10 Ways to Write to Sell Without the ‘Ick’

Ah, selling. For some of us that word fills us with dread, right?

Well, it certainly did for me.

In fact, I struggled to grapple with the fact of becoming a copywriter because in some ways it felt unethical, and you guessed it, ICKY.

The courses I endured, the endless blog posts, and the top recommended books, all said the same thing.

And it ALL revolved around certain strategies and tactics.

Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having a strategy. It’s what that strategy can entail that’s the problem.

My view? The most important thing is believing in what you do, who you serve, and how you make an impact. And I just don’t believe that doing that with intimidation and sleazy sales tactics is the way forward.

So, screw the so-called rules, do what feels good, and write to sell YOUR way. Read on for my 10 top tips to do just that…

1. Believe in what you’re selling

Full heartedly, to the very core. Believe that it’s something your audience deeply needs. After all, ethical sales copy is all about convincing people to spend money on something they truly need. The sleaze comes in when you’re convincing them to spend money on something you simply want them to buy. Believe in what you’re selling, and they’ll believe it too.

2. Be vulnerable

Be prepared to bare your soul. Share a personal story. Let them in. Illustrate your own experiences and tell your story of how you struggled with a similar problem — and most importantly, how you overcame it. We all love a “if they can do it, so can I” kind of scenario. You want to be able to show that you fully understand them, you’ve walked a mile in their shoes and came out the other side, and now you know how to help.

3. Write to connect

Write with enthusiasm in your belly and passion in your heart. And over and above everything else, write for humans. Forget the SEO for now and connect to the actual human reading your words. We’re all interconnected, we feed each other with knowledge, and we want to be able to feel something. Take them on an emotional journey and let your words speak for themselves.

4. Share a client success story

Transformed someone’s life for the better with your product or service? Share it! You can be all talk but if you don’t have the social proof to back it up, those words can mean nothing. I know how hard it can be to seemingly ‘big yourself up’ but when it’s a glowing testimonial from one of your clients, you could make an impact like that on so many more people if you only share it. Just make sure you ask permission before you do!

5. Endorse other goods or services as well as your own

One of my biggest pet peeves is when we fail to support those around us. Business is not a competition. There’s room for us all. So many good things can come from lifting others up, collaborating, and cheering them on. It’s time to spread the love — and you might just get a little love back in return.

6. Get ultra-specific on the benefits

It’s all well and good listing the amazing features of your product or service, but what your purchaser is actually interested in is what it can do for them. What will be the transformational result? What problem will it solve? How will it make their life better? So, will it save them valuable time? Will it take away a certain amount of stress and worry? Will it have them breathing a sigh of relief? Go deep into the benefits and how it can really help them.

7. Address the objections head on

Look, there’s always going to be a reason why someone doesn’t want to buy — and that’s okay. Maybe they can’t afford it, they don’t think they need it right now, or they’ve seen a potential better offer. Sometimes, it can just be plain old procrastination. I know I do it all the time. And many a time I’ve missed out on something that I know will have been beneficial to me. Because sometimes, we just need a kick in the butt. So, embrace the objections and face them head on. Outline them directly in your copy, tell them you know what they might be thinking, and that maybe you’ve felt the same way too. Then, alleviate their fears and respond honestly to each objection so they leave feeling inspired rather than pressured to buy. You won’t win ’em all but who can?!

8. Communicate the offer clearly and concisely

This one’s a biggie. If it ain’t clear and concise, they’re not gonna stick around to read your offer. There’s this temptation to want to sound impressive but trust me, it doesn’t work. For starters, half of your audience will have no idea what you’re talking about, and the other half will have dozed off before they reach the end of the sentence. Write as if your audience know nothing. Keep it conversational and get straight to the point. Cut the jargon, cut the crap, and keep it simple.

9. Be honest

There’s certain beings out there who, whilst enthusiastic about their product or service, tend to to exaggerate or bend the truth a little (or a lot). They may promise you the world even though it’s something they simply cannot promise. They might guarantee you a certain result, a certain income, or they may omit ‘the small print’. They might even talk negatively about a business they perceive to be their competition. Woah, woah, woah. Don’t be that person. Lead with honesty and integrity always and trust that the universe has your back. Because guess what? It does.

10. Be authentically yourself

I will always champion you to be yourself. After all, that’s what’s got me to where I am today. Finally embracing who I am and sharing that with the world. Because you wanna know something? Your quirks are your superpowers! So, start using them and let them come across in your copy in all their glory.

Be You. Every God. Damn. Day.

Picture of Amy Killingbeck

Amy Killingbeck

With a background in Law and over 10 years’ ‘side-hustling’ as a freelance writer, Amy now runs her own copywriting business helping creative and authentic business owners find their unique brand voice, transforming it into meaningful, engaging copy that sounds just like them and attracts their dream clients.

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