Let’s face it.
Writing web copy as a woman business owner isn’t always as cut and dried as the step-by-step templates would have us believe.
Most of us have lived LAYERS of life, and figuring out how to draw the line between our lives as mom, as partner, as friend, AND as business woman can feel paralyzing at times.
Over the last 5 years, I’ve worked with over 300 women business owners, from interior designers and lawyers to business coaches and therapists, and without exception, I almost ALWAYS hear the same refrain over and over again. . .
I can’t talk about that part of my life because it will discredit what I’m doing now.
And by “that part of my life,” they almost always mean all the life they lived before stepping into their current role.
They think that because they were a financial advisor before they became an interior designer . . . or because they spent 10 years in the military before becoming a customer retention specialist . . . or because they put their career on hold for a decade in order to be the primary caregiver to their kids, then this means they’re starting from GROUND ZERO.
And it’s here in this very valid apprehension that I always begin with the first truth.
Truth #1: All that life you’ve already lived is your greatest strength.
In fact, for many of us, it’s our diverse skillset that makes us so darn good at what we do.
The woman who learned how to master systems and processes as a financial advisor now knows how to show up as an organized interior designer who values budget as much as she does beauty. This is the very skill that gives her an edge above all her competitors.
The woman who solved problems for her team and helped everyone work together on high level military projects now knows exactly how to spot an organization’s fatal flaws. This is why she’s so good at connecting with customers and keeping them loyal to your brand.
The woman who spent a decade at home with her kids isn’t just a housewife. She’s a fierce visionary who knows how to bring teams together. She understands how to hear everyone’s voice at the table, and she knows how to step into hard situations and present a wide-ranging solution. This is why everyone wants her in their boardroom.
Your past life is NOT something you need to hide or apologize for. Instead, it’s the part of you that you can leverage for relationship and connection. It’s the part that allows you to show up with empathy to a wide range of customers, and it empowers you to move beyond industry groupthink and solve problems for your audience in unique, effective, and meaningful ways.
When writing web copy, the lure is to hyper focus on industry credentials and experience. And while all this matters, the key to connecting with your customers and convincing them that they can trust you is found in sharing the the real-life, multi-dimensional YOU.
What do you have that makes you uniquely positioned to step in and connect with your customers? That’s the part that is going to set you heads and tails above your competitors, so don’t make the mistake of feeling like you have to hide from your past. Instead, embrace it.
How well is your website copy sharing your story now? Find out with the Quick-Audit Website Guide: 19 Must-Have Elements Every Woman Business Owner Needs on Her Website
Truth #2: You can’t win at business when you’re wearing someone else’s shoes.
I’ve seen a lot of gurus and teachers sharing their templates and their step-by-step guides on how to write copy that will make your audience swoon. And let me pause here and make a ginormous disclaimer: Templates and step-by-step guides are amazing. They exist to level the playing field and give everyone a chance at success.
But. . .
They also send a quiet signal that says, “If you look like me, talk like me, and do it like me, only then will you also succeed like me.”
I often equate this Simon-Says approach to running a race.
In many ways, these gurus and teachers are like a running coach who invites you to a race and guarantees that they can teach you how to run as fast as they do.
The only trick is that you have to wear the exact same shoes she’s trained in. Not the same brand of shoes. . . the exact same pair of shoes. She’s broken them in. She’s put the miles on them. So now, they’re ready for your feet, and if you just wear them, you’ll duplicate her results.
You’ve been desperate to call yourself a runner, and you definitely want success, so you believe her promises. You grab her old running shoes, put them on, step up to the starting line, and start the race.
And you aren’t alone in this race, either. She’s sold this program to hundreds of other “wanna be runners,” and it feels pretty reassuring that so many others have trusted her for results, too.
But as you get deeper and deeper into the course, you notice that you’re falling further and further behind.
The shoes aren’t fitting right.
Blisters are starting to form.
Your knees are starting to scream.
Your lungs are on fire.
By the time you finally cross the finish line, your body feels broken and your ego is bruised. So many of the runners on the course seemed to do just fine. They crossed the finish line with barely a bead of sweat on their brow.
As you think about what went wrong, you can only come to one conclusion: The reason you failed was because you just aren’t cut out to be a runner.
But the wise woman knows that just isn’t true. Instead, she’ll tell you that the trick to running a race is all in the training.
You have to know what type of training is best for your body. You have to eat right, sleep right, think right. And even more, you have to practice – in your OWN pair of shoes.
You can’t ever show up on race day with zero miles logged, grab a “magic” pair of shoes, and expect to survive.
In a runner’s world, there are no shortcuts to success. And this is the same for business.
We can’t simply mimic someone’s processes or frameworks or even tone of voice and expect the same results.
Most business owners will tell you that long-term success took YEARS of effort, and they’ll also tell you that success only showed up when they finally learned how to be comfortable in their own shoes.
So yes, learn from the frameworks and study the offers, packages, and even the messaging that seems to work for your mentors, gurus, and teachers.
But before you implement it into your own business, make sure you’re crystal clear on what you’re bringing to the table, and be just as clear on what your audience needs to find at your table, because. . .
It’s possible that your message and your offer isn’t best told with bullet points.
It’s possible that the traditional “I help ____ do ____ so that ____” formula isn’t the best way to express your value proposition.
It’s even possible that the fun, lively language you’ve pinned on every Pinterest board is NOT the language YOU need to use. (Because we can admire something. . . even if it’s not who WE happen to be.)
As women business owners, it’s hard to escape the comparison game – especially if you’ve been lured in to that game for your entire life.
But here’s the truth you need to hold on to: If you’re already winning by being yourself IN REAL LIFE, then you can win by being yourself online, too. So don’t be afraid to grab your own pair of shoes and show up as YOU first.
That’s how you’ll start attracting the right audience.
Truth #3: It’s okay to brag about yourself (in fact, it’s necessary).
I once worked with a client who had a tremendous track record.
She’s an expert at helping business leaders double their revenue and transform their productivity. One client told me that she helped him grow his business from $0 to $15 MILLION, and this wasn’t unusual progress for her clients.
But when we first started working on her messaging, she wasn’t sharing these big wins ANYWHERE on her website, and as we dug into her story, she never ONCE volunteered this information to me.
I had to explicitly ASK her to talk about this impact, and when she finally shared the incredible details, I had to give her permission to be PROUD about it. She just wasn’t sure if it was okay to “brag” on herself.
For most of my clients, this is the norm, not the exception.
It’s not easy to talk about ourselves as women business owners.
As friends, our default is to uplift everyone else without bragging on our own accomplishments.
As partners, we’re used to sharing the conversations at dinner parties (and as women, we’re used to sometimes being on the shadow end of those conversations).
As mothers, we’re used to sacrificing ourselves for our children. We don’t need to be seen and heard as long as our children are seen and heard.
As women business owners, we hear so much about placing the spotlight on our customers. We know we need to show up as their guide and let them emerge as the hero. It’s about their wins, not ours.
The advice is iron-clad solid, but I think we sometimes take this too far as women business owners. Because many of us have been trained through the cultural forces of our time to step out of the spotlight, to let others speak for us, to be quiet in a crowded room, it can feel incredibly counterintuitive to step into a place of visibility.
But if we want to win business and earn the trust of our clients, then we can’t hide our lights behind the proverbial bushel.
We have to share our accomplishments.
We must talk about our wins.
We need to open up about the successes we’ve helped our clients gain.
Take a moment to jot down 5 of your biggest client wins. How have you helped them grow their revenue or scale their business or even take a needle-moving step forward?
Does your website talk about those wins? Or have you taken a hard pass simply because it just feels so wrong, so uncomfortable, so selfish?
If you’re ready to own your expertise, show up as 100% you, and share your biggest wins (but need a little bit of help to do it), then I invite you to take the first step with the Quick-Audit Website Guide: 19 Must-Have Elements Every Woman Business Owner Needs on Her Website.
Of course, you won’t find formulas or step-by-step instructions in this quick guide, but you will discover a few easy-to-implement ways to make sure your website is doing some of the heavy lifting for you. And when you’re ready to dig deeper and create messaging that reflects every ounce of who you are and what you do, let’s talk.