Here are some practical ideas that are applicable to virtually anyone who uses words for their job or their business.
And they’re all based on a subtle but important shift that instantly helps you connect better with your audience and likely increase business.
It’s called the spotlight method and it’s based on one simple idea. In business the spotlight can either be on you or your customers. Meaning if the spotlight’s on you, the focus of your words is likely on your passion, your cleverness, and your goals.
However, when you shift that spotlight over to your customer, the focus of your words is on the people you serve: their problems, their aspirations, and their goals.
Now, unfortunately most of us get this wrong, especially when it comes to our writing.
Generally speaking, we all shine way too much of that spotlight on ourselves and not enough spotlight on our customers.
But in business we know our customers want to feel seen and heard and acknowledged. So an easy way to do that is to make sure you’re putting them in the spotlight, and that’s what I’m gonna show you how to do.
So as an example we’re gonna walk through a few specific changes we can make on Dr. Cheryl’s site so you can see what I mean.
She has a beautiful, clean, modern, uncluttered website, which is great.
And she has a big, bold header when you first land on her site. This headline reads:
“Dr. Cheryl is the go-to modern day guru of mindful loving.”
Now, from a spotlight perspective, here’s the problem. This headline is about Dr. Cheryl, but it doesn’t really contain a benefit or a hook for her visitor, who’s likely on the site because they need some serious relationship help.
I mean, maybe they’re on the brink of divorce, maybe they’re feeling shameful or broken or embarrassed or at the end of their rope.
The point is, if they’re coming to this website they’re probably saying, “I need help with my relationship.”
They’re probably not saying, “I need a mindful, loving guru.”
Visitors might not even know what a mindful loving guru is.
I mean, of course I can guess, but the fact that we as a visitor have to decode that makes us work just a little bit too hard. And that tells us the copy is about Dr. Cheryl, not about her customer.
So you might be asking, what’s the fix? Well, using the spotlight method we can write some new headlines that are more customer-focused.
Now, these aren’t perfect, but they get us moving in the right direction.
First up: “Need relationship help? Let me help you get your love back on track.”
Or we can try this one: “Get the passionate, playful relationship you want. I’ll show you how.”
Or how about this one: “Relationship in trouble? Let’s get your love life back on track.” Instantly we see how these headlines are more customer-focused than Dr.Cheryl-focused. Right?
I mean, if we have relationship trouble and we land on this page, we’re much more likely to feel like Dr. Cheryl understands us, she empathises with where we’re at right now, and she wants to help.
Okay, so let’s move on. Another place we can make some customer-focused spotlight method improvements is the navigation. So let’s look at our current navigation. We see “About Mindful Loving, About Cheryl, What I Have to Share, Blog, News and Events, and Connect.” So while “About Mindful Loving” and “About Cheryl” aren’t so bad, this “What I Have to Share” is really about her.
So what would happen if we rethought this navigation from our customer’s point of view? If we really shifted that spotlight? So think about it.
What is your customer looking for? How can we help her find what exactly she wants to find using words that are simple and clear and customer-focused?
I took a stab at a simpler navigation inspired by the spotlight method and here’s what I came up with.
So first up, I’m starting with “About,” since that’s something we all understand and look for. And under “About” if we want we can put a dropdown that talks about “About Dr. Cheryl,” then maybe “About the Methodology,” and if she has them perhaps testimonials from couples she’s helped. Next I put the word “Services,” which is also customer-focused.
It’s something people who want to hire a therapist are probably looking for.
Again, we can easily add a dropdown for “In-Person Therapy” or “Virtual Therapy” if she offers multiple services.
Next up you’ll see I put “Couples Workshops.” Once again, customer-focused language. Then I thought about a word like “Resources,” which is simple and clear copy that speaks to what her customer might be looking for.
Now, there we also might want to consider a dropdown and list simple subcategories like “Blog” or that’s where she can put “Upcoming Events, Books, DVDs, or Audio Programs” if she has them.
And then finally we’re ending with “Contact,” which is much more clear and customer-focused than “Connect.” I want you to remember this: when it comes to effective copywriting, especially for your navigation, clear and customer-focused beats clever or cute every day of the week.
So those are just a few simple shifts inspired by the spotlight method that can help put more of the focus on Cheryl’s customer instead of her.
Hopefully you can see how this one subtle shift in your focus can help you write better, more customer-centric copy – thereby allowing you to create a stronger connection with your audience.
And if you ever forget, remember this Tweetable. The secret to a meaningful, profitable business is putting the spotlight on your customers, not on you. Now I would love to hear from you. What’s one piece of copy on your website that you can use the spotlight method on to shift the focus away from you and onto your customers? Take a stab at changing it and give us the before and after in the comments below.
Lastly one important point not directly connected to the actual copy: the site uses the http protocol instead of the https protocol which results in an address field warning in the browser: “not secure”.
This not only looks unprofessional, but also badly influences the ranking in Google. It’s easy to fix though, we provide the service.
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