5 questions to ask your biz bestie so you get specific feedback (okay, there's totally more than 5 in here)

5 questions to ask your biz bestie so you get specific feedback on your writing and copy

There is nothing worse than expecting feedback and getting nothing in return. 

Okay, okay, there are A LOT worse things.

But it’s hard to ask for help. And, when you’re opening yourself up to criticism (hopefully constructive) and bracing yourself for some comments that hit you right in the ego only to be disappointed when all you get in return is a quick, “That’ll do, pig, that’ll do” it’s practically gut-wrenching.

It’s a waste of your time.

And – to be quite honest – it’s a waste of your business bestie’s time, too. When she doesn’t know what she’s looking for, she can’t provide the targeted feedback you’re after. 

Even if you desperately try to telepathically communicate that you really really need her to look at that line in paragraph six. 

So next time you’re looking for feedback, here’s what you should say instead of, “Can you take a look at this for me?”

Is the _____ compelling?

Your copy absolutely needs to be compelling, emotional, persuasive, and attention-grabbing so what better question to ask?

That’s a rhetorical question. 

Sometimes when we write, things make sense to us. It feels powerful. It feels engaging. It feels spot freakin’ on.

But when someone else reads it?

It falls flat. It sounds matter of fact. And it’s not compelling in the slightest.

By asking if a piece of your copy is compelling, you’re asking your biz bestie if it’s emotional enough, if it grabs her attention, if it makes her want to keep reading. If it’s a resounding YES! Not a hmm, maybe. If it makes her nod along in agreement. If it makes her want to take some action. (It’s time to take some action, boys…nothing like a little Disney song to get your ass in gear, eh?)

But also…if it feels valuable. If the way you’re describing something compels her to click that button or take whatever action it is you’re asking her to take, whether it’s buy, read, click, comment, whatevs.

Even if she isn’t your ideal client, she’ll be able to get a good sense of whether your copy’s packing a punch.

Is the _____ ridiculously clear?

Clear is one of the 4Cs of my Smooth(ie) Sales Pages framework, and I harp on it A LOT. Like, a lot a lot.

Because your copy needs to be super simple to understand. It doesn’t always have to be clever, and, honestly, sometimes that’s a bit of a detriment.

(I know, my heart just broke on that, too.)

Straightforward outranks clever every single time, especially when you’re trying to make a sale.

When we’ve got ideas – whether they’re clever or not – they don’t always translate to the page. In our minds, what is super clear (like clearer than a cloudless sky in the middle of the Arctic Ocean where there’s no light pollution save the polar bears and penguins lighting flares and using icicle reflections to signal for help…) is confusing to our readers, It doesn’t quite make sense. It’s maybe missing something.

So have your friend go through the steps as if she’s going to purchase your offer. (Hell, give her a coupon code and have her test the whole checkout process out while you’re at it.) Ask her if it’s clear what she needs to do and if the steps make sense.

Ask her if your copy’s missing a detail or something really important. Like a step or a component.

Because sometimes someone else is the best person to help us see if something is missing or lacking.

Is the _____ strong enough?

You’re probably wondering what the difference between compelling and strong is.

And that, my friend, is a most excellent question.

When I’m talking about compelling, I’m talking about emotion. I’m talking about feelings. About something that grabs your attention by the collar and shakes the living shit outta it.

But strong?

This is not a test of physical strength or of being forceful, or exerting some kind of omnipotence.

It’s a show of determination, of spirit, of earnestness, of intensity, of decisiveness.

Is your copy coming off confident? Assertive? Passionate?

That is strong copy. 

Ask your business bestie if your copy is strong enough, and you’re asking her to tell you not just whether or not it’s “good,” but also whether it showcases your passion and your knowledge.

Whether it’s standing up and yelling, “THIS. THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TO OFFER. AND IT’S UNDERSTATEDLY AWESOME.” Or whether it’s blending into the floral wallpaper, whispering, “Hey, hi, there’s this thing I, uh, kinda sorta do. You’re probably not interested so, oh, look! Over there!”

You don’t want to misdirect folks and then run away when they’re not looking. 

So find out if your copy is loud and authoritative and STRONG. 

Do you understand what I’m talking about in the _____ and why it’s so important/valuable/necessary?

Something can be clear but also not understood. 

Like, we all know we need to eat more fruits and vegetables but we don’t always understand why sometimes those nutritious foods are the last things we want. How to get our families on board with healthy eating. Or how to pronounce açaí. Or quinoa. 

When your copy is easy to understand, you’re using words that your client uses (i.e., no jargon). You’re structuring the page and the package in a make-sense way that helps it flow.

And you’re highlighting the benefits, all the glorious benefits of your offer.

When your copy isn’t easy to understand?

There are more questions than answers. There are hesitations. There are missed opportunities.

The easier to understand your copy is and how well it communicates the importance, the value, and the necessity of whatever it is you’re writing about, the easier it is for people to trust you, to believe you know what you’re talking about, and to think you can help them.

What do you think about _____?

Pretty much every coach and therapist knows that open-ended questions will get clients to open up and start talking more than straight up yes or no questions. It’s like Coaching 101.

And the same goes when you’re asking for feedback.

Instead of asking very pointed questions, give your friend a little bit of leeway, some room for critical or creative thinking.

Point out what you’re struggling with and ask specific questions about that thing.

What do you think about my headline? About my call to action? About my package components?

Note the places in your copy that don’t feel right. Maybe you feel like the vibe just isn’t…vibin’. Maybe you feel like the information could be presented better, but you’re just not sure how. Ask your friend what she thinks about that piece in particular.

Or tell her you could really use some help adding in more detail. Ask her what other information could make this part more compelling, stronger, or easier to understand.

If you learn nothing else from this post, please remember this: Never ever just ask for general feedback. Because you’ll get general feedback.

Always ask for thoughts on certain things – not the overall piece. That way, you’ll get more focused feedback on a particular thing. And hopefully, if you ask the right questions, the thing you’re really having a hard time with. 

So, go ahead. Whip out something you’ve been working on. A blog post, a sales page, a landing page, even an email. Shoot it off to your biz bestie and start asking some questions to get targeted feedback.

Don’t have a biz bestie? Not ready to share your work with your friends just yet? Been let down one too many times before? It happens. And this is exactly why I created Sales Page Second Look. Because my fellow business owners were getting shoddy feedback. They knew their copy wasn’t quite up to snuff, but they didn’t know what to do to step it up. Or who they could trust. If you need a trusted confidante, I’ve got your back. Send me that copy and let’s make your sales page stronger!