“How do I look?” –> never a question a woman asks a man expecting a serious answer.
And the man? Avoids being faced with this question whenever possible.
When the same woman asks her girlfriends the question – she expects a full on analysis.
From which part of her body she’s emphasising best, to the colour choice, to jewellery … the discussion meanders down unexpected routes and could lead to (gulp) a change in clothes.
Many a disastrous outfit’s been saved during these discussions – let me tell ya.
And she does this for 2 reasons.
When she asks the man, she wants validation that he thinks she’s sexy.
But when she asks her girlfriends? She wants the audience for whom she’s dressing to tell her if she’s on the right track.
Will I attract attention? Will I turn heads? Will they want to be me?
We do this in our lives all the time – asking the audience we’re appealing to for their opinion.
So why is it, when it comes to our businesses, we ask everyone BUT our audience for their advice?
I see this in Facebook groups daily.
And much like a Japanese tourist mindlessly pushing me aside to rush towards her seat on the train, I’m baffled by it.
You slave away over your sales page, rearranging the carefully selected words to both reflect your voice and appeal to 35 year old men looking for their dream job (your potential customers).
You analyse the sales pages of competitors, note the structure, and compare it to yours, before chopping and changing once more.
By the time you’re done, you’ve spent 10 consecutive hours staring at you laptop screen, and have lost all feeling for what the words you wrote actually mean.
So why, after all this writing for your target audience, would you then post a link to the page in a Facebook group where other entrepreneurs ask for the very same advice?
Why would doing this make any sense?
It’s akin to asking your boyfriend how you look and hoping he says you remind him of Angelina Jolie (a total lie, uttered to flatter your ego, and virtually guarantees a fumble under the sheets when you get home).
What’ll work in your favour, is asking your target audience what they think. They’re the ones you’re appealing to – why go anywhere else?
So your task for today (which I fully expect you to accept) is to pick a part of your copy (a headline, a blog post, a page on your site), and ask one person you trust in your target audience for their opinion.
Don’t tell them your goals for the copy, the background info, or how much rum-infused-coffee you virtually inhaled to write it.
Show them the writing and ask them how it makes them feel.
Then listen to the answer before you start editing.
It’s the number one thing I recommend to improve your copy.
And if they say your writing reminds them of a Shakespearean sonnet, you know what they’re really after …