Have you ever posted in a group asking folks to give you feedback on something you drafted?
Chances are, the responses you got were hit-or-miss. They were vague, random, irrelevant—or worst—downright wrong.
Part of it could be because they weren’t your target audience. Especially if you’re in a very specific and highly specialized niche, the ordinary person won’t “get,” much less like, what you wrote.
It’s also very likely that the people who took the time to respond were not professional copywriters or editors. They meant well, but they simply did not know how to give useful comments.
And beware of feedback from so-called writing pros. Unless you've vetted them, it's a good idea to take their advice with a grain of salt. There's plenty of bad advice floating around from people claiming to be copywriters.
So how do you get useful feedback?
You’ll get more helpful responses if you ask very specific questions, based on the nature of the piece you wrote and what you want your readers to do.
For example, if you’re getting opinions on email subject lines, don’t ask, “Which one do you like best?”
“Which subject line makes you want to read the email?”
If you’re choosing between two blog post titles, ask,
“Which title would you click on to read?”
“Which title would you share on your feed?”
If you’re getting opinions on a social media post, you could ask,
“Would you read past the first paragraph?”
And about a longer piece like a sales page, you could ask,
“Is my offer clear? Or is there anything you find confusing?”
We all know getting feedback on your work is essential to getting better. That’s why you exercise more effectively and get better results when you work out with a personal trainer than by yourself, following along a video.
All the more so when it comes to writing your own sales and marketing materials.
Blame it on The Curse of Knowledge
Because you’re an expert at what you do, it’s hard to remember what it’s like not to know what you now know in your area of expertise.
This is called “The Curse of Knowledge,” and it causes you to have blind spots when you’re writing.
You assume your readers understand the concepts you cover.
And you assume they know how those concepts relate to each other.
It’s all very clear and obvious to you, and you can’t understand how others don’t see it!
And so, you don’t explain. You don’t connect the dots for your reader. And then when they don’t respond to your writing the way you expected them to, you have no idea why.
But when you get feedback—meaningful feedback, not random advice—those blind spots are revealed to you. You find out where you need to explain things, give examples, or use tools like metaphors. You’ll also know when you need to connect the dots for your readers so they have those amazing a-ha moments.
Get useful, meaningful feedback on all your drafts for 30 days
Helping people get meaningful feedback on their drafts is a huge part of what I do with clients in my 30-Day Intensive Copy Lab.
They get it in two ways: First, I teach them how to get meaningful feedback from other folks—whether it’s from their spouses, ideal clients, or peers in Facebook groups. They learn exactly what to ask so they get useful responses, not random advice.
Second, they get feedback from me on every single draft they submit. As a professional copywriter, I give feedback that’s much deeper and more structured than what a layperson would give. I look at everything from the organization of ideas, to word choices and voice. I also look at how they can add persuasive elements and still sound like themselves.
Send me a DM on Facebook if you’re interested in the program, and we’ll chat to see if it's a good fit for both of us.