Copywriting matters more than you think: Boring brands, take note.

There’s so much noise out there today it’s mind-blowing.

Studies show that the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 marketing messages a day. Brands, Media, Charities, Non-Profits and Politicians are all competing for our ever-diminishing attention spans, and it all just feels like a race to the bottom.

And it’s so sad.

Here’s the thing. We live in a Me-centric World, but ironically most brands are incredibly Me-centric too. What most brands don’t understand is that people don’t care about your brand and they certainly don’t visit your website or buy your products because they like you. They want hope, a new “desired state.” They spend money and buy stuff to make their life better. Or to quote UX designer Samuel Hulick:

“People don’t buy products; they buy a better version of themselves”

In this Me-centric World we live in, your brand should be customer-driven, not company driven. So why are most brands company-driven?

Company-driven brands face a race to the bottom — a losing race, competing on price alone. But when brands speak to their audience like a real human being — your best friend, life coach, or your witty & energetic grandma — they win. Because consumers will always go where the conversation speaks their language.

To understand a bit better what I mean, try this little experiment. Pick an industry and look for 20 brands in that industry. Now check their websites and read their copy. Count how many times they repeat words like “We” or “I” vs ‘You’. You’ll be shocked with the results.

Bottom line: The internet is full of websites that are plagued with business jargon and Me-centric copy. Which is an incredibly stupid business decision, because it kills conversion rates and sales.

Basecamp’s Jason Fried absolutely nailed it with this short blog post:

“Most copywriting on the web sucks because it’s written for the writer, not for the reader. Write for the reader. That is all.”

If you want to have an instant competitive advantage over your “Me me me” competitors, there’s only one way to win. You must switch the focus of your copy. Don’t make it about you, make it about them. Your target audience.

So to inspire the internet to suck less, one website at a time, last weekend I started a fun side-project called Nishi.

Nishi is on a mission to showcase & celebrate websites that aren’t plagued with business jargon, and talk to you like they’re a human. Like Churbuster , Bliss or The Outline, just to name a few good examples.

The Nishi Copywriting Manifesto.

1. Copywriting is a conversation. Consumers will always go where the conversation speaks their language. So write for people. Write like a human. There’s no need for empty corporate speak in your copy, people hate corporate speak.

2. Words matter. Every word you write is an opportunity to engage with your audience while you’re not there. Don’t let your message get up lost in a sea of industry jargon.

3. Be clear. Your website only has a few seconds to make a great first impression and gain recognition and trust. So make sure your message is clear.

4. Be specific. Copywriting is all about getting the reader to take action. So tell people exactly what you want them to do when they visit your website, and make it easy for them to do it. Don’t make them guess.

5. Don’t make it about you. Write sentences with an emphasis on “you” rather than “I” or “we”. Think about why a person might come to your website in the first place. Write for that person.

6. Write about benefits, not features. Remember this: The first iPod wasn’t marketed by Apple as “a 5GB MP3 player” (boooooring) but as “1,000 songs in your pocket” (shut up and take my money!).

P.S. If your website is getting traffic but no sales, you really should try Teardwn. Teardwn transforms meh, so-so web copy into compelling copy that attracts your ideal clients and grows your business like wildfire.