How to make your copy sound smart

how to make your copy sound smart

Want to wow your dream customers with your savvy smarts?

It’s all about your words, baby.

And, in particular, the words you use in your web copy, content marketing and social media.

Which, okay, you kinda already knew, right?

So. End of article. Nothing else to see here.

But wait – before you load up on long, polysyllabic words that make your audience reach for their online dictionaries, a word of warning:

Complex communication is the path to the dark side.

So, how can you use the force?

Whoops, I mean, how can you appear smart?

Before I serve up my psychological secret, I want to take a quick detour through the land of ‘Why’.

Why bother showcasing your intelligence?

Great question.

After all, if ‘smart’ isn’t one of your brand values, do you really need to worry about it?

Short answer: Yep.

You see, when people visit you, either on your website or on social media, you need to immediately show them that you know what you’re talking about.

Sure, nobody wants their business to appear thoughtless or, worse, a little daft.

But it’s about more than that.

Clever businesses:

  • Are recognised as powerhouse authorities in their industry and niche.
  • Can easily persuade potential customers of their value.
  • Are more memorable.
  • Can sell their stuff more effortlessly.


Nowww I’ve got you shining your spectacles, huh?


The psychological secret to seeming smart

Okay, so remember how I said that complex communication is the path to the dark side?

If you’ve been hanging out with my other blog posts, you may have even heard me say, “Complexity kills conversions”.

Here’s why.

When your writing is complex, your audience will automatically put you in the mental ‘too hard’ basket.

This is bad for two reasons:

  • They’ll perceive you to be less intelligent  (Oppenheimer, 2006).
  • Thanks to something called processing fluency, if your audience struggles to understand what you’ve written, their brains will churn up negative emotions which are then connected with – ruh roh – you, your content and your business.


Which means not only does complex communications make you seem LESS clever, but it actually makes your audience dislike you.

So, how can you seem smart?

Easy: Keep it simple.

Write simply. Use simple words.

Don’t blow their minds with your insane vocabulary or knowledge of industry terminology.

Instead, distil complex concepts into ideas your audience can easily understand.

‘Cos really clever people (like you!) don’t have to flaunt their smarts.

Go forth and woo them with your words, friends!

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