The copy on your site or blog, in your fundraising proposals or letters, or in your catalogs or sales letters need an IV. They could probably use several. Don’t go searching for a hospital IV … I mean an interview.
I developed for a new private high school the bulk of a fundraising proposal that could be tweaked for different submissions, and a case statement for the fundraising effort. Last I heard, those documents have played key roles in at least $3 million in contributions. Similarly, another half a million or more for another small nonprofit. I believe IVs – interviews – changed the copy from cogent to inspiring, from clear to engaging and from interesting to compelling.
Maybe it is my old journalism background, but I have always used interviews when writing, no matter what the purpose of the article was. Since the newspaper days, I’ve written membership and gift solicitations, content marketing, blog postings, product or service descriptions, stories and articles, columns and more … you name it, I used interviews.
For copywriting – blogs, web sites, fundraising proposals, sales or membership acquisition letters, and so on – I make access for interviews a condition for accepting the assignment. I must be able to interview some people. Potential interviewees include customers, employees, managers and owners. Find the founder or inventor … gold mine! There are four reasons to include interviews in developing copy for any of the purposes referenced above:
Various perspectives about the business and its culture, about service and its quality, about experiences and purpose … these perspectives sometimes appear in final copy but always, always influence what is written. To effectively write copy that appeals to various audiences and individuals, the writer must get perspectives other than his or her own. I take highlights from my notes, write them on a whiteboard and then reference them when organizing content or writing. The whiteboard of perspectives also provides ideas for keywords, hashtag terms and much more.
Face it, who wants to do business with a non-emotional, sociopathic, sterilized business? Interviewing provides insights and inspiration into how to convey the personalities of the business, the customers it serves and the culture it has created. Humorous or serious, calm or bodacious, adventurous or inhibited … the personality of the business and those it serves should be conveyed in copy. Don’t imagine what that is like, interview to learn!
“Passion,” a word that is quickly moving from poignant to cliché status. If you’re using the word, you are almost signaling to the world that you don’t have it. Sort of like when the shifty salesperson says, “You can trust me,” the business that always says “We have a passion for….”draws skepticism. Passion is exhibited and communicated, so interview to find examples of passion. Find stories, quotes, insights and experiences that convey a passion for the work, the use of the product and so on. Try to NOT say that the business is passionate or that the product was developed out of a passion for … show by example and by word choices. Again, the results of the interviews migrate to the whiteboard for reference and inspiration.
Most everyone agrees that anything to do with sales and sales relationships should be more than transactional. They should be interactive. Interviewing provides insights and examples that inspire participation. Maybe the participation involves use of the product or service, or the process of purchasing and/or giving feedback, or engagement of the business’ employees … there are so many options. Break down siloes and invite participation. Where are the words and the ideas for that? In the interviews!!
And the reason those four work? They provide insights and direction to humanize your business and its offerings so shoppers get connected to people and an organization that they come to know, like and trust, which converts shoppers to buyers. #shopperstobuyers #copywriting #copywritingthatsells #empoweredcreativity