Are your marketing efforts reaching your ideal customer?
There’s a whole science behind writing for business. Copywriting soft skills are critical to provoking emotion.
And empathy, well, it’s one of the most important and impactful elements.
Copywriters need empathy to infuse our work with humanity and thought-provoking copy. This allows our clients’ ideal audience to relate to the copy on a human level.
If you’re not reaching the right people, it may be because you’re missing the human elements your audience craves.
So how do you practice empathy in 6 actionable tips?
- Read books
- Create personas
- Ask more questions
- Engage with the people in your life
- Put the reader first
- Write conversationally
Don’t worry, we’ll dive into each empathy practice below so that you can strengthen your ability to breathe humanity into your writing.
What is Empathy & Why Is It Important?
Empathy (/ˈempəTHē/) is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. (Merriam-Webster)
Why’s it important?
For starters, psychopaths lack empathy. 😬
There’s a lot more reason why it’s held in such high regard – beyond not sounding like a psychopath.
Empathy helps us see a situation from another person’s perspective. This is incredibly important in all human relationships.
Infuse your brand messaging with emotion-provoking copy that converts. Schedule a discovery session to learn more.
Empathy: The Real Power Behind Your Words
Since we write for businesses, our goal is to empathize with readers’ pain points. But it would be impossible to do this without putting ourselves in their shoes and really thinking about their struggles.
Furthermore, for the features of your products and/or services to stand out, potential customers need to understand how they will improve their lives.
This is best done by using empathy in words to illustrate the benefits that your business offers.
For instance, does the what’s for dinner question make you cringe on a nightly basis?
What if you came across someone on social media or from scouring Google who offers a variety of services to make dinner time easier?
At the same time, what if they teach you to cook delicious and nutritious meals even your pickiest family members love?
And save money?
And reduce your carbon footprint?
There are a whole lot of life-changing benefits in that package!
By empathetically connecting with readers, you can hone in on their pain points. Then, they will find the solutions your business offers more impactful to their lives. Next, your readers take the next step on the customer journey and convert!
Conversion can mean different things. It can include:
- Download your lead magnet
- Sign up for your email newsletter
- Follow your social media accounts
- Purchase your least costly service or product
But here’s the thing – any step on the conversion ladder is a win in a business owner’s book!
As you continue to nurture your paying (and non-paying) leads with empathy, they will continue to get closer to being your best customer.
How To Develop Copywriting Soft Skills Like Empathy
While empathy is a normal human behavior, it comes easier to some than others.
And no, it doesn’t mean you are a categorial psychopath.
It just means you haven’t done as much work as the others to practice empathy. But like all things in life, this skill gets stronger with practice.
Explore these methods to develop soft skills for copywriting like empathy, compassion, and sympathy.
Ready to hand your copy over to the pros? Schedule a discovery call and learn how we can breathe humanity into your business’s copy.
There’s nothing like a good book to put yourself in another person’s head, even if that other person is a fictional character. Reading is the key to exploring and learning about other cultures and their struggles, challenges, and reasons for celebration across the world.
Have you ever had to create a character?
It sounds easier than it is, but also gets easier with practice.
For example, think about a school teacher named Sarah.
Now, consider what era Sarah lives in. What is going on in the world while Sarah is teaching?
Is she single, married, or have kids?
What does she do for fun?
How does she wind down after a busy day?
Does she exercise regularly and cook every night?
Or is she always so busy she can’t find time to workout and hits up the drive-thru after work every day?
Does she frequent the city’s finest restaurants nearly every night?
What products would make her teaching job easier?
Are there any services that would make the rest of her life easier?
These are all prompts to help you see the world from a new perspective. And through this type of practice, you can strengthen your ability to empathize with your audience.
Ask More Questions
One of our favorite questions to ask at FocusCopy is simply why?
Why did you start your business?
Why do you offer that service?
And why is success important to you?
Then, we keep asking why. This is because the why behind a need, want, goal, or ambition is so important to understand a person’s perspective. It helps us to empathize with them on a human level, write in their voice and tone, and engage with their audience.
Practice asking more questions when speaking to friends, family, and colleagues. It will help you improve your relationships and might even inspire you to do something great!
Engage With The People In Your Life
Introverts like us have got to put our social hats on every once in a while. No matter how cozy we are in our own homes, engaging with the people in our lives is important for so many reasons.
Aside from nurturing relationships, engaging with others helps build empathy. The trick is to listen carefully.
When you understand what’s going on in other people’s lives, you better understand their challenges. Whether they need moral support or something more tangible, the key to determining their needs is to listen carefully and ask questions.
Put The Reader First
This might be a hard pill to swallow, but no one wants to read about you. What they want is to read about what you can do for them.
You don’t have to totally dismiss your accolades, impressive collaborations, or esteemed colleagues. Their logos, reviews, and other mentions can be used to build credibility.
However, the goal is to keep your business’s writing focused on the reader, not you.
Do you write the same way you speak?
If you’re not sure, give it a shot. There are several ways to practice writing conversationally. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. Read what you’ve written out loud.
Does it sound natural? Would you really engage in an in-person conversation with those words? Or does it sound stuffy, and maybe a little too formal?
2. Try speech-to-text.
Do you ever feel like you know what you want to say, you just can’t write it? Then, try speaking it instead!
Most computers and phones have talk-to-text functions these days. Just hit the button and start talking. Compare your speech-to-text transcription with how you originally typed out the same message. Any glaring differences? Does it read more naturally?
3. Write like you are talking to a friend.
You wouldn’t turn a relaxed conversation into a formal business presentation, would you? But you still want to tell your friends about what you’re up to.
Those laid back conversations may be the ticket to writing on a human level.
FocusCopy Breathes Empathy & Humanity Into Your Copy
There’s a long list of jargon copywriters keep up with. From SEO and analytics to meta descriptions and content clusters, it’s easy to get caught up in the inner workings of the algorithm.
However, what’s not ok is to lose the human element in an attempt to hit all the technical marks.
FocusCopy works with women-owned businesses to help them meet their professional goals while maintaining their authentic voice. We do this with continuing education, SEO, and most importantly – staying true to the brand voice.
Want to learn how FocusCopy can elevate your brand’s messaging? Schedule a discovery call with me today!