The Ham and The Garlic
There once was a little boy who wanted a dog. He BEGGED his parents and they finally gave in. He was elated. But within days, the dog had ticks. The boy was so worried his parents would be disappointed in him for not taking care of the dog. But his grandmother told him that all he needed was to give the dog a little garlic and the ticks would fall right off. So the boy tried for hours to get the dog to eat garlic, but he refused.
And grandma saved the day again: “Oh silly grandson, the dog won’t just eat the garlic. You have to wrap it in ham!” So the boy wrapped the garlic in ham and voila! The dog ate it and no more ticks!
The host of the Six Figure Creative podcast, Brian, told me this story during our recording and it’s relevant to you, I promise.
“Somebody landing on your site does not know how they’re going to feel after they’re done working with you. So rather than basing all of your website copy on the outcome of working with you, that should just be a highlight, not be the main pain point. What you need to figure out is what they think they want. And that’s what you want to write to.”
Your website copy needs to be the garlic. Your photos are the ham. Most people hunting for a photographer think that they want great photos. But when they come to your site, what they actually are looking for is a good experience, a well-priced offer, and someone they feel like they could spend a day with. Your copy lays out that out for them, woven through your stunning photos. People don’t always know what they want until they read. So it’s your job to figure that out and know them better than they know themselves.
Assemble, Don’t Write
Writing feels intimidating because we assume we need a specific skill or talent. Good news: copy isn’t writing, it’s assembling. (Eugene Schwartz said that, btw.)
You take all the research you’ve done: who you are, what you love about what you do, who your clients are, what THEY love about what you do, and then you put it in the same place (like a Google folder in your G Drive).
You’ll start to see themes and phrases pop up. If you’re giving every client the same experience, they will have similar things to say about it. And their words are the ones that matter. You use your client’s own words about why they hired you to convince other people to hire you.
Take the commonalities you find and assemble it in a way that makes sense. Start with their pain, then weave a story that eventually presents you as a solution. Assemble, don’t write.
For more advice about how to research your ideal client and assemble your own copy, listen to the rest of this episode on the Six Figure Creative Podcast.
All The Details
To listen to this episode, find it on the Apple Podcast App, on Spotify, on Podchaser, and on Audible.
What else you’ll learn:
– Why you should write your copy before you have a design
– Why choosing a niche is the best thing I’ve ever done for my biz.
– Why I don’t do retainer clients.
Chris! Brian! This was truly one of the most fun episodes I’ve ever recorded. Thanks for making me laugh and for being so generous with your own time and advice. You’ve got a fan for life!
If you’ve listened to the episode and want some extra help writing copy for your photography site, I’ve got a guide for that.
If you want to set up a better workflow for your business and write better emails, I’ve got templates for that.