My Uber driver told me she wanted to start a business. In particular, she said, she wanted to be a coach.
“Oh?” I said. “What’s your inspiration for that?”
“Because I like to tell people what to do,” she said.
Okay, maybe not the most spiritually connected motivation – but I could appreciate her honesty. In fact, most of us business owners are great at telling people what to do. (And terrible at being on the receiving end of that same exchange.)
So then, you’d think that business owners would be phenomenal at writing copy that gets results or inspires people to take action.
But they don’t! Most, in fact, really suck at it.
Let’s change that starting right now by understanding the #1 must-do strategy for anything you write: Your Call to Action.
A Call to Action (CTA) is that exciting moment when you tell your prospects or clients what exactly you want them to do…
- Sign up to get my free eBook
- Schedule your assessment now
- Grab one of the last spaces at my retreat
For some reason, many business owners forget to do this. Or they don’t want to do it because it’s uncomfortable to just blatantly tell people what to do.
Often, when someone tells me no one signed up for their program, I’ll look at their copy and discover that their call to action goes more like this:
- Let me know if you’re interested.
- Give me a call if want to try this.
- I’m around if you want to chat.
It’s like one big tie-dye lava-lamp microbrewery-beer-drinking dude-shrug. “Hey, call me, don’t call me, it’s up to you, I’m good with whatever, you know?”
When you get all “go with the flow” in your Call to Action, guess what your reader does?
She thinks, “Okay – no rush. I’ll get to this later. I’m sure there’s time and space and whatever.”
After all, she’s got other things that are more pressing and urgent on her plate. You, on the other hand, are telling her that you’re always around. You’re always there. There’s nothing pressing here at all. You’re too busy going with the flow.
So, let’s get clear about how you can create compelling calls to action. Follow these six steps – and stop all of that shrugging, okay?
1 – Before you create your content, get clear about the Call to Action
A Call to Action doesn’t always have to sell something. It can simply lead people to get on your list, or hit reply or leave a comment.
But every piece of content you put out there should have some kind of Call to Action. Some kind of to-do associated with it.
WHY are you putting this content out there? What is the point? If it’s simply to garner comments and start a conversation, great. Then make that clear.
Your CTA leads people to engage, stay connected, get on your list – and eventually become clients or customers. Don’t leave home without one.
2 – Put some thought into your Call To Action
Consider this CTA: “Like this article? Leave me a comment below!”
And this CTA: “Have a favorite strawberry pie recipe you’d like to share with our community? Post the link in the comments below!” (Obviously, the content of said article would be about strawberry pie, and not writing Calls to Action.)
In other words, there are more creative ways to get people to engage, then just telling them to “leave a comment.”
3 – Keep your Call to Action simple and do-able
On the other hand, you don’t want to confuse people either. One of my favorite calls to action I give to my clients who have small lists is simply, “Hit reply and I’ll send you the info.” It’s easy. It’s simple. And people do it.
In other words, make sure that what you want me to do is laid out in simple, easy-to-understand language.
4 – Avoid “Whatever, dude” language
“I’m here if you want to talk” does not inspire people to take action. That’s because most of us are too busy to get to that action. If you’re always waiting for us, that’s very sweet of you. But we’ll never call.
So, make your CTA time sensitive or space sensitive. “Grab one of the last three spaces.” Or “Registration closes on Wednesday. Click here to sign up now.”
5 – Follow the Rule of One
This is the most important rule of all. Do NOT overwhelm people with the many choices you want to offer. That’s just your way of avoiding clarity. One call to action. That’s all.
6 – Make graphically-obvious clickable text
Make sure it’s obvious to me where I should click. Give me an underline, a different color, a very clear button. Don’t hide your CTA. It will simply confuse your peeps and they will go away.
So, brace yourself.
Right now, I will personally model a Call to Action for you.
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