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TOC #127: If I'm a lobster, I don't want to know
(May 30, 2023) The #1 thing your copy needs to be sucessful
I'm generally a pretty unbothered person. Nothing big really riles me up, even when it should.
Fish Boy dating someone else now? Good for him.
Having to pay a $30,000 dental bill? Rats.
Becoming a single mother? Oh, well. More Woo for me.
Someone steals my newsletter content? Uncool, but whatever.
CPA fucked up my estimated tax payments? Pissed, but can't do anything about it.
“Can't cry over spilt milk” is my baseline attitude.
I just don't see any point in getting worked up over something I can't change, and I hate letting upsetting events steal my peace.
What I'm NOT chill about, though, is the trivial stuff. The stuff that's completely irrational to be annoyed about.
I would list some of these things for you, but I don't want to sound like too much of a psycho… so I'll just give you one example:
It was a deliciously kid-free weekend, something I very rarely get to experience, so I was in full-blown celebration mode.
My long-lost freedom! Temporarily restored!
So, of course, that meant I was hauling ass to Cape Cod the second I finished my work for the week.
The only thing I wanted—the only thing I EVER want, at any given moment, if I’m being truthful—is to be sitting on a bayside beach, with a novel in my lap, my legs in the sand, and not a single responsibility in my line of sight, on my mind, or in my near future.
I was determined to have the best possible Cape day ever, which, to me, lifelong Capegoer and former luxury Cape Cod concierge, includes:
A blueberry scone from Sesuit Harbor Cafe
A ridiculous amount of direct sunlight on my skin while sitting on Sea Street beach for at least 8 hours
An Elin Hilderbrand book about some dramatic Nantucketer's turmoil
Leftover sand crusted to my body as I leave the beach
A cup of clam chowder from Frosty's
A soft serve twist with rainbow sprinkles, also from Frosty's
A bottle of Truro Vineyards wine from Peterson's
An outdoor shower at whichever Cape friend I'm mooching off of
And, shockingly, everything worked out in my favor! That whole “lucky girl syndrome” phenomenon is true.
AND, to make it even better, my cousin and her best friend (aka my best friend once removed) decided to come down to the beach with me.
The perfect beach day and friends to enjoy it with?! I was absolutely thriving.
(It's been a long time since I've been even remotely close to ‘thriving’ so this was a very noteworthy day.)
A few hours in, Lauren turned to Elizabeth and said “yikes, you're getting really burnt!” and started leaning in to get a better look at her shoulder, turning a lovely shade of fire-engine red.
And—now, remember, this is completely irrational—that's when the unsavory mix of anger and nerves started to fester deep in my belly.
Anger, because there is nothing on this Earth I detest more than someone scrutinizing the crispiness of my skin.
(Don't you think I KNOW? Don't you think I FEEL it? What is you telling me about it going to do? Magically un-crisp me?)
Nerves, because I was stressed that Lauren was going to comment on my sunburn next.
Since Lauren is only my best friend once removed—aka your best friend's other best friend, who you like to hang out with but aren't really besties in your own right—she has absolutely no idea that commentary on my broil level is something that really bothers me, so I decided to fill her in.
“Hey, Lauren?” I said. “There's something I need you to know about me for the safety of our friendship.”
She sat up taller in her beach chair, looking at me with wide eyes, no doubt wondering what the hell was going to come out of my mouth next.
“If I'm sunburnt, don't fucking tell me.”
The #1 thing your copy won’t be successful without
Thankfully, for the sake of our once-removed friendship, Lauren graciously agreed to spare me the comments on my sunburn.
Because I asked her to.
(Okay, fine, I might have demanded it, but that's the type of relationship Lauren and I have. I'd happily oblige by her demands, too.)
If I hadn't asked her to refrain, though? No doubt she would've been coming straight for my jugular with a comment about how my SunBum wasn't working.
People can't take your desired action if you don't tell them to.
Now, normally, calls to action aren't necessary for communicating with your friends. I'm just insane.
What they are necessary for, though, is communicating which direction your users should take once they've read your website copy.
It’s safe to assume that when someone new lands on your site, they’ll at least spend a few seconds looking through the initial page they ended up on to determine whether or not they’re in the right place.
And, for sure, they’re going to have lots of questions.
The last of which—after “who are you?” and “what can you do for me?” and the like—is going to be “what do I do next?”
This is your CTA’s time to shine.
Your readers cannot continue confidently onto the rest of your website if they don’t know what you want them to do next.
It may seem intuitive. It may seem obvious. It may seem silly to add a call to action when they could just scroll up, click on a page from your navigation bar, and go there.
But people need direction, and user experience matters.
Tell them exactly what you want them to do next, so they can move to the next step in their buying journey.
Want them to look through your services? Invite them to learn more on your Services page.
Want them to book a consultation? Ask them to fill out your contact form.
Want them to read your latest blog post? Direct them to it.
Want them to see all the beautiful things you can do? Take them to your portfolio.
No matter what the action, TELL. THEM.
Readers respond to directives—don’t miss out on the opportunity to keep someone on your site long enough to fall in love with you.
If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:
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