Avoid the Tree When Writing Web CopyI’m a big fan of the US sitcom Frasier.

One of my favourite episodes is when the pompous yet likeable radio psychiatrist learns to ride a bicycle for the first time.

And in typical Frasier fashion, everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.

His housekeeper Daphne gives him training lessons in the park and it’s during one of these sessions he becomes overly obsessed with avoiding a tree.

The more he focuses on the tree, the more he uncontrollably steers the bike towards the tree.

Hilarity ensues.

The same happens when he enters a charity bike-a-thon. A rubbish bin is at the side of the road and Frasier finds he can’t avoid it despite it being way off his route.

Bang. He clatters into it.

It’s human psychology.

When you focus on something you want to avoid, you tend to navigate towards it.

Like when there are chocolate biscuits in the house. If you focus on not eating too many biscuits, you’ll find reasons to go to the cupboard, over and over again. Whereas if you focus on losing weight and the benefits of a healthy body, the biscuit temptation decreases.

We’ve all been there, with our particular weaknesses in life.

The solution is simple, in theory. Focus instead on what you want to achieve and not on what you want to avoid. A determination and liberation arises from this simple change in mind-set.

And this principle is an essential component in your content marketing, especially when it comes to writing your website copy.

As a design business you want clients to find your website, contact you and then hire your creative services.

It’s an unnerving prospect to think your website may be impotent after the time, effort and money you spend on it.

That’s understandable.

Yet many small business owners who write their own copy (and unfortunately some copywriters as well) let this fear hinder their chances of success.

They focus on ways to avoid potential clients leaving too soon or being unimpressed with the services they provide.

So, they provide more options for the visitor to encourage them to move around the website for longer. Individual services are given a boost with the addition of more amazing features. And more words are added so readers think the designers are truly experts in their field.

And guess what happens?

Nothing. No extra visitors. No extra time spent on the site. No extra emails or phone calls from excited new clients.

And their original fear turns into reality.

They forgot to focus on what they wanted to achieve rather than what they wanted to avoid.

When you focus instead on connecting with your ideal client, your whole outlook changes.

You streamline your website by providing less options, not more, so you better control where the prospect ends up (in contact with you).

You sell your services by highlighting the benefits those services will bring to real people, real human beings. Not by trying to outsell your competition with a list of features, which makes your website look like all the rest.

You keep things succinct, yet juicy, when it comes to content. So people can read quickly, become enthusiastic and get on with the important activity of contacting you.

Notice the thread?

A client making contact with you is your number one goal.

When you embrace this change in focus, you find more and more website visitors making contact and becoming clients.

Just like the change in outlook foresaw.

No longer will you be crashing into trees or raiding the biscuit tin or wondering whether your website needs a new contact page.

You’ll be too busy working for well-paying clients.

And that’s something we all love.

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