Copywriting Before and After

Copywriting is both extremely public and quite personal.

Your website supports private goals about your business, who YOU want to serve, and what you want to do for them.  Yet it’s also your public face to the world.

Copywriting sessions with me begin with a probing discussion of what you want, and then of what your client wants.  We make sure your site serves both!

Before-and-after screenshots don’t capture the deep work that’s done – but they do show the results.

Here’s a taste of how a site might change.

(Used with permission.  Use your browser zoom tool to take a closer look.)


Example #1: 

A family photographer serving two distinct groups of clients.

1. Main Info Page, BEFORE:
She already had some good things going for her.
However, there were some obstacles:
  • This photographer has two groups of clients – vacationers, and people who live locally.  This page didn’t address their separate needs, and spoke mostly to vacationers.  The imbalance was reflected in her inquiries, which was a constant source of frustration.
  • The page didn’t show off her strengths – she knows every inch of the islands and can match every family to a specific activity that they would LOVE.  She knows all the secret places tourists can’t find.  If a family has toddlers, she knows the right beach for them with no scary waves.  If they are sick of beach time, she knows all the good macadamia farms.  This didn’t express how good of a resource she is!
  • Her vacation clients’ biggest concern is that photos would be a stressful, high-obligation thing that would take away from the “fun” of vacation.  This page didn’t show how a photo session really is just one more adventure tailored to them, not a tack-on to the “fun time.”
  • The page was a large wall of text, which always encourages people to skim.
Main Information Page, AFTER:

To address her client’s biggest concern, we re-framed her photo sessions as “Morning Adventures” – which is more accurate.  We gave enticing examples of what this could be, but focused on her ability to find exactly what they need (she is “a photographer with a teensy bit of travel agent thrown in.”)

To entice her two separate groups of clients, we did side-by-side paragraphs that spoke to them individually.  Each paragraph describes their experience, what they’re currently thinking, eases their worries, and highlights aspects of her services best built for them.

We chose concern-calming testimonials to include, shoring up her points about the session being organic, fun, and not an interruption of a trip.

We clarified her offerings (that had been stressing her out) by doing another side-by side paragraph explaining her options of film and photography.  Her site before didn’t have any film options, and she didn’t know how to present this package option without complicating everything.  We came up with a simple structure for how to offer it and presented it clearly, with a call-to-action button.

Lastly, we planted seeds for product sales with a brief slideshow at the end, showing off her albums in people’s hands.

Whereas before her info page was an overwhelming wall of text that didn’t do her skills or services justice, this new page entices clients with a unique offer, addresses different clients and packages beautifully and cleanly.

2.  FAQs, Before:
Her FAQ had some good answers, but it also had some dry/distracting/outdated questions.  It also didn’t address the most pressing inner questions people have about hiring a photographer – especially on vacation.
Inline image 10
FAQs, After:
Her new page re-phrased questions in language her clients actually use.  We also added the two biggest things they worry about, but might be too afraid to ask a photographer (“What happens if we book a date and the weather isn’t ideal?” and “There’s a lot we want to do on this trip – I’m not sure we’ll have time for photos?”).
Other parts of her site addressed some of the original FAQs better, so we kept this page focused on real talk and just a few details they might have missed.  Now it serves as info, and also a great persuasion tool that is in touch with how her people think:
3. Part of Home Page, Before:
When you landed on her home page before, you saw her logo and some icons – no text.  You needed to hover over the icons to see that they were navigation options.
Right underneath the icons she had social media links, which were more immediately clear, but that would send people away from the site as soon as they got there.

Part of Home Page, After:

The cute icons now have labels, so navigation is simple.

A short tagline now tells clients what she does and whether they’re in the right place (“Photos and Films for Families Who Love To Play”).

A brief blurb speaks in language her clients actually use, already addressing some concerns they have (“this will be boring / I don’t have time for this on vacation / but I hate it when I have no good family pics from an expensive trip”).

Her new design is scroll-friendly.  So below the blurb, there’s a testimonial that subtly addresses her clients’ biggest concern (that photos are a ‘separate activity’ they won’t have time for, rather than an organic experience that is fun in and of itself).  A quick video shows her family films and the vibe of a session.

What this photographer had to say 8 months after working with me:

“I have more qualified inquiries and more of those inquiries book. And more importantly, I’m attracting playful families who want to jump in the water. Originally, I thought I would have to expand on what I was doing to attract the right client, but you helped me realize I was already providing a service that I wasn’t fully explaining in my copy. I feel very fortunate.”

Want to book your copywriting session?


Need another example?  No problem!


Example #2:

A husband and wife team, photographing both weddings and family portraits.

1.  Splash Page, Before:

They had a certain website structure they needed to keep.  The original splash page showed beautiful wedding/couple images, but family portrait clients would not immediately see what they offered them.

The three choices given were also only 3 of 6 eventual navigation options, and the options weren’t overly strategic about where to send people first. 

Splash Page, After:

Their original site was mostly focused on weddings (and that imbalance was also reflected in their eventual inquiries).

Now when clients come, they pick which “door” they want to enter, and then only see what information is relevant to them.  There is no crossover in what they’re currently searching for, so they never see distracting info.

2. Welcome Gallery Before:
Upon entering the site, clients saw a welcome gallery.  (And no question, their images are gorgeous.)
However, what really sets this photography team apart is their personal ability to make people laugh, have an incredible time, and set a certain kind of client completely at ease.  They wanted to target couples who valued beauty, but who also wanted to relax and relish the day.
The welcome page didn’t speak directly to that client or highlight their interpersonal skill, which is a major reason past clients love them!

Welcome Gallery, After:

We combed through their testimonials and overlaid a few one-liners that showed off client enthusiasm for what they received, but also had a great sense of humor and delight.  This shows what both the photographers and the clients value – and speaks immediately to the right kind of person.

3. Client Testimonials, Before:
This photography team has piles of great testimonials.  Their original ‘raves’ page was text only though, which encourages skimming rather than connection.
Client Testimonials, After:
Simple fix – we switched to a gallery that paired testimonials with images, so they were more fun to consume.  We also chose the testimonials carefully, picking the ones that addressed client concerns and showed off the personality connections that really set them apart.
(Pairing photos with testimonials is a common technique, but sometimes you “know” something works but need a nudge to implement it.  And it doesn’t hurt to have help with the leg work of picking the words out that are actually persuasive.)
4.  About Page, Before:
Their original About page let you get to know them, but it was also a wall of text that hurried clients might not read through.  It also wasn’t overly strategic about what clients needed to know first.
Their image was a fun composite they had done for a personal Christmas card once, but it also seemed to show a different style than the rest of the site which could be confusing, and you couldn’t see their lovely faces.

About Page, After:

We kept an aspect of the fun interview-style they had before, by creating “profiles” of each of them.  We highlighted their different strengths and how that benefits a client on the wedding day.
We also addressed why having two lead photographers was a strength.  This gave people a chance to see what they’d get out of hiring them, specifically – the way they know each other, can read each other’s minds, the number of shots, and how seamlessly they can cover many moments at once was a huge benefit that their old site didn’t get into.
And we put some calls to action at the end.
We also included a secondary page that showed some more fun composites and personal images, and told their ‘how we met’ story.  This prioritized the info people needed to know immediately, but kept the personal elements and stories that clients can relate to.

About Page, After, continued:

Remember how we split their site into two sub-sites?

This gave us a chance to write a separate About page for the portrait side that focused on who they are as parents and kid-whisperers, and gave connection points more relevant to that audience.

5. Google Search Result Text, Before:
My copywriting services do not focus on SEO.  However, some website templates include a space for you to customize the snippet of your search results.  If you don’t fill this in, the default isn’t particularly interesting:
Google Search Result Text, After:
If your template includes this, we can easily craft a more enticing line for people to see when they search:
Contact page, before:

Their old page had some funny notes that showed off their personality.  But it was text only – no form.  Making it harder for people to reach them!

Contact Page, After:
We added an actual form, because making things easier = more inquiries = more chances to convert people to clients.
(Having a contact form isn’t unique, but I include this because nearly every website I work on is missing one simple thing or something that makes it harder for clients to reach you.  It’s always a quick fix that bumps inquiries.  Yours might be different, but I bet there is something.  You might even know what it is already.)

When I asked this client if I could use their site for this example, they replied with an enthusiastic yes, because “We would love for more people to benefit from your services.”

What do you think your website could look like before and after?

Have questions or want to book your copywriting session?


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