Correctly executed, the written word can be a powerful means of establishing your business in the hearts and minds of your potential customers. Many of us are inhibited, however, by popularly held—yet largely mistaken—ideas of what good business-to-business copywriting should be.

Here are five of the most common and destructive myths that may be undermining the impact of your copy:

1. "Don't be negative"

Of course you want to cast your business, and therefore your brand, in a positive light. You would never say something destructive about your company or your customers. But we're marketers, not cheerleaders—when we avoid saying anything negative, regardless of context, for fear of tainting our message, we're cutting our firepower in half.

Fear is every bit as powerful a motivator as desire, and when the situation is appropriate it makes perfectly good sense to communicate the negative consequences of not taking action or not buying your product.

Rising costs, safety hazards, failing health, lost opportunities—any of these "negative" issues and many others may be exactly what you need to articulate in order to make the best case for your business. Just be certain that you don't leave your prospect dangling in fear; position your offer as the release from the tension, the solution to the problem.

2. "Appeal to the intellect, not the emotions"

Some people say that consumer copy speaks to the emotions, business copy to the intellect. Let these people believe what they like, but don't let them write your copy. Truth is, consumers and business folk are the same people, just in different roles—we don't leave our feelings at home when we punch in at work.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Jonathan Kranz

Jonathan Kranz is the author of Writing Copy for Dummies and a copywriting veteran now in his 21st year of independent practice. A popular and provocative speaker, Jonathan offers in-house marketing writing training sessions to help organizations create more content, more effectively.

LinkedIn: Jonathan Kranz

Twitter: @jonkranz