If you're a coach who currently self-manages your own business website, you may have asked yourself this question at one time or another:

"I know I need stronger web copy because my sales could use a boost. And I also want a little writing backup, so I'll be able to finally offer my undivided attention to my clients. But I'm afraid that if I hand over my marketing copy to a stranger, she'll take away the 'me' that's coming through now. How do I prevent that from happening?"

A copywriting professional answers:

While many web copywriters discuss "the right way" to craft compelling copy, going on about the unique selling proposition and the proper use of energizing verbs, few if any address keeping the "you" in tact when writing copy for your website and marketing materials.

(Just to clarify, I'm not talking about the What's In It For You here, although that is no doubt a critical element. I'm talking about getting back a draft from your copywriter, and actually hearing the words as if they emerged from your own lips, right there in the copy that she created for your business and on your behalf.)

The fact is this. Hopefully, if you intend to work your way up to some type of internet celeb status, then you DO have a personality. Most people who post their picture on their website, brand using their own name, and represent themselves as-is in their marketing, portray a certain style - they want to come across in a specific way. Their marketing reflects who they are, and their personal energy just seems to radiate outward via the written word. Yes - this really happens. It's the power of the pen and it can channel you across the planet.

To thine own self be true - even in your marketing.

If you're reading this as a coach, consultant, marketing evangelist, or other web business owner who runs the show, then yes, you'll definitely want your copywriter to capture the Essence of You in your copy. Why? It's a great way to demonstrate That Thing You Do, and that is precisely what makes you so gosh darned intriguing to your readers.

(The only time when it's NOT appropriate to weave your personal voice and style into the copy, is if the website represents a large firm or corporation. In which case, it is proper and fitting to adapt the "omniscient corporate voice," or the "voice of the brand" - which is, in essence, a simple mirroring of the way the target customer speaks.)

A copywriter should instinctively know how to emulate her clients when writing their marketing communication. This is done through a combination of mimicry (imitating the way your client talks), and actually adjusting the pacing of the writing to become "more like them" and less like you (but if their writing is weak, you do have to compensate for that. Typically, a blend of Their Voice with your own grammatical flair and persuasiveness, works best).

An example: one of my clients leans toward longer sentences and light, breezy wording in her copy. Although "her way" goes against my own attraction to intense verbiage and shorter sentences, I oblige her to some extent. After all, she is my client and I'm writing "through" her, and not me. I want her to be able to go back over what I've written, insert a little more of herself if she feels inspired (so that this way, the message will truly be "hers,") and then quickly be able to wrap it up and move on with the marketing. Your own copywriter should be able to do this for you.

The Copywriter: Your Communication Helper

A copywriter functions as both your communication consultant and assistant. Her role demands that she "kick off" those projects that you simply don't have time to attend to, then grab you in between your own projects, and get your feedback and finishing touches. So, the copywriter is not quite "writing for you," nor is she taking over the personality in your work. (That's exactly what you do NOT want - if your writer hands back marketing materials that make you feel like a stranger in your own domain, you may want to think about a replacement - someone who can take your existing strengths and make them sound even better.)

Naturally, "being someone else" takes some practice and ongoing effort. Remember that movie, Single White Female? The transformation didn't happen overnight - it took at least a change of the hairstyle, didn't it! ;) Psycho roommate flicks aside, it may take your copywriter a few tries before she "hits it dead on" and finally captures The Real You when writing your copy. Remember, she's got multiple goals she's trying to achieve here, so step aside and give your writer some space while she works her magic. And that magic is:

Sell you to the reader.

She'll make the writing stronger and more emotive than it was before. That means if your copy is short on psychology, your copywriter needs room to slip some in there and "sell you" to your readers. So, SOME of your original tone may not make it across in just the way that you're used to. Remember, you've got to give a little on this - otherwise, what's the use in hiring a professional if you're not going to let her do the job right?

Craft the copy for a strategic purpose.

Writing copy for the web requires a delicate balancing act. It involves:

* buzzing the right industry terms (or keywords - you've GOT to have those in there)
* artfully persuading the customer on a deeply psychological level
* explaining the facts accurately
* offering directives to guide the customer along. (Go here, buy now, read below).
* effective use of whitespace, short sections, and bold for emphasis (go sparingly on the bold!)

Play "follow the leader" with words.

Good copy plays "follow the leader" with your reader. If there's something on the left that you'd like to call attention to, your copywriter should literally say that in the writing: "To the left, you'll find..."

It's almost like a game of scavenger hunt, with the big finale leading up to your product and the final sale. Believe it - if you break the mental connection with the reader or let him "lose his way" by omitting a certain step in the copy, you're bound to lose the sale. So, TRUST that the copywriter will get all this accomplished in your website content, AND keep your true voice intact. It's her job, so let her do that much for you.

If, by some stroke of bad luck, your copywriter fails to perform the task required, it's easy enough to cut her loose and go find yourself a more qualified writing professional. That may take a bit more of an investment, but in the end it's worth it if it means you're finally reaching your sales goals (and maybe even surpassing them?).

Does it take a small miracle to write great copy that sells products? Well... maybe it does. But the human ability to communicate after all, is a pretty miraculous thing.

Copyright 2007 Dina Giolitto, Wordfeeder.com Copywriting and Marketing. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Dina Giolitto provides exceptional copywriting direction, creation, support and implementation for a host of corporate and small business clients throughout the country. She is the author of "ARTICLE POWER: Create Dynamite Articles and Watch Your Sales Explode" and the Founder and Coordinator of Web Content Awareness Day.

Visit the home for Dina's online copywriting and marketing services, http://Wordfeeder.com .

Sign up for the Copywriting and Marketing Ezine from Dina at Wordfeeder.com and learn to write search engine-friendly web copy and market your web based business for free.