I sat down with Lianna Patch (a.k.a. The English Maven) to find out why copywriting rings her bell, how to properly pronounce her first name, and how she can help YOU be more amazing than you already are…
What draws you to copywriting for the web?
It’s so common to see boring, unoriginal web copy. It’s everywhere we look. I want to create online content that makes people say, “Oh, shit, this is awesome…and now I want to buy this product.”
Where did you come up with the name “The English Maven”? Do people ever call you that in real life?
A friend of mine came up with the Maven moniker. He had it on his own business card (among about a thousand other descriptors; he’s a talented dude). We were tossing around business names, and he joked, “What about ‘The English Maven?’” and it stuck.
People do sometimes call me the Maven in real life. I secretly love it. Free advertising!
Speaking of what people call you – could you please provide a phonetic pronunciation of your name for our studio audience:
Lee-anna. It’s “anna,” like “banana,” not “Ahhhhh-naaaaahhh,” like you have something wrong with your uvula and your dentist is poking it.
What do you think are some major things people overlook or mistakes people make when preparing copy for their websites?
People will spend a ton of money on a gorgeous new website design, and then use the same old copy they wrote in 2002, before Google knew literally everything about us. It doesn’t fit with the new site design or their brand’s personality, and it doesn’t convert visitors into customers.
And, of course, people forget the “ask”. You have to actually tell people, “Click here and do this thing,” otherwise they just slide off the page like pudding, and go look at cat pictures or porn.
Any advice you have for those people?
Hire me. And if you’re not going to hire me, hire someone else and SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.
Just kidding. Copyblogger has a lot of good free writing resources.
Who are your favorite types of people to work with?
You! Obviously. And by that I mean someone who keeps up with the latest developments in her industry; loves her business; and appreciates the value of well-written copy.
How would you describe a potential client that should just avoid knocking on your door completely?
No age ranges or income levels are disqualified, but if you have the mindset of “This is exactly what I want to see and I am not open to hearing suggestions or exploring options,” you’re probably better off writing your own copy.
What was your inspiration behind creating Charm School?
I sometimes do a stand-up comedy open mic that’s close to my house, and for a while I was focusing on pet peeves. With Charm School, I wanted to remind people that a higher standard for etiquette still exists. Also, I was using a borrowed iPad to make those illustrations, and having a lot of fun with it.
Could you share with us your favorite page or quote?
OMG, now I have to sit here and think exhaustively about all of my favorite books.
Okay, here’s a good line from the original gangster of copywriting, Mr. Claude C. Hopkins, in his book Scientific Advertising: “We cannot go after thousands of men until we learn how to win one.”
That was in 1923. Dude was a genius.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Like everything, good copywriting takes practice! I’m constantly learning and trying to improve my skills.
Want to learn more from Lianna about how you can use your social media and web copy to wow your audience and generate leads?
Join us on March 21st for an afternoon of strategy, good times, business-changing advice, and probably drinks to follow.
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