Marketing

Why you need this headline

Author
Jessica Swesey
No.
1105

It’s pretty simple:

Every website, every page, every ad, every email, every marketing piece, every sales presentation needs a compelling headline.

What is the job of that headline?

One thing:

Get me to read more of your copy, move further into your website, stick around for your entire presentation, etc.

And yet…

Recently, I was doing some competitive research for a broker client of ours and found a handful of websites in their market that had NO HEADLINE. And, given that they were in the same market with the same scenery and the same homes… without that headline, they were virtually indistinguishable from one another.

And even when I look out into other markets, it feels like the landscape of brokerage sites has evolved from the busy, flashy, crowded signs on the Vegas strip to an extreme Marie Kondo’d minimalist foyer.

What a wasted opportunity.

There seems to be a universal agreement in real estate that all websites need listings with photos. Yet words — a core component of the very medium the site sits upon, the Internet — are overlooked or not given nearly the thought and care they deserve.

The words, man. They matter.

On the web, it’s the difference between clicking to another page or bouncing. Between getting what you do and wanting to know more or being confused. Between feeling greeted at your door or rudely ignored. Between Master Google knowing what the heck you do for sure or filling in the blanks, likely not the way you’d like.

And in everything else, the right words will attract the right people to you and repel the wrong ones. They will create sign-ups and start people down a path to working with you or buying your product. They should not be an afterthought.

So, how do you decide what to say? Start with a few questions:

What is your company’s unique value?

What can you say that no one else can say?

What is the story your brand is telling?

Can you make this more about your customer/site visitor and the unique value you offer them?

Do you have any idea how your brand speaks and acts? The types of words it would use vs. ones to avoid?

The right words require talking to your target prospects and customers. It can be truly powerful to feed them their own words and join them in the conversations they’re already having in their own heads.

The right words require a deep understanding of your difference, your special sauce or your flavor of weird that people love. They act as a bat signal, attracting your tribe to you while sending mismatches elsewhere.

The right words have to be on your pages, welcoming visitors, giving them direction. They have to be clear without boring the pants off them.

Curiosity. Uniqueness. Clarity.

So, if you’re a brokerage, don’t just say “Find your next home”. That’s already taken by 85% of brokerages out there. And it doesn’t tell me anything about you that would distinguish you from the brokerage across the street. It doesn’t say anything about me, either.

The brokerage value prop has to move beyond “we’ll help you find a home” because many consumers don’t see the value in that when they’re already doing that on their own elsewhere. Your headlines are a prime channel for articulating something fresher and deeper.

And, if you’re a vendor, don’t just say “Grow your business”. That’s also already been said a million times in this industry.

Instead, study your customer. It can’t be every agent. It can’t be every business in real estate. It’s a special profile that you attract. It’s a certain version of themselves they see through your product.

Get inside

If you’re a company that has no headline on your homepage — or you look around during the next industry expo and notice you sound a lot like a dozen other companies on the showroom floor, make this a priority to fix.

If you’re a broker and you notice many of your competitors don’t have a headline or they all basically read the same, take that as an invitation to lead the charge.

Otherwise, you’re missing a fairly easy opportunity to market a thousand times better. And you’re handing the pen over to people to write the story themselves.

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Hire 1000watt to build your story.