Friday, February 16, 2007

 

Write for your audience, not for yourself

I used to write about me. Now I try to write about you.

I used to write copy that said things like:

"We here at Microsoft want you to know that..."

"It's our intention to be the premier provider of..."

"At Microsoft, our success is built on a foundation of..."

The problem with all of this copy is that it's "me-focused." It's all about the speaker, all about the company, person or product making the announcement.

If I'm the reader, I immediately want to know what's in it for me. I may do business with Microsoft, but I want to know what they have to say to ME, not what they want to say about themselves.

So, rather than write "me" copy, write "you" copy. Change those above lines to say things like:

"Your success is our top priority at Microsoft, and that's why..."

"You are the foundation of what Microsoft was built for..."

"We're here to provide you with the premier..."

Even that last line, though it starts with a "we", gets very quickly to a "you" statement.

For customer-centric companies, this kind of copywriting comes naturally. But no matter where you work, or who you write for, your audience is far more interested in themselves than in you. Make sure you write that way.

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