audience you want to attract.

Which platform are you using?

The language you use should stay consistent across all of your platforms – up to a point. If the way you come across on your website is totally different from how you are on social media or in person, you’re only going to create a massive disconnect. Doing that means that your customers don’t know which version of you to expect. You end up losing the trust you’ve taken time building.

However, there are different ways to express your personality. Your website should be professional but you can still show the same sense of humour that you have on social media. It’s just more relaxed on social.

What are you trying to achieve?

This is the really important bit. When you talk to your audience, what are you trying to achieve? How do you want them to see you? Professional but approachable, friendly, fun, trustworthy? Do you want them to respect your expertise but still feel they can talk to you as a friend? I suppose the real key is to think about what your audience needs from you. What do they need to know about you to take the step from social media follower to customer?

When you learn to speak your customers’ language that’s really what you’re doing.

Do you need help speaking your customers’ language? Whether you’re looking for sparkling web copy, product descriptions and blogs to promote your business this Christmas, or new marketing for the New Year, I’m here to help. Book your discovery call to find out how refreshing your copy can help you communicate with your audience. Or just sign up using the form below to receive copywriting tips and advice straight to your inbox every month.

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How you can write product descriptions that sell

Product descriptions
Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels

When you sell products online you might think that the images you use are the most important thing. Of course, if your images are rubbish you won’t sell much. Your customers need to be able to see what they’re buying and imagine themselves using it. The thing is, the photos are only one part of that. Your product descriptions take it to the next level. The words you use allow your customers to create their own mental images. They take the photos you’ve used and imagine themselves using your products or handing them over as a gift. It doesn’t just show them what they could have, it allows them to see themselves as if they’ve got it already. When you use product descriptions that conjure up the feelings your customers will experience when they’ve bought something from you, that’s the magic that persuades them to buy. Here’s how to do it.

Include the basics

I shouldn’t need to say this, but a high street retailer recently lost an online sale because their kids’ shoe sizing didn’t tell me whether the shoes would fit my child. I know. Don’t let that happen to you. Include basics like price, size and the materials or ingredients used. Some customers will message you to ask, but most won’t. They’ll just go somewhere that has clearer information.

Talk about benefits

Pretty much every sale ever made happens because the person buying the product can see how it will solve a problem or improve their life. Think about how each product will help your customer. It could give them a tidier house, entertain their children or save them time when they’re trying to get out of the house in the morning. Show them what it would be like if they had this product in their life and they’ll bite your hands off to buy.

Engage their senses

This can be a tricky one, but it’s another element that engages your customer’s imagination. Help them to experience a physical sensation or an emotion. How will that gorgeously soft scarf feel when they wrap it around their neck? Let them imagine the joy on their child’s face when they open the perfect gift on Christmas morning. (Or possibly the early hours if we’re honest.) Letting people see what life will be like when they’ve bought a product increases the chance that they’ll actually buy.

Make it scannable

Some bits of your product descriptions work best as a short paragraph. For others, make a list. If your products have features that are likely to be really important to your customers, make them easy to spot.  You might want to highlight safety features, eco-friendly credentials or high quality ingredients. It also makes your product descriptions shorter and easier to read. No-one wants ‘War and Peace’ when they’re just doing a bit of shopping.

Tell a mini story

Telling a mini story isn’t essential to good product descriptions, but it can work really well. For example, if you use materials that have an interesting back story, why not mention it? Talk about the tweed you bought from a family who’ve been making it for a hundred years and how you brought it home to create a handcrafted bag that will hold every working day essential. Tell your customers about the people who create your favourite wine or that extra special cheese. If it taps into something your audience cares about it can work really well.

Do you need help writing your product descriptions? For a limited time only, I’ll write them for you! Get ready for Christmas with brilliant product descriptions that you can use on your website, in your social media posts, emails… pretty much anywhere you like. Click here to book your discovery call to find out more. Or sign up to my mailing list for hints and tips straight to your inbox every month.

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Christmas in September? Are you kidding me?!

The adventure begins - Christmas in September
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I know you probably don’t want to think about Christmas and believe me, I’m with you. All the major retailers can do one until after Halloween. But we can’t do that. When you’re a small business owner the best time to think about Christmas is July. Or April. Or maybe even January. Certainly any time other than December. Yet that’s what so many of us do. Here’s why you need to need to resist the urge to say ‘bah, humbug’ and get into the Christmas spirit as soon as possible.

This year needn’t be a write off

There’s no denying it, 2020 has been monumentally crap. I don’t normally use even the mildest swearwords in my blog so you can tell it’s bad just by that. We’ve all struggled in different ways. Yet there have also been bright spots. I’m not going to rehearse them all here – for one thing, I’ve no desire to create something that could be used on the BBC with some inspiring music behind it. I’m highly tempted just to pull the duvet over my head and wait it out until spring. The trouble is, I’d miss the chance to make the best of the last bit of the year. We don’t know what’s going to happen next but we can still make a plan to end the year on a high. If the plan needs to change, that’s OK. We’ve spent the year practising for that.

If thinking about Christmas is taking you back to early lockdown, don’t worry. There were lots of businesses worrying about being seen to profit when others were struggling. Selling Christmas gifts could bring those feelings out again, but it shouldn’t. You’re helping to make people happy and putting food on your family’s Christmas table. There’s nothing wrong with that.

You can share some Christmas cheer

The other good thing about planning for Christmas is that it will make people happy. There’s been a whole heap of doom and gloom but I’m starting to hear people get cautiously excited about Christmas. We’ll almost certainly have to adapt to whatever the rules turn out to be. Our expectations have probably already been lowered but we can still have some fun. The days leading up to Christmas feel different from the rest of the year. They’re just a bit more sparkly. That’s true even if you’re stressed out with kids, shopping and running a business.

There won’t be Christmas fairs and school plays this year. I’ve no idea whether Santa will have a socially distanced grotto. But the lights and Christmas trees can still go up and you can make your social media feed a winter wonderland. (If you feel like it.) We’ll all be looking for new and different ways to find our Christmas spirit and your business can contribute to that.

You don’t have to have a Christmassy business

If you’re reading this thinking ‘hang on, my business doesn’t sell anything to do with Christmas’, don’t worry. You can still have some fun. Show people what you’re up to, even if it’s only with photos of Christmas jumper day or the office tree. There are even ways to create a Christmas blog post that will give your audience something to think about or make them chuckle.

Of course, you could even turn the whole thing on its head and say ‘bah humbug’. There would be plenty of people agreeing with you and you might even make them laugh. If it reflects your sense of humour you could find yourself with a whole new audience.

If you need some help with your Christmas marketing I’ve got two useful things for you. If you don’t have the time to plan and write your own Christmas marketing, I can do it for you. I’ll write 24 social media posts to take you from 1st December to Christmas Eve, along with a Christmas themed blog post tailored to your business. You supply the images and I’ll do the rest. If you’d like to find out more book your no obligation discovery call here.

If you’d rather do it yourself you can buy my eBook with ideas for posts from 1st December to Christmas Eve, here. Or sign up to my mailing list for hints and tips straight to your inbox.