The birds are singing, the sap is running, and you’re supercharged with energy.
It’s the perfect time to do a little spring cleaning. And I don’t just mean washing windows or getting rid of the dust kitties in the neglected corners of the guest room.
It’s time to spring clean your brand by freshening up your copy and dusting the cobwebs off your tired old content.
Do you think of your brand’s story as set-it-and-forget-it? Or your copywriting as one-and-done?
Ah, no. Like fine linens, they need to be aired out once in a while.
So let’s get your messaging sparkling by doing a deep-clean to toss out junk words and tired old content, polish up your taglines and headlines, and air out your copy.
Relevance is an essential element of good copy. You want it to speak to your audience, to matter to your clients. But that website headline you wrote in-house or had some witty copywriter craft for you five years (or months) ago may not be cutting it anymore. Or maybe like Great-Grandma Mabel’s mahogany dining table, it’s still perfect after all these years.
But if you don’t look, you won’t know.
So visit your website. Try to look at it through the eyes of a new visitor or customer—something most of us never do.
Is it clear? Concise? Does it sound like, feel like your brand? Is the most critical information front and centre? Is it current?
This year has changed many things. That’s as true for copy as for our definition of office attire. In short, things have gotten a lot more casual and even more intimate, so maybe it’s time to get a little more personal in your brand story. And perhaps your brand voice is evolving? If so, you want to dust up the old stuff.
Clear out the clutter
In writing, as in our attics, there’s usually a lot of stuff that doesn’t need to be there.
I’m talking about those extraneous words that are cluttering up your messaging. You want direct, active, present-tense statements. Short sentences are good. Plain English is your friend.
You also want to deep-clean junk words that are weakening your brand. I’m talking about:
- Business speak
- Formal, fussy language
- And just plain overwriting.
The best copy and content has energy. It’s tight and bright. It sings like the songbirds that are making their return.
So, look at your copy with a detached, critical eye. Question every word. Is it necessary? Specific? If not, kick it to the curb for spring cleanup.
We all know from cable TV that hoarding is bad. So, let’s Marie Kondo your copy!
If a tidy kitchen makes cooking more fun, well, then neat and clean copy makes your brand more appealing.
First, you want to haul out all of those once-beloved pieces of content. Just like those leopard-print drawstring capris collecting dust in your closet, you probably have some dated blog posts or taglines that can be retired.
Hey, every word doesn’t need to spark joy, but your content and copy does need to make sense. So feel free to thank it for its service. And then let it go. Delete!
And hoarding can also mean holding onto stuff, like grandma’s china, that’s you’ve been saving for a special occasion that never comes. No!
“Writers share their work. Perfectionists hoard it.”
Take a look at any content or copywriting you’ve got started, then make a plan to finish and ship it. Get it out there. And if you look and decide, ‘you know what, this is actually crap?’ Toss it, baby!
It’s as true for your writing as it is for your closet: let it go.
Dust Up Your Numbers
There can be a surprising number of digits on your website or blog or whatever, and you want them to be up to date. That could be:
- Phone numbers or addresses
- Your rates
- Any dates
- Stats and figures
And keep an eye for references to time, such as “this year,” that was written in 2018. Oh, and is your copyright in your newsletter and website footer current? If not, update it to this year.
Polish Your Portfolio
I totally relate to that adage about the shoemaker’s kids going barefoot. I never seem to get to those things in my own business that I do for my clients.
The most neglected area? The “Work” section of my website. It’s full of proverbial cobwebs on old projects and testimonials from years ago. As part of your spring clean, spruce up your portfolio and testimonials to keep things fresh, like a paint job or some fun new throw curtains.
At the end of the day, remember to have fun with sprucing up your copy and content. Your brand is a reflection of you and the growth you experience over time. Embrace it. Let it shine in your work. And, if you’re ready for a copywriter to come on board and bring your content into alignment with that growth? Give me a call.
I LOVE your writing style, Kate; you make my brain less cluttered 🙂 And you’re inspiring me to get to it! It’s turns out I’m hoarding old content. I’m still in 2017 and yet so much has happened that I’m not paying respect to, thank you. Bernadette