Why Your Business Needs to Aspire to Joined-Up Writing

There’s a word that keeps coming up in meetings I have with clients. It comes up when they ask me what I think’s really important when it comes to putting their message out there.

The word is disconnected.

It’s not a word I see used often on copywriting blogs. Maybe other copywriters bring it up in meetings. I don’t know, I don’t usually hire other copywriters.

Disconnectedness rears it’s ugly head when I talk about promises, and when I talk about tone of voice.

In either case, the disconnect between what the copy says (or how it says it) and what your business does is a key issue that’s going to ruin your business relationships before they start.

Both times, a bit of joined-up writing would serve you far better.

Disconnected Promises

A friend of mine works for a company that’s possibly the most disconnected organisation I’ve heard of. In all their marketing materials, in all of their sales calls, in all of their social media profiles they refer to themselves like this.

We offer a service of the highest possible quality. We are the best at what we do. We are the dog’s bollocks, and you can’t possibly find a better service.”


What a promise. What a pitch. I’d love to hire them.

The problem is that they don’t charge enough to provide that service. The top-end in that industry charges thousands of pounds per month.

My friend’s employer charges dozens of pounds per month.

And when the customers my friend deals with come to him with a complaint, here’s what his manager tells him to say:

We offer an affordable service. We offer a great quality service at our price point. Our price point is very very low.


What a service. An affordable way of getting things done. I’d love to hire them.

But not if I thought I was getting the best possible service in the world.

I can almost hear the manager’s speech now.

What did they think they were getting at this price point? Did they honestly think they’d be getting a service worth thousands at a fraction of the price? That’s ridiculous.”

It is ridiculous.

But it’s what customers were promised by marketing material, by sales calls, by social media posts.

I’m sure that if they gave a more realistic appraisal of their services and what customers get for that low price, they’d have far fewer angry customers complaining about unfulfilled promises. But the marketing isn’t joined up with the experience.

There’s a disconnect. And the customers are furious.

Disconnected Personality

Before I wrote for money, I wrote for free. For a site called h2g2. Don’t hold it against me, I was seventeen.

I was an English A-Level student, and I wrote like an English A-Level student. I wrote like I was trying to be a pretentious academic. I wrote floridly, and no sentence forwent a linguistic flourish that would demonstrate my intellectual credentials.

It was great. I got to show off, and the site’s editors published everything from my encyclopaedia entries, to my sports reports, to an acrostic poem in which I secretly called another writer a “See You Next Tuesday.” I even had a regular column interviewing other writers on the website.

When I was twenty four, I went to a h2g2 meet-up in Manchester. I spoke to a lovely German writer who I’d shared correspondence with for over half a decade.

Andrew,” she said to me. “You write so beautifully. But you talk like a peasant.”

Bollocks to that, thought I. But she was right.

I talk like someone from Salford who doesn’t think much of his University education. I speak like someone who likes to get to the point, unless there’s an opportunity for a witty aside or a sarcastic swipe.

I wrote like a Lidl’s own-brand JRR fucking Tolkien.

If I’d kept that up when I started selling myself as a writer, I’m sure I know what my clients would say.

Andrew,” they’d say to me. “You write so beautifully. But you talk like a peasant.”

Instead, I write like someone from Salford who’s running a business and knows that busy people appreciate it when you get to the point. And when a client phones me, or meets me, that’s what they get too. They know exactly who they’ll be meeting.

There’s no disconnect. And my clients are put at ease.

Join It All Up

There’s no secret here. It’s obvious when you think about it.

It’s probably so obvious that nobody thinks to talk about it.

But if that’s the case, why are people still disconnecting from their clients?

Here’s what you need to do.

Make promises you can deliver. Position yourself honestly. And write to clients like you talk to them. Click To Tweet

From the second they first hear of you through to the moment they fork over their cash, make sure they get exactly what they expect.

Even if that means positioning yourself as an affordable option for cash-strapped SMEs.

Even if that means writing like a peasant.

Just make sure it’s all joined up, and there’ll be nothing to shock or upset your clients.

They’ll be happy. And they’ll stay happy as long as you keep doing what you say you will.




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