07/27/2016 10:51 EDT | Updated 07/27/2016 10:59 EDT

How To Write Sales Copy Without Feeling Like A Sleazebag

Ron Chapple Stock via Getty Images
William Shakespeare in period clothing sitting in school desk with laptop and shrugging at viewer.

We're Canadian, and we don't like to brag. But you have an amazing product, service or offer, and you want to tell everyone about it. Quite the conundrum, isn't it?

I get it. As a British-born Canadian, I have an intercontinental double-whammy of humble pie. One advantage I have in this realm -- I'm a writer with a Public Relations background. Thankfully, these two opposing sides balance one another out and I'm confident expressing my skills and promoting my services through the written word, and I do so without feeling like a sleazebag.

For example, I sent an email to my list a while back relating to an increase in my rates for my services. I received a response from a trusted peer commending me on a strong sales pitch. I appreciated the compliment immensely, but I was also taken aback as I didn't consider it to be hugely sales-y.

Similarly, I've had Facebook posts blow up and generate hundreds of likes and comments. Again this surprised me as I was simply being myself and didn't class the pieces as overly promotional.

So with all of this in mind, here's how I craft my copy, bring in revenue and still sleep well at night.

Be honest

This sounds obvious, and it's sad that I have to mention this. After all, we should be honest in everything we do. But what I've found is that we all have different values. And if someone values success and significance above honesty and integrity, and not having those things brings them enormous pain, then they will deem it acceptable to stretch the truth in their promotional posts.

Stepping down off my moral soap box for a moment, let's consider this perspective -- your audience are smarter than you give them credit for. Don't bullshit them. Don't exaggerate. Don't stretch the truth. You can sugar-coat it and call it what you want, but a lie is a lie. Giving them the sales spin and laying it on thick isn't going to serve anyone -- nobody likes to be sold to. Share WHY your product or service is good and don't over egg the pudding. No need. Use my mantra if it helps -- share, don't sell.

Keep it short and sweet

There are very few things that irk me more in the online space than overly lengthy promotional posts. Ain't nobody got time for that. And sure, there are rare occasions where someone writes strongly with such wisdom that their words hold my attention and I read until the very end, but that's the exception rather than the rule. So what is the rule? It's this.

Get to the heart of the matter -- what will someone gain from it? What does the program entail? What is your 'WHY,' your reason for doing this? Explain it to them. Don't write war and peace. Now obviously if you're writing a sales page, you're going to have different sections that separate the text, so this rule applies primarily to social media posts and emails to your list.

Highlight the important points

In addition to keeping promotional copy short, ensure the important points pop out of your copy. There are various tactical ways to do this, which for brevity I won't go into here, but you need to bring attention to the critical elements. Highlight the 5 W's, which include the when, where, who, what and why. Make sure your prospective clients know the cost, where the service is taking place -- or if it's online, tell them HOW it's being hosted and where - the start dates, times and so on. And tell them what to do - tell them how to sign up and make it easy for them to join your program or buy your product.

Follow these simple steps, and you'll sell your services without feeling like a sleazo.

Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook