Class Preview: Product Descriptions for Makers & Merchants

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The Story, Not Just the Specifications

If you’re a maker and/or a merchant, chances are that you’re prepping your online space for the holiday season. In the midst of sprucing up your content, I’d love for you to join me at my November 11th workshop about the craft of product description writing — and, while you’re waiting, to consider the art of selling your wares in the context of real estate.

Imagine that you’re shopping for a home. As a potential buyer, you probably have a strong sense of what your ideal property entails: hardwood floors, square footage, number of rooms, and so forth. While searching through Redfin, you might be drawn to descriptions that lay out the facts and figures, including the year the house was built, its size, whether or not the master bedroom has a bathroom attached, and perhaps even the school district in which the place resides.

And yet there’s a good chance that you’ve also built up a story, as a customer, about what you want out of a home. Perhaps you’ve been fantasizing for years about the good times that will happen around the farm table — your first big furniture purchase — with actual candlelight, linen placemats, and colorful cast iron pots full of home-cooked warmth for you and those you cherish.

Now imagine that the description tells you more than just facts and figures. Written by a realtor whose purpose is to help families find their “forever home,” she’s already anticipated the kinds of details that tell a story about the homeyness of this particular property. Imagine that you learn, through her carefully penned description, that the family who lived there prior stayed for three generations, and are only now leaving due to a can’t-miss job opportunity abroad. Imagine that you not only know how many windows are in the living room, but that you also learn how those bay windows face such that every morning, your future home has a perfect view of the sun coming up right over Sutro Tower.

Holding the purpose for why you do what you do, combined with an understanding of what Tara Gentile (http://www.taragentile.com/) calls your Most Valued Customer, will help to shape product descriptions that tell a tale, and not just the specifications, of your goods. Come learn how to guide your story through a variety of types of product descriptions, from minimalist to detailed, J. Peterman-esque yarns, at Product Descriptions for Makers & Merchants.

Bio: Esmé Weijun Wang is a writer and brand story specialist. She spent three years penning and punning for ModCloth.com, and has appeared in places such as Salon, Jezebel, and Clementine Daily. Find her at http://www.esmewang.com/, where you can learn more about her copywriting  services for purpose-driven entrepreneurs.

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