Marketers of Web Copy can learn some lessons from Mr. Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes has become known as the greatest detective in all of literature.

His stories have been remade into countless movies, TV series, and even video games.

Why is he considered the best of all?

In the original stories he didn’t receive any special degrees, and he wasn’t trained by Scotland Yard (he was known to criticize their traditional methods).

His talent lied in his deduction abilities.

Deduction is the method of studying human nature and his surroundings to draw logical conclusions from what he observed.

Because he could assert himself into people’s minds, he could discern what motives they had, and often what their next actions would be.

The same model of deduction can be applied to writing modern web copy.

1) Get into your customers minds

Sherlock would often study people’s body language and mannerisms, and ask leading questions to get answers. His original question was test to see how they would react, answering what he’d truly want to know.

To find some hidden photos in A Scandal in Bohemia he started a fire to see where the suspect’s eyes instinctively went, knowing they’d betray the location.

Much like Sherlock used basic deduction to get answers, your small business or IT firm needs to address what your client is looking for when they come to your website. This involves getting into their head.

Know the what and why behind what they are searching for, whether it be information, entertainment, or education.

In order to not fail at your web marketing and copy-creation efforts, it’s vital for your company to know what your customers are looking for, and have web copy on a website that provides it.

2) Deduce their needs

What is your client’s biggest conflict that drove them to buy from you in the first place?

Like Sherlock you need to know what pain points are motivating your clients to search you out. Do your research; don’t just assume you know what your customer is really struggling with.

Sherlock would rarely take what his clients would tell him at face value, knowing they would unknowingly or purposely withhold information. Sherlock would often use their concealment to highlight what was in it for them, if they confided in him.

Answer your prospect’s questions through your web content, and deduce what’s in it for them.

3) How Sherlock got clients

People would often come to Sherlock already knowing who he was, either because they were recommended by a friend, through Scotland Yard, or they had read about him in the paper.

When you offer your customers a solution, you should use testimonials and customer case studies to prove you have the ability to solve their problem.

Back up every claim you make with data, and results. This type of web copy or web content builds trust, and building trust like Sherlock Holmes is hard to do.

When it happens however, something magical is generated: a sale and ultimately a client for life.

4) Instruct them what steps to take

Sherlock would often console what his clients would do, advising them in detail how they should act.

Katie Daggett, author of the blog KD Copy & Content Writing , stresses this:

“Make your copy simple, and have a call to action that’s clear, direct, and easy to find throughout your website. Tell your IT prospects to “Call Now”, “Request your free e-book”, or “Order Now. Then include a link to the appropriate web page to take the next step.”

That’s good advice.

Like Sherlock, good web content should direct customers to whatever step they need to take next. Don’t leave them hanging.

Elementary dear Watson

Writing web copy that’s compelling and persuasive means adapting the methods of deduction.

It all comes down to studying your customers and building a foundation of trust.

Give them solutions, and prove you can solve their mysteries, like the great Mr. Holmes.

Not sure where to start?

That’s okay if you’re not sure where to start. You are not alone.

More importantly, if you want to see how your peers have solved their marketing and website problems, take a look at our portfolio , and see what others have said about the result.

And if your IT firm wants to learn more about what steps to take with your own marketing initiatives, or would like a free consultation, contact us here .