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Learning to Write with Your Ears

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Have you ever heard of the term active listening? My husband and I first learned about it in our pre-marital counseling and it’s served us incredibly well in our marriage. But you know what else? It’s TOTALLY transformed my business too. 

I know, I know! This may seem like a weird thing to say but hear me out, okay?(just easing you into this ear thing already 😉)

In the marketing world, we talk a lot about the “Voice of the Client (or Customer)” or VoC. VoC “is a term that describes your customer’s feedback about their experiences with and expectations for your products or services. It focuses on customer needs, expectations, understandings, and product improvement.”

Simply put, VoC is what your clients and customers are saying about you.

It’s what you hear when you ask for feedback. 

And it’s one of the best pieces of data you can use to write what your clients need to hear.

This is what we mean when we say that we write with our ears.

So — if you’ve been struggling to convert clients with your web copy, your emails, or your social media captions — it could be because you’re not really listening to them.

Eugene Shwartz was a famous copywriter from the 50s and 60s and he has this title for one of his articles on copywriting that really influenced the way I think about writing — 

I write with my ears.

Schwartz said that he didn’t write his ads — he listened to people. He listened to what the clients wanted, what the buyers wanted, and through learning more about them he was able to write for them.

Listening to what your clients need means that you are able to sell them exactly what they’re looking for. You may think you know what they need but until you actually ASK them — you’re sort of just shooting in the dark 🤷🏼‍♀️

Listening first lets you connect emotionally.

What sets good copy apart from great copy is starting listening to your audience and then writing a compelling story that they can really connect with. It’s THIS that motivates them to buy. Why?

Because people buy with their emotions — and then they justify their purchases on facts. 

And that’s a fact 😉

You’ve done this before probably within the last week. Think about it. You see something you really want and as soon as it’s added to cart you start to doubt it just a little bit. But then those facts start creeping in…

“Well, I only have one pair of jeans and I really need a backup.”

“The couch has a tear in it anyway.”

“Our pans are starting to look a little rough anyway.”

All facts! And you’ve most likely hit purchase by this point.

A good copywriter is able to listen to what their audience needs and then hit them with the facts of WHY they need it. But the point is this: The conversion from browser to client has to happen with the emotion first. 

Listening helps you make sure what you’re saying actually matters.

Sure you could go on and on about your qualifications, your degrees, your certifications, and the fancy equipment you have… but your audience probably doesn’t really care about that. (Think about it — do you?)

What they DO care about is the answer to this question — what’s in it for ME? 

If you’ve been listening to them — you know what they want. You’ve already connected on an emotional level. Now it’s time to make it hit home and answer the question.

Sell the benefits — not the features. Sell the increased quality of life they will get from working with you — not the ins and outs of your process. Tie in everything you’ve heard from them and bring it full circle. 

Still need some help listening?

We’ve got you! Whether you’re looking for a little help identifying who exactly your ideal client is, or you know who that is and you just need help transforming your copy or content to make that connection — we can help!

Click here to see our packages and learn more about how we can hook you up with words that sell.

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Copywriting

September 6, 2021

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