Does copy have an expiration date?
Like coffee, Montepulciano, crusty French bread, and everything else worth walking out of your way for—yes.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to extend your copy’s shelf life, and they don’t involve a vacuum-sealed bag.
First, do a little planning. (All the Virgos are starting to twitch with excitement.)
I always walk my clients through a groundwork questionnaire that gets us the information we need to create content that will wow your audience from now until the next election. It’s a little heavy lifting on the front end, but it will save you from having to re-do your website in a year from now.
This is like opening up the hood to check out your client’s needs and wants so you can communicate to them in the way that really revs their engine.
Or blows their skirt up, to quote my delightfully inappropriate cab driver.
The other super duper uber important thing is to find a copywriter who gets you. Nothing is worse than trekking through a copy project only to realize three months after you’ve signed off on the work that it’s too sales-y and doesn’t sound like you.
A great copywriter should write copy that sounds like you, but better. Your copywriter’s obsession should be copy that asks for the sale by sharing your excitement for your offer, not just for their sixteen-digit credit card number.
So what’s a good yardstick when it comes to re-doing your website copy?
That depends on a few factors…
Do you love sending people to your website or does it make you cringe?
Is it making you money?
Does your copy fall into the category of “descriptive” rather than compelling with a strong call to action?
If it’s salvageable, I’m all for it. Sometimes copy just needs a little fluffing. Other times, your message and target market have changed so dramatically that you can’t get away with just an outfit change. You need a whole new wardrobe because YOU’VE changed.
Unless you hate shopping, which I sometimes do.
Which brings up another valid point:
Are you waiting until you lose 20 pounds to write your copy?
This comes from a conversation I had yesterday with a photographer client. I asked her what breaks her heart and she said it’s when people wait until they’ve lost weight to get their professional photos done.
You don’t need to be perfect before you go public with your face or your copy.
An awesome photographer or copywriter is going to make you look fabulous no matter what. That’s the whole point. We’re just a little bit magic. Or maybe we just know how to light a room.
Either way, I’m convinced that jumping in before you’re ready is the secret to entrepreneurship.
It won’t even hurt if you have someone to spot you.
For those of you who will hate me for not putting out a concrete answer for how long copy should last, I’ll humor you with a general rule of thumb.
IF nothing major changes in your business or with you (no new direction, no new ideal client) AND your website copy was well-written in the first place, then three years is a good bench mark.
That said, there are always things that can be done to optimize your copy, so periodic reviews are a good idea. The ‘ol sniff test, if you will.
Do you need help crafting a new message that gets your ideal client all giddy or do you need help figuring out if you need help?
This month only I’m offering my Say It! copy coaching package for the lowest price in years.
That’s you and me going through your copy and giving it a tune up or scraping it for parts and transforming your website into a thing of smart marketing beauty.
I have a just a scant number of spots available for $250 per month.
Record screech! Normally, coaching with me is $1,000+ per month, but I’m offering a paired down version with slightly shorter sessions. You still get plenty of time with me as we make quick progress on your copy.
This includes two 45-minute sessions a month so you can get my expert eyes on your copy, stop stalling, and in the end feel damn good about your website.
Just like that gourmet bag of coffee, this offer will expire and I won’t offer it again for lord knows how long.
Email me at Gio@rubyscribewriting.com if you want to get in on this.
This is not only a chance to upgrade your website so it stands out, but to have a boatload of fun in the process.
Until next time,
P.S. Here’s some love from one of my clients who worked with me in my 5 Star Copy class:
“Hey Gio, Superstar of Words and Messaging,
I just wrote a draft of my freebie in 20 minutes. I got so clear on my messaging, and built up so much writing momentum, that writing this was a breeze.
I know you said we should expect emails about course feedback, but I just couldn’t hold this in.
Thanks for a kick-ass course!!”