When you start your business, no one warns you about how difficult it’ll be to write about it in a way that makes sense.
You find yourself sitting at your desk, full of excitement, with a crisp white Google Doc on your screen, begging for the magic of your message to spill out from your heart and onto its pages…
And then your mind goes blank. Excitement has officially left the building.
Maybe you come up with a few words at first. Maybe a lot of words—just none of the *right* ones.
Or if you’re like the people who don’t know how to talk about themselves (also read: everyone), overthinking gets the better of you.
You, being a savvy entrepreneur, think back to your days of research papers and decide to put your head down and get it done. And then, you start writing your website… like a research paper.
Lovely for getting good grades in high school. Not so lovely for a small business’s website trying to stand out in a very large digital crowd.
And if writing them made you sleepy, imagine how reading them must’ve felt.
The moral of this story? You should definitely not write your website like it’s a school project.
So what IS the key to capturing and keeping your readers’ attention, you ask?
Writing how you talk.
This is otherwise known as a conversational writing style. And it’s easier to master than you think.
So here are 3 wildly simple ways you can make your copy more conversational.
1. Speak about your business out loud & record yourself doing it.
Voice notes are all the rage. So record yourself talking about what you do and send it to a friend.
Or ask them to ask you some questions about your work on the spot. And send a voice note to answer each one.
Now, this is important. Don’t let them tell you what questions they plan to ask before they ask them. Just call up your most-willing-to-participate friend and start chattin’. As long as you have a recording to listen back to, you’re good to go.
Since this is likely your first time doing this, don’t expect your answers to be perfect from the get-go. Because now isn’t the time to edit. It’s time to let your words flow.
Think of this more as a practice in expressing your stream of consciousness rather than finding the perfect words to describe your business.
The notes will be recorded, so you can go back to listen and refine them later.
When you are ready to listen to your recordings, here are a few things to look out for:
- Are you overloading your explanation with adjectives? Try to pick one that best describes your style or approach.
- Do you find yourself over-explaining any aspects of your business? If so, think of how you’d describe it to your grandma (or someone who doesn’t use technology a whole lot if your grandma is tech-savvy).
- Are you explaining your offering to your friend in the same way you are to the public? If not, consider updating your messaging to match that of the way you speak to your friend. That’s likely the simpler, more conversational version of the two.
2. Start sentences with conjunctions.
I’d be willing to bet you started a lot of your sentences with conjunctions in those voice notes you recorded.
And. But. Or. So. Because. For. Yet. Since…
If you didn’t, simply pay attention to your next in-person conversation.
What do many (if not most) of the sentences start with?
*starts humming Schoolhouse Rock’s “Conjunction Junction”*
I’d also be willing to bet that never starting a sentence with a conjunction is the first grammar rule you learned in school—or at least the one that stuck with you.
But I’m here to tell you… you need to do it. In fact, I just did it right there. See that “but”?
Keep reading and you’ll find at least 10 more in this blog alone.
They work because it’s how we talk to one another in person.
They keep the conversation going. They break up your copy. And they make the reader want to read more.
Because it doesn’t sound like learning. It sounds like a conversation.
And your readers want to be spoken to like humans. Not like Bridgerton’s most eligible bachelor’s latest conquest.
3. Dr. Seuss it up.
Dr. Seuss made an entire career on making up words. So did Shakespeare. So why can’t you?
(Side note: Did you know Shakespeare invented 1,700 words that are still used today?)
Now don’t go randomly adding hobblegob or pickledoop into your copy when you don’t know what to say.
But I’ve seen phrases like “your unique you-ness” in messaging before. Paired with the right copy, “you-ness” (not found in a dictionary) makes complete sense and helps drive home the fact that the biz owner understand what their audience is looking for.
Made-up words work so often that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary already added 7 new words to its pages in 2023:
Think about it: Unfriend wasn’t on anyone’s radar until Facebook came around. And pretty much every time I open Instagram, I learn a new fake word.
I even make up words almost daily at home. But by now, my husband has caught on and can understand the complete gibberish that comes out of my mouth every day.
If you MacGyver a real word into a new one and make it a part of your brand’s vocab, the same will happen with your audience. They’ll understand your language, get a glimpse of your personality, and feel like you’re talking to them more as a friend than as another potential dollar in your bank account.
HOT TIP! Add “–ness” to the end of a word (like the “you-ness” example above) or turn a noun into a verb (also known as “verbing”).
Grammarly gives some great examples of verbing like:
- The flight has not yet deplaned.
- Let’s table the proposal until we get more information.
- I plated the asparagus next to the sweet potatoes to highlight the contrasting colors.
Even the word “googled” is an example of verbing at play.
So don’t be afraid to break some rules and add some funky hubbub into your copy. Your readers will love you for it.
Still want your copy written for you?
Other ways I can help you: