why bad copy is like “hooking up” + the words you should stop using
If you want to sell more, you have to stop using words and phrases that no one REALLY understands.
If you have taken my free 5 day branding course you are familiar with tornado-friendly language but if not, here is a little summary:
Tornado-friendly: non-specific, general, confusing, boring words
It’s called tornado-friendly because it isn’t concrete. It isn’t strong and it’s easy to blow away. So when the tornado comes, poof.
Tornado-proof: specific, clear, unique-to-you
This language is memorable. It’s not easy to blow away. It’s specific and it reads like only YOU could write it.
Tornado-friendly language is a disease that plagues most entrepreneurs but it is especially prominent in the self-help community. Most people who struggle with selling have a lot of this language in the copy, in their blog posts and everywhere else.
A short list of tornado-friendly words
self-fulfillment, happy, wellness, peace, confidence, dreams, desires, joy (lord have mercy let’s ban joy please), creativity, empowerment, self-realization, values, talents, PASSION, deepest self, wellness, authenticity
Oh my god, there are so many more.
It’s like the word “hook up.” I hate hate hate this word because I have no clue what people mean when they say it. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had in college that went like,
“well we hooked up”
Everyone nods and of course, being the person I am..I say… “and that means?”
That is exactly how people feel when they read copy that relies way to heavily on tornado-friendly language. Too many questions without answers. We are forced to fill the gaps with our own story.
And when it comes to hooking up, that is how rumors got started.
I am not saying these are bad words. I am not even saying that you shouldn’t use them but know that if you rely to heavily on words that are commonly used by other people in your industry, you have a lot more competition.
I’ll help you find confidence so you can live a life you desire.
Ok, let’s talk about this sentence.
1. This sentence could be found on ANY website. So that’s no good.
2. This does not belong to any particular offering. This is really important. Each sentence should feel like it belongs to whatever you are selling. You should NOT be able to pick it up and take it to any other website without any problems.
3. Can I see it? Can I touch it? Can I feel it? Not really.
4. Confidence is a LOADED word. Desire? Even worse. The brain can’t focus. My interpretation of these words is gonna be way different than the story YOU have for it. And that is the BIGGEST problem with these words. Too much story attached.
Ok, let’s change it.
My mission is simple. I will help you ask for the raise, ask for the date and take that class you’ve been dying to take but couldn’t find the “time” to try. Let’s change your life one daring adventure at a time.
Specificity. Instead of just saying “confidence” or alluding to “desire” we show examples of what it looks like and we call our ideal customer out. Yeah, you aren’t stepping up and living quite yet but we are gonna change that by taking one daring adventure at a time. We could even expand that to include more examples of what that looks like.
We talk about this a LOT in my class, Hot Brand Action. Here is a little checklist I tell my students to go through before they hit “publish” on their copy.
If you haven’t already, sign up for my list and take the 5 Day Branding Challenge to learn more and get ready for the AWESOMENESS that is Hot Brand Action, coming OH SO soon. Sign up for the list so you’ll be first to know.