15 Feb

Be a stripper

I was proofreading some content, yesterday. Typos aside, I spotted something else: superfluous copy.
Copy or content has to get to the point as quickly as possible, particularly (as was the case yesterday) if that copy or content comes from a marketing agency.

People – potential customers or clients – have to decide; ‘Can I be arsed to read on?’
If they can’t, then they may well miss key messages (such as a difference in your approach or the services you offer) that would’ve persuaded them to work with you.

For example, if you’ve already talked about ‘strategic and targeted marketing’, there is no need, two lines later, to mention ‘using marketing strategically to target customers’.
It’s this kind of thing that – if littered throughout your copy or content – makes people skim-read or ‘just skip this bit’. If they keep applying ‘I’ll skip this bit’, they may well speed past a call to action or the very thing that defines your organisation.

As always, get a proofreader, a trusted business acquaintance, or an honest friend (not one who loves everything you do, just because they’re your friend) to look through your copy or content. Allow them to be brutal with any feedback, if needs be. Let them tell you what’s essential and what’s ‘padding’, and, therefore, what can be chopped.

The more you cut out of your original copy or content, the better. Get rid. Be a stripper.

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