Screw professional. Go conversational.
Conversational copy: Writing in a way that sounds more like a human being talking than a business writing
It’s not a new thing. Most advertisements that have stood the test of time are written in a conversational tone. It worked in the 60s, and it still works today. It's not a trend, it's the hallmark of great copywriting.
Today, conversational is the new professional. This style of copywriting is almost a status marker for businesses, because it's uncomfortable and out of the ordinary. Only the brave dare do it.
Why does it take bravery for companies to be warm and approachable?
Because we're SCARED TO DEATH of not looking professional enough. Right?
I’m guilty of it myself. And I haven't had one client who has not asked me to convey on their website how “professional” they are.
We all know we’re professional. We wouldn't be in business otherwise. So do we really need to write it on our foreheads? Have it in our mission statement? Include it in every paragraph of our copy?
"As professionals in our field, we take great pride in the professionalism of our professionally made products."
What if what we should really be afraid of is sounding too professional? Watering ourselves down. Boring our potential clients.
It's what keeps me up at night.
I look at my own copy, and the copy I write for my clients, and I agonize over whether it's simple enough. Clear enough. Human enough.
I'm willing to bet that both your copy and mine is already plenty professional. And what it needs is to chill. The. F. Out.
Conversational can still be professional. One doesn't rule out the other. Writing conversationally doesn't mean abandoning all grammar rules and sounding like someone's drunk uncle.
It just means writing the way you would speak to a prospect face-to-face in a relaxed setting.
We need to stop bending over backwards to look "professional." We should be bending over backwards to speak like human beings to our audience.
Dare to write buzzword-free copy on your website.
Dare to explain complicated stuff with simple words.
Dare to sacrifice some of your "professionalism" to make someone feel something.
It will make you look more professional than all those other professional-looking professionals in your industry, combined.