Newbie copywriters often struggle remembering that advertising and promotion is not about you, or even for the client for whom you are writing copy. It’s ALL about the prospect and customer, their wants, needs and desires. They are not going to buy from you because you need the business, or because you are the “best”, or for any reason other than their own selfish purposes.
So, therefore, focus on what’s in it for them.
Put yourself in the shoes of your target market. What are their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations?
What do they want to accomplish?
What hidden need will be addressed or fulfilled if they purchase your product or service?
Figure that out, and figure out how to communicate that to your prospect, and you will make sales.
WAYY back in the mid-1990â€™s, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was all about driving traffic to your site and NOT really about making sales/conversions. Duh! This kind of bad thinking led up to the dot-bomb. Hey, weâ€™re actually supposed to generate a profit!
SEO copywriting is a blend of writing for the search engines AND for your human prospects.
Hereâ€™s an analogy from the Yellow Pages.
There are techniques that you can use to increase the chances that a prospect sees your ad first when searching the Yellow Pages for the answer to their problem. Many companies have chosen a company name beginning with â€œAâ€ for this reason. Or you may have a catchy headline or graphics. Thatâ€™s the equivalent of SEO, getting eyeballs to view your copy.
Once you have â€œhookedâ€ your prospect though, your copy must do itâ€™s job of converting. It doesnâ€™t necessarily mean an immediate sale, though in some industries it will (think tooth pain). It may mean a phone call for more information. If you can get your prospect to take some definite step, thatâ€™s copywriting in action.
It seems obvious: you canâ€™t expect anyone else to promote your servicesâ€¦you must take the initiative yourself.
Here are tips to get you started:
Insert your website address at the bottom of every email you send, if appropriate.
Post regularly in relevant internet forums, and always put a link to your website in your signature.
Start your own blog, post often, and include a link in your blog back to your regular website.
Offer to do presentations to your local chamber of commerce (or other similar organization) on the topic of business writing or marketing. When talking with local business people, it may be better to talk about yourself as a â€œmarketerâ€ rather than a â€œcopywriterâ€. Or say what you do: â€œI help businesses maximize the effectiveness of their advertising investmentâ€.
When appropriate, hand out business cards with your website and/or phone number.
Set up a Google Adwords account and create pay-per-click (PPC) ads to drive traffic to your site. Make sure that you drive the traffic to a page that makes it easy for the prospect to contact you.
Find another professional copywriter or a person in a similar market who is good at self-promotion, and adapt and revise what they do to your individual situation.
Depending on who you talk to, over the past four years, HTML has surpassed text for the preferred email format. There many contributing factors. Marketers often prefer it because it allows for the use of color, hyperlinks look less obtrusive, and the end product is often much better looking. On the consumer side, many more homes have broadband internet connections available, rendering HTML email more attractive than with dial-up connection speeds.
If you write copy, either for yourself or for clients, education is a continual process.
You will always be looking for something new, to help you improve your skills.
Most copywriters are continually on the lookout for books and materials to improve their proficiency.
One book that is universally regarded as a â€œmust readâ€ by expert copywriters is:
Breakthrough Advertising, by Eugene Schwartz.
Itâ€™s available here:
Another book mentioned by most copywriters is:
Scientific Advertising, by Claude Hopkins.
His book can be downloaded for free from many different websites. If you buy a print version, as I did, you will most often find an edition that includes another of his books, My Life in Advertising.
One story that Jay Abraham tells about Hopkins is this:
In the 1920â€™s, Hopkins accepted Schlitz Beer as a client. Schlitz wanted to increase their market share. Hopkins was given a tour of the facility and the multitude of processes the company performed to ensure consistency of taste and cleanliness.
He was floored. He asked the company why they didnâ€™t tell the public about all of the steps taken to ensure quality and purity in their beer. Their reply: â€œOur processes are similar to every other beer maker.â€ They felt that they were not unique.
Hopkins let them know that the market would give them â€œcreditâ€ if Schlitz told the story first.
They (Schlitz) did, and they (the market) did.
Just one example of Hopkinâ€™s genius perspective, and there are many.
David Ogilvy, who was one of the most successful and celebrated copywriters of the previous century, is widely quoted as saying that no one should have anything at all to do with writing advertising unless and until they read Scientific Advertising at least seven times.