Why modesty makes it hard for smaller businesses to write their own words

15th March 2016 | Posted in Small business

Marketing writing for small businesses

You may say this is a sweeping claim – but most people who are selling their own services struggle to write their own promotional copy.

Or, quite often, they can write it, but they can’t publish it.


I’ve been copywriting for businesses of all sizes for well over 20 years and I’ve seen patterns emerging.

The biggest problem for many small businesses is that you are selling yourself. You are the provider of the services. And  if it’s products you’re selling, you’re still responsible for the quality of the products and the service you – and your team – provide right through to delivery.

Many of us struggle with making claims about ourselves. (Yes, I’m talking about the British predominantly. In other cultures you may find this bizarre but here in the UK it’s regularly considered to be bad manners to brag.)

We may know that what we do is good. Even brilliant. And some of us are pretty good at articulating that – especially in supportive company like a friendly networking group.

But many of us find it difficult to put our abilities out there. When we actually publish our website, brochures – any words with our sales pitch –we’re talking to strangers and we don’t know what their reaction will be. We don’t want people to think we’re over-selling ourselves. And we don’t want to make claims that others think we can’t fufil.

We need the courage to tell our audience why we are the right provider to answer their needs and fulfil their wishes. And that can be tough.

That’s why you as a smaller business need a good copywriter who understands about brands and marketing.

Someone who will listen to you carefully. Who will ask questions, not just about what you do but why you do it, who you do it for, why it works, why you’re different and much more. Your marketing copywriter will learn about your customers as well as your business before putting a finger to keyboard.

As I ask the questions and listen to the answers I’m looking at your business from the point of view of your audience. I will hear exciting things about your business that you may not have realised. I will uncover the reasons why people would buy from you rather than anyone else.

Everything you say and everything I learn will be taken down and used in evidence of your ability to answer the needs and desires of your potential customers. And I will create or refresh your branding and messaging to reflect that.

Then, and only then, I will apply that messaging to everything you say about your business. Your website, brochure, flyer, case studies, testimonials, newsletters, blogs and more. Whatever it is that you need right now.

What you get is something a bit daunting. It’s a true picture of your business with the benefits of working with you turned up high. And sometimes it doesn’t fit with modesty. But it is your story. And it is simply saying what you can do for your customers.

So go for it. Hire a writer. Publish what they create. Because a good marketing writer will help you to promote your business successfully when you are struggling to do it yourself.


If you’d like to know more about how a professional copywriter can help you, visit my website or contact me directly at [email protected]. And take a look at my small business package for refreshing your website content to reflect your business aims today.

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