Oh the copywriting sins I’ve committed – especially on my own marketing! From a longtime copywriter, here are a few things about writing and posting I’ve learned the hard way.
We’ve all had those moments when saying something out of turn, inauthentic or unchecked damaged our personal reputation. Sometimes, in an effort to sound smart, voice an opinion, have the last word or just get something posted, we end up immediately regretting what or how we wrote something. The same applies for your brand messaging.
Writing social posts on the fly, tossing up a blog or creating a hasty email can often do more damage than good to your business’ reputation. Sometimes, hitting the delete button is the wisest marketing move you could make. Here are a few examples of when your best content strategy is deleting content altogether.
When there’s no time to edit.
I’m soooooo guilty of this, so let me be the first to say, I GET it! You’ve gone a while without posting or emailing or making some sort of connection, and you suddenly feel the pressure to put something up. Anything seems right in that moment. You hit upload, post, send, whatever, and now that it’s too late, go back and do a quick read-through. Crap. Typos, confusing messages, lengthy paragraphs, broken links or hashtags… Slow down. Breath. Write it, then proofread, then wait a few minutes, then proofread again. Make a commitment to no more hastily published content!
When you didn’t do your research.
Yep, done this one too. In fact, these are all from personal experience so, yeah, between the two of us, I’m cringing more than you. Here’s how it goes: You try to build your brand authority by linking articles or writing a blog post about the latest industry news. Suddenly, your readers are pinging you with corrections, questions, confusion. Uggghhhh…totally your fault. You didn’t read the articles thoroughly, check for verification or bother to get an expert to back you up and now you look like a fool in front of your entire audience. The. Worst. Always take the time to properly research before you post on complicated, lesser-known and especially controversial subjects.
When it’s not “you”.
I love authenticity. I preach authenticity. But why, oh why, is it so easy to try and be like someone else in your branding!? I am all for being inspired by other successful girl bosses or entrepreneurs but you don’t have to sound like them. Please speak from the heart in your brand messaging. That’s the core, the secret sauce to creating a loyal following!
When you’re angry or offended.
You do not want to become known as that emotionally reactive business boss. If, in the moment you’re writing, you’re feeling anger, offense, are high on emotion, be mature enough to test it for recklessness. If it’s therapeutic, go ahead and type something out, but don’t publish immediately. Take a couple days to revisit your words, get a trusted friend’s advice and then publish.
When you’re unfocused.
I kind of want to say this…and this….and this….oh, and also I feel very strongly about this… An all too common habit in content writing is trying to say everything at once. Readers like specificity, not generality. Your brand is more interesting when it can provide narrowed points. Do a whole blog on one part of a larger message. Do a social post on a single tip. Narrow, narrow, narrow. That’s how you become so practically helpful that people can’t help but want to follow you more than the competition.
So now after writing all this, I’m like, uh, you need to take your own advice, Lindsey *buries face in hands*. I hope this was helpful and please tell me I’m not the only one! Comment your most common delete-button-needing tendency below.