Want Better Copy? Question Everything.
by Joel K

I’ve got a short one for you today – but it’s important.

If I were to ask you your value proposition – the thing that makes you different from everyone else and the reason people should choose you over a competitor, what might you say?

“We offer the very best in customer service.”

“We offer a superior quality than our competitors.”

“We get to know our customers’ business.”

Blah, blah, blah.

These tired messages have been rehashed so many times that they are meaningless to readers. They’ve got no personality, no proof, nothing “sticky”.

They’re so ubiquitous they might as well be placeholder copy in website templates.

It’s like eating cardboard – dry, tasteless, unpalatable. That’s not to say your USP isn’t relevant or your claims aren’t true. It’s just that you have to present them in a more compelling and believable way.

Before resorting to these boring platitudes, ask:

“WHY?”

  • Why are you their best option?
  • Why does your business do what it does?
  • Why are you different than your competitors?

“HOW?”

  • How does your claim to be customer-focused actually play out in real life?
  • What special processes do you use to assure quality or service?
  • How will what you’re telling them actually change their experience in a positive way?
  • How is your business  set up to serve your customers better?
  • How do you put your money where your mouth is?

Your copy should present you in such a way that it’s blindingly apparent what your value proposition is, even without bashing the reader over the head with a run-of-the-mill statement like “We are the best in the business.”

Give them something to grab on to.

Your USP be should be implicit in every other bit of copy you have.

To be clear: This is not about dancing around your USP with a bunch of flowery text. It’s about cutting the fluff and getting to the core with demonstrable proof.

Instead of saying “customers are the heart of our business”,  share the details that irrefutably prove that claim. Your tone, voice and personality should all show customers that they’re the center of your attention.

Instead of saying “we have high quality products”, you ought to describe the differentiating factors that obliterate any doubt in the customer’s mind.

If you want to make more compelling claims, ask the questions your customers are going to ask – and don’t settle for lazy, tired cliches.

 

3 Comments
  1. […] “We get to know your business.” Statements like these are so ubiquitous that they’ve lost all meaning. Don’t lean on clichés for self-affirmation. This piece can help you get past wallpaper […]

  2. These are great thought prompters to dig deeper. I’ll make good use of this for brainstorming in my own business, and with clients. Thanks very much Joel.

    • Joel K says:

      Cheers, Danielle! I really appreciate you saying so.
      I find it helps me as a writer to write a list of phrases I’m forbidden from resorting to and stick it to my monitor. Keeps me accountable.

Leave A Comment