Less ‘We’; More P
It might sound like an odd name for a blog post, but don’t panic, I’m not talking about your toilet habits here. ‘Less We, More P’ is all part of my crusade to rid the internet of bland, boring copy that turns readers off.
It’s about two simple things you can implement right now with no cost, that will help you improve your copy.
Stop we-ing on your potential customers!
You might never have heard the phrase ‘we-ing on customers’ before but you will certainly have seen it being done – you might even be doing it yourself.
It’s when your copy reads a little something like this:
‘We are a team of friendly experts who love helping clients do xyz. We have a wealth of experience doing xyz. We are different to other providers of xyz because we do things like this. We have won so many awards and we are wonderful.’
We. We. We
Blah blah blah.
And don’t think for one second it doesn’t apply to ‘I’ as well
‘I am an experienced consultant. I have been in my industry for x years. I have a hundred and one qualifications in what I do.‘
The point is you are only talking about yourself.
And while it’s great that you have such an impressive amount of experience and are passionate about what you do, the reader doesn’t care.
They want to know whether you can help them.
So instead of:
Instead of: ‘We provide exceptional service.’
Try: ‘You will receive exceptional service.’
Instead of: ‘We have years of experience.’
Try: ‘You get access to years of industry knowledge and experience.’
Don’t open your website or sales emails by talking about yourself.
Talk about your reader instead.
Using the 4P formula
Ok, so now I’ve told you what not to, here’s something you can do – use the 4Ps.
This is an easy peasy formula that you can follow to help you structure landing pages, sales emails, Facebook ads, promotional posts and even video scripts. And it goes like this:
So let’s break it down:
The first step is to identify a problem your potential client might be experiencing or a need that they might have. What situation are they in right now that would drive them to want or need what you are offering?
For example, a problem my potential clients might have is struggling to come up with content ideas for social media posts.
Now you have identified the problem, you can position it in different ways:
You can talk about the problem directly – try framing it as a question:
‘Do you struggle to write social media posts?’
You can show solidarity with the reader – let them know that you can relate to the problem and they aren’t alone:
‘Coming up with original content for social media can be a challenge.’
Or you can help them picture a world where that problem no longer exists – what are the ‘afters’ of working with you:
‘Imagine having a bank of content ideas ready to share on social media.’
By immediately addressing a potential problem, you’re helping the reader decide whether this piece of copy is relevant to them. And if it is, they are more likely to carry on reading.
This is the solution you offer – the thing that ‘promises’ to solve the problem or provide the solution you’ve just mentioned.
Your promise could be:
- Blog post, video or podcast
- Download or eBook
- Webinar or event
- Product or service
You might have several solutions for the same problem – that’s great because it means you can create several posts, each one framing the problem slightly differently.
Equally, your ‘promise’ might solve several different problems. Again, you can create various pieces of content promoting the same solution but focusing on a different problem it solves.
On landing pages, you might want to go into greater detail about the benefits of your solution as well as giving details about price or process.
For shorter copy, you might prefer to give a simple one or two sentence overview.
This is where you provide evidence that what you’re offering will solve the problem or deliver the result.
The amount of ‘proof’ you’ll need to provide will depend on the level of risk or commitment you’re asking the reader to take.
For example, if you are asking the reader to watch a video or read a blog post, then you won’t need to offer much proof that you’ll deliver – they’ll find out soon enough whether you do. And if you don’t, then you’ll lose their trust.
But if you want them to exchange an email address, book something or pay money, then they’ll probably want more reassurance, so your proof will need to be more convincing.
You can provide proof as one or more of the following, depending on the type of copy you’re creating:
- Explain why or how your solution works – the ‘science’ or theory behind it
- Use testimonials, reviews or case studies
- Provide a statistic – for example, ’87 % of our customers saw a return on investment within 5 weeks’ or ‘on average we save our customers £300 per month.’
- Offer a guarantee or free trial – reduce the risk for customers and demonstrate confidence that you can deliver on your promise
This is your call to action – an instruction to readers telling them what to do next. It could be a simple ‘read more’ or ‘watch this video’. Or it could be a ‘buy now’,’ book a call’ or ‘get in touch’.
Wherever possible, start your action with a verb – a command word.
Instead of: ‘Our new brochure is available to download’.
Try: ‘Download our new brochure here’.
Instead of: ‘You can find out more by clicking the link’.
Try: ‘Click the link to find out more.’
Make it as easy as possible for readers to take the action by including clickable links, call to action buttons or a booking form.
Using your 4Ps
Once you have your 4Ps, it’s time to put them together.
You can keep it short and sweet:
Do you struggle to write sales posts?
The 4P formula will help.
It gives you an easy to follow, structured approach that can be used for any business.
Read more here.
Or you can be more in-depth:
Imagine having access to a copywriter’s brain whenever you needed it. A chance to bounce around ideas, get feedback on your copy or just learn some copywriting techniques.
That’s exactly what you get when you book one of my 90-minute Copy Consultations. You can use the time however you need, whether it’s putting together a bank of LinkedIn posts, reviewing your website copy or getting some one-to-one training.
Here’s what one of my recent clients said about her consultation: “I was amazed at how much value was packed into the 90-minute call. We covered a huge amount including website copy, marketing copy, social media content, blog content (and more) and Lisa had some amazing advice and tips on how to get the best results and make my copy count (and convert).”
If you’d like to get better results from your copy or just need a little support with your content creation, book your consultation today for only £180.
The good thing about the 4P formula is that it can be applied to any product or service.
Here are some more examples of how it works:
Do you struggle to stay awake all day?
Coffee can help.
It contains caffeine which is proven to combat fatigue. And it tastes great too.
Try some today.
Tired of the same old holiday destinations?
A visit to the moon could be just what you’re after – the atmosphere is like nowhere on earth.
“It’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Find out how to take your giant leap here.
These shorter versions are perfect for ads or promotional social media posts. But your 4Ps don’t always have to be single sentences, you can create whole pages of copy using this formula.
And, of course, I’m not suggesting that you use the 4Ps for everything. There are other techniques that work just as well and the 4Ps won’t be right for every piece of sales copy or marketing content. But it can be useful if you aren’t sure how to promote something or you want to get a promotional post out quickly. By focusing on the problem you solve rather than the thing you want to sell, you’re more likely to appeal to your readers.
And that’s what great copy is all about – appealing to the reader.
So whenever you’re writing copy, just remember, ‘Less We, More P’.
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