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Is hiring a website copywriter worth it if you don't want sleazy sales copy?

Too many business owners are relying on conversion copy and Jedi mind tricks to sell. A good website copywriter uses storytelling, not sleaze, to boost revenue.

You don’t need conversion copy to convert your audience.

That shouldn’t be a controversial opinion, but it’s becoming one.

Too many business owners are relying on conversion copy, Jedi mind tricks and sales tactics from high-pressure playbooks like "Secrets of Closing the Sale" to land clients and turbocharge revenue.

I get it, you’re itching for results after pouring your sweat and tears, not to mention hard-earned cash, into perfecting your website, spicing up your Instagram or hiring a website copywriter to do it for you. You want your copy to do more than sit pretty; you want it to persuade your audience to take action.

But the truth is: conversion copy alone does not work.

Good website copywriters use storytelling to sell

Transactional, pushy and soulless copy is as forgettable as last year's reality TV runner-up. It won't build you a loyal community of repeat clients. And that's the dream, right?

We are humans. Your clients are humans, even your dream ones.

Us humans love a good story. We crave connection with each other.

For hundreds of thousands of years, we’ve been swapping stories, telling tales and gossiping over a margarita (or three). Stories engage our curiosity, emotions and imagination.

Are you more likely to buy from someone regurgitating dry statistics and facts, or a storyteller who paints a vivid picture of how their service transformed someone's life?

Functional MRI scans show different areas of the brain light up when someone is listening to a story. Your brain waves also start to synchronise with those of the storyteller. Stories aren’t just fun, they are powerful. Narratives can persuade and change our perspective.

Ever wonder why healthcare TV ads pull on your heartstrings with real-life sob stories or personal triumphs? We’re more likely to change our lifestyle if we see or hear a character we identify with making the same change.

We’re hardwired to relate to an individual’s story over a bunch of numbers or a group of people. Stories rich with narrative arcs, relatable rogues and emotion are the ones that stick.

Your copy needs to be more than words on a screen. It needs to connect with your readers – wow them, make them laugh or make them feel like they’re a part of something. Not being sold to.

Make your copy more engaging than a binge-worthy Netflix show

Most business owners in the corporate world don’t get this right. As a website copywriter, I’ve seen enough cringe-worthy corporate websites and cheesy LinkedIn posts to write a very, very boring book about them.

If you’re not even attempting to connect with your audience through your copy, you may as well let Chat GPT write your website for you.

Your copy, whether it’s on your website, marketing collateral or across your socials, should grab your audience’s attention and engage them. Then they’re more likely to absorb your key messages and take action.

No need to lock yourself in a dimly lit room, hunched over, writing draft after anguished draft. You don't need to craft a Tolkien-esque epic, but your copy should take readers on a journey, using a cleverly crafted narrative to show what you have to offer and why they need it. Connection converts.

How do website copywriters make sales copy powerful?

We have hundreds of tips and tricks up our sleeves. Mine all use the art of storytelling.

To avoid snake-oil-slick sales copy, think about how your copy is structured. Beyond listing the features and benefits, talking to your key messages, pain points and nailing your call-to-actions, does your copy have a compelling narrative? A start, middle and end?

What content are you sharing? Are you using a hook to grab attention or sharing personal perspectives? Are you connecting with your reader’s emotions? Unless you do this, chances are you’re not making a connection with the reader. Without this, they’ll forget your copy.

What voice are you using in your copy? Is your brand voice and personality shining through?

I’m a website copywriter in the corporate world and I see two types of businesses. Those using sleazy, pushy sales copy and others using boring, bland copy instead. Passion without the push is the sweet spot.

Splashing your cash on a website copywriter who only writes conversion copy or pulling an all-nighter, on top of your actual job, to DIY your own copy that shouts at readers to click ‘book now’, is not worth it.

Quick side note: a landing or sales page with no price on it that forces potential clients to download a form, submit an email address, or ‘comment below’ screams I’m selling to you. As a copywriter, it makes me die a little inside.

Easy ways to start selling through storytelling

Hopefully by now we’re on the same page. Connection converts, not cheesy conversion copy.

Ready to start storytelling? To kickstart your creativity, here are some easy content prompts you could use to elevate your ‘About us’ page, project landing page or Instagram posts:

  1. Write about your eureka moment when your business idea clicked.
  2. Share your experience of how a one-star review revolutionised your offering.
  3. Emotional jackpot content: weave in stories of team members leaving, your five-year anniversary in business, your lowest point in business vs now, your most successful month to date, small business honesty…
  4. Transform client wins into tangible stories. If you’ve saved your client £5,000 per year, what does that give them? A family holiday, money to buy a dog?

You’ll see I haven’t included ways to secretly include ‘limited time offer!’, or ‘nearly full’ in your copy. Using deceit and creating a scarcity mindset isn’t it. It all comes back to the art of storytelling and building a real connection with your community.

Next time you’re trying to write copy that converts, remember: humans are humans.

If you’re looking for a website copywriter to help you sell without being sleazy, please contact me.

Written by

Caroline Voaden
website copywriter looking at la
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