Marie Forleo Agrees, Clear is Better Than Clever

By Jane Atkinson
Don’t you love it when someone you admire reinforces one of your ideas?

For years, I’ve been talking to my clients about how to make their websites clearer. I’ve also been saying that “clear is more important than clever” when it comes to the copywriting, the promise statement and your tab names.

Well, I just watched a webinar by Marie Forleo, who I think has some terrific ideas for business owners and she reinforced this idea. Thank you Marie!

So, where should we apply this?
1. Home page:

In your website (and especially home page) copy, it’s important to make sure that people can really understand what it is that you do and what is the problem that you solve (remember to make it about them). Once you have the clarity, then you can keep your eyes open for some language that feels a bit catchier.

So often your marketing gets delayed because you don’t have that “catchy” lingo that you’re looking for. Don’t let that slow you down, move forward with clarity and worry about being clever later on.

Speaker website

2. Promise statement:

The promise statement is a five to seven word line, like a tag line, that speaks to the outcomes of your work. A regular promise might be something like “Turning Managers into Leaders”. Now, this isn’t super creative but you understand it, right? I believe that’s most important. It’s great when we can come up with something memorable like Amy Porterfield’s Marketing Made Easy Podcast – her promise is “Business advice so easy, you’ll think you’re cheating”. So good! So clever.

Trying to come up with something like this may take a while, so just use language that provides clarity in the meantime.

3. Navigation tabs:

Marie also talked about when your website places too much “clever” on the names of the tabs. Sometimes when someone wants to speak to you, all they are looking for is the “Contact Us” button. Just call it “Contact Us”!

Short side rant here: It’s my pet peeve A) not to be able to find contact information or B) have to fill out a long form to be able to communicate with someone. Make it easy for your buyer to connect with you. Put your phone and your email address at the top of your Contact Us page so that someone can navigate around your form if they choose to. When a speaker’s bureau agent, or client is trying to connect with you, they are doing it under a deadline. If they can’t find what they are looking for, they may very well move on to the next speaker on their list.

4. CTA (call to action):

On your call to action button, be clear on what you want people to do. If I see “Book George” front and centre on George’s website and I’m only one paragraph into his site, I may not be ready to book yet. A “connect with us” button might be appropriate. Either way, we want to make it clear to the visitor what the next step is.

The bottom line is don’t sacrifice clear in order to be clever. If you can have both, then BRILLIANT! My hat goes off to you!