Inspiring action can be a difficult task these days.
In what can seem like an over-crowded marketplace, with everyone fighting for attention, getting people to ‘take action’ isn’t easy.
But if you want to attract new business, get someone to sign up to your mailing list, sell a book, buy a course, or anything else, you need to be able to inspire action.
As a Virtual Assistant, you’re working in the online world. Yes, you may attend seminars networking events and roadshows. But ultimately your business is online, so you need to be able to sell, online.
And how will you do that?
Even if writing isn’t your forté, you can still inspire action using these three straight-forward tips.
1. Keep it simple
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it enough.” – Albert Einstein
No-one has time for complexity. Particularly when it comes to searching for business support. They want to know what you can do for them, without having to do any work themselves.
And this applies to anything you’re selling.
Why on earth do you want to make the sales process any harder than it already is? Tell your audience what’s in it for them if they buy from you. In simple terms.
This first tip to inspire action isn’t sexy by any means, but it will work.
Keep. It. Simple.
How do you keep it simple?
- Know who you’re speaking to
- Have just one objective
- Write as you’d speak to a friend to avoid being overly formal or flowery
- Ditch the jargon
- Draft the text, then cut it in half to remove any unnecessary words (depending on how you write, you may want to do this several times)
- Take some advice from novelist George Orwell …
Use a word, not a phrase. A phrase not a sentence. A sentence not a paragraph. And a paragraph, not a page.
2. Be emotive
I’m sure you’re all aware of the conscious and the unconscious mind.
The conscious mind is our rational thought. It’s what we know (or believe) to be true. It’s our pragmatic side.
The unconscious mind is our emotions, feelings, desires, etc. When it comes to making a purchasing decision, it’s the one taking charge. We rationalise these decisions using our conscious mind.
As Freud once said,
The unconscious continues to influence our behaviour and experience, even though we are unaware of these underlying influences.
So, since our emotions come forth when deciding on whether to purchase (or hire, or sign up to) something, appeal to them before presenting the practical evidence to help the conscious mind rationalise the decision.
Become a storyteller.
Take the product or service you’re trying to convince that person to buy, and think about why they should. What’s in it for them? Why will it make their (work) life better?
Thinking about you as a VA trying to win more clients … the end goal of someone needing a VA, is to help them grow their business. To ease their load. Take on some of the work, freeing up their time to develop and grow.
These are all practical reasons, and should certainly be mentioned in your copy.
But they’re not emotive reasons.
Being able to leave the office at 4pm to pick up the kids from school and enjoy an entire evening with your family … as opposed to sitting in front of your computer and managing to grab 10 minutes with them at dinner whilst thinking about your to-do list, is emotive.
That’s your copy lead. The practical reasons come second.
3. Have an offer and create a sense of urgency
Think about why sales work so well …
“50% off everything in store. Sale ends tomorrow”
Fairly obvious, isn’t it?
You’ve offered something at a discounted rate for a limited time. Items are bound to be flying off the shelves! After all, it’s in our nature to want a valuable bargain.
Of course, I’m not saying you need to discount your rates. But you can still offer value.
For example, say you specialise in bookkeeping and your objective is to increase your mailing list – offering a free download on ‘how to make your bookkeeping hassle-free’ in return for their email address seems like a valuable exchange.
As long as it’s something that people need (and you’re getting it in front of the right people), you’re golden.
If you don’t create a sense of urgency in your call to action, you’ll find people will sit back and relax thinking they have all the time in the world.
The longer they relax, the more likely it is they’ll forget all about you and your offer. Then, when they remember, they’ll start their search again and find another VA with their own attractive offer, that’s time sensitive, and contact them instead.
Creating copy that inspires action doesn’t have to be tough.
Using these three simple techniques …
… you can achieve your objective through words alone.