Stop tiptoeing around. Tell people what you want them to do by using imperatives.
If you have kids, you may call imperatives ‘bossy’ verbs. The words that we don’t use in real life because we don’t want to come across as abrupt or aggressive.
But actually, we do use them.
Pick it up.
Cross the road.
When we want to take control of a situation, using imperative verbs is the easiest way to express authority and get people to listen to you.
It’s Not My Style
Many of you will write content intuitively. You will be aligned with your values and feel that this needs a softer approach.
You don’t need to lose that connection when adding imperatives in your writing. You can still produce soulful writing that commands authority and trust without being dominating and overbearing.
Don’t Overuse Imperatives
Over-saturating your writing with one technique won’t work. You want a range of techniques that you can use when you feel it is needed. Going all out with your commands will put people off. You need to think about what you want people to do and when you want them to do it.
Isn’t this a CTA?
Exactly. Even if your brand uses gentle marketing approaches, you still need to incorporate calls to action. Not every time you write something. However, the following marketing materials should include a CTA:
- Website sales pages
- Direct sales mail/emails
- Social media promotional posts
Starting your CTA with a command verb is proven to make people more likely to act there and then.
Take these examples.
I offer free consultations. I hope to hear from you very soon.
Call me now for your free consultation.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me for further information.
Contact me here to find out more.
By simply moving the verb to the front of the sentence, you are encouraging your reader to do something immediately. It takes away the possibility and encourages action to be taken (hence the name obvs!) There is more to a CTA than an imperative, but that’s for a future blog post.
Hide in Plain Sight
Your use of imperatives doesn’t need to be brash and bold. You can embed your commands into your writing. Again, this requires a certain amount of skill so that the style of writing isn’t disrupted.
- When you choose me, you are benefiting from 20 years of writing experience.
- Think about all that time you will be saving when you book a copywriter to take control of your content.
- Most clients who pick me say they believe their online presence has significantly improved.
This method isn’t a call to action. But it doesn’t give your reader a choice. More softly, these sentences persuade you to go for it. To follow the command. To not shop elsewhere.
Negativity can be Good
Sometimes, with the right verb, you can put don’t or do not at the beginning of your sentence.
- Don’t struggle alone.
- Don’t hesitate.
- Don’t hide yourself away.
This gives your writing a different feeling. You can show empathy and identify your customer’s pain points while still telling them what to (or not to) do gently.
There’s a lot to remember when writing authentic but persuasive content.
Message me here to kick-start your businesses content journey.
(See what I did?) 😉