Any halfway decent designer has a good-looking website and a stellar portfolio to show off their work.
If you’re a designer and you don’t have those things… jump away from this post & go get those now, because ain’t nobody gonna hire you if they come across your web presence and aren’t impressed.
But assuming you do have a decent web presence (way to go), I’ve got some copywriting tricks specifically for designers to share with you that’ll help you instantly resonate with people shopping for your services in a way they can’t ignore.
Because while a picture is worth a thousand words (or in your case, a thousand dollars), carefully selecting the tiny handful of words that go along with your images will multiply their effect and make your services absolutely irresistible… helping you book more clients.
Today’s video covers copywriting for designers and is just over 12 minutes long. In it I walk you through three different websites of professional designers, showing you how to instantly improve their copy, giving you ideas on how to improve your own.
Hello everyone! (And a special hello to the designers watching—today’s video is especially for you.)
Today’s video is all about creating smart copywriting hooks for designers.
As a designer, it’s obviously SUPER important to have a great design. Because if you don’t, well, no one’s going to trust your design ability, right?
But it’s also important to have good copy.
Because as someone who’s always on the side of hiring a designer, a lot of times the only thing I can judge a good designer on is “yea their stuff looks good” or “ehhh, their stuff looks like it’s cheaply done.”
Obviously I cut the designers who look like they have cheaply done websites and portfolio work out of my list of considerations right away, but of the ones that do look good – I have no idea how to differentiate.
And to be honest, it often comes down to price.
But it wouldn’t have to come to that, because I’d be willing to pay more if I just knew that OMG, this designer gets me so welllllll!
Which is what you want to do with your copywriting.
You’ve already got the killer design, you just need to make sure your words are killer, too.
So today I’m going to walk you through three different designer home pages. These designers were chosen totally at random from the Asheville Creative League website, and to be honest, I don’t know any of them on a personal level yet.
(In other words, I’m not worried about sucking up to these site owners and making them feel good.)
So the advice here is totally 3rd party and objective, which I think is what you’re after anyway.
So let’s get started…..
- We’ll start with Story Powered.
Looks good, doesn’t it?
The thing is, as you can see in their metadata, they provide branding services, but it’s really hard for me as the prospect to understand that (or what good it could do for me) from their hook.
“We unleash the power of your story and direct it at your goal.”
Since I’m a marketer and you’re a designer, we kind of know what they’re talking about here, but not really.
They’ve got a good start, but they could be so much more effective if they could get more specific.
So if I were re-writing their site, I might ask, “Okay, so what happens when you unleash the power of story towards someone’s goal?”
Since they’re designing for businesses, I’m assuming their goal is increasing sales, and therefore more money. So we’ve got that part.
And when we talk about using the power of someone’s unique story, what we’re really talking about is how people (i.e. business prospects) prefer to do business with real, interesting human beings, not just business entities.
So you might get a little more specific with what your wording actually means and write something like this:
Your prospects want to do business with YOU.
Not just another _(insert industry)_ business.
Can you see how that’d be more interesting for you as a prospect?
Especially if they had a CTA here explicitly telling people to click to learn more, I can guarantee they’d get far more interest in their services.
- The next one up is Radiant Elephant.
For this site, and for the brevity’s sake, I’ll leave the hook section and scroll down to show how you can optimize other on-page text to be more specific and resonate with what your potential design clients are actually shopping for when they’re shopping for a designer.
“Web Design: The best web design for your exact needs.”
So here, again you can go ahead and assume that this person shopping for design isn’t thinking “Ohhhh, I want a site for my exact needs” and more along the lines of “Ok, well I know I need better site design because the current one’s out of date and either doesn’t represent my business properly or totally sucks at converting visitors into leads.”
So playing with this sub-heading, we could change it from “The best web design for your exact needs.” to something like “Upgrade your site, your relevance, and your sales.”
See how that resonates much better with the end result your prospects are actually shopping for?
Same thing with this branding & identity section.
While “memorable brand identity” is a good thing, what’s the actual end result of it that your prospects are really shopping for?
If you have a bit of an edgier brand personality like I do, I’d write something a little risqué like “so they’ll remember your name the next morning.”
Yeah, it’s a sexual innuendo, but it gets straight to the heart of what people who do business online are desperate for: Recognition. Being remembered.
And when you say it like this, you say it in a way that gets your name remembered the next morning.
If you’re a little unsure of going that route, though, there’s other options.
After reading through this paragraph of text underneath this sub-heading, I see that they’re talking about logos. So I might write something like “A logo your competitors will hate you for” suggesting the brand identity alone will be so good it’ll help them beat out their competition or “A logo too good not to flaunt.”
And I actually really love this SEO subheading, so I’m not going to do anything with it. With this one, they’ve done a perfect job of speaking to what their customers would be shopping for, and they’ve even got a cutesy sub-sub heading that helps push their sales of that idea. Total win.
But then there’s this digital marketing headline.
And I love the cuteness and the creativity of it, but it’s not doing anything to sell me on the things I’m actually shopping for when I’m shopping for web design. (And you NEED to do this if you’re using your site to generate online sales.)
Instead, I’d test something like “Because, unfortunately, a cool-looking website just isn’t enough these days.”
This is a more conversational line, but now that the visitor is near the bottom of the website, you can do this. You know they’re interested, so it’s a good idea to make them feel like you’re talking back and forth. They’ll sense even more that you’re a real human being and appreciate you for that.
You’ll also be speaking directly to a pain point all of us have when it comes to online marketing, sparking their interest in that particular service offering.
- The last one I want to show you is Zero Zen.
I’m not totally sure of their name… I want more zen, not zero zen. But that’s not what we’re talking about at the moment.
The first thing I want to point out is not actually copywriting, but the fact that they’ve got a video at the top of their page and an immediate call to action to play it with this arrow here.
You might think I’d discourage something like this since I’m ALL ABOUT words and copywriting, but this is a very good idea.
When you start with a video, you’re able to both visually and audibly get your message across to your prospects. And since you’re combing the two, it’s way more meaningful than just words.
Plus, provided the video is interesting (and theirs is), it dramatically increases the time spent on-page. And even if it’s only a few minutes, that’s exponentially longer than they’ve spent with the other designers they’re checking out—meaning they’re far more invested in you already.
Their hook is also decent—though I might actually invert it.
“Affordable websites for startups & small businesses”
“It’s time to get serious about how your business looks online. We can help!”
“Get serious about how your business looks online. – We can help: affordable website design for startups and small businesses.”
See how that helps? Getting to the point faster and then backing it up with the explanation, instead of starting with an explanatory line first?
And I think I’d shorten their call to action button text, a little bit too. From “Get an instant website quote” to something like “Free quote now.”
It’s fewer words to read, and therefore gets to the point quicker.
Okay guys, so I hope that was helpful and that you got some good ideas on how to improve the copywriting on your own design services website.
The main takeaways were this: Turn your lofty phrases into more specific ones, speak to the things people are actually shopping for when they’re shopping for a designer, and cut to the chase more quickly.
If you liked this video, it’d be great if you could share it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
You also want to make sure to hit “subscribe” because even though this video is designer-specific, I’ll have other videos coming out that will help you with more specific improvements on your website—no matter what your type of business is.
And if you want even more tips on how to improve your on-site conversions now, I’ve got a link to my free e-book in the description below. It talks about five hacks I use on the landing pages I write to decrease bounce rates and increase conversion rates, which I think is something we all want from our websites.
So make sure you do those things and thanks for watching! Take care!
Very good video and interesting material, to be sure.
It is a subtle thing perhaps, but I see what you did there!
At my job, I always stress “point first” communications.
Leave the “explanation first” for jokes and funny stories, not business.