“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”
― David Ogilvy
I get this question a lot. What is a copywriter? It usually follows a casual introduction at a dinner party or event with friends and new, not-yet-acquaintances. No, I don’t deal with copyrights. Hire a lawyer for that maybe?
I write copy which, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is “matter to be printed,” “material for a newspaper or magazine article,” or “the text of an advertisement.” For our purposes though, I write online copy meant to position a brand and help entrepreneurs and business owners sell their products.
My job? To help you craft the best messaging to accurately communicate your product and company to the world, and at the same time, drive sales. Our goal? Find the perfect blend of strategy and creativity, art and science, to bridge the gap between you and your customers.
I consider my clients partners in the ecommerce game. I don’t simply work for you, but rather, we work together. It’s a collaborative effort to mine for the nugget of copy gold that accomplishes our goal.
That said, there is no such thing as a typical day in the life of a copywriter here. Projects vary wildly in subject and scope, and they range from Facebook ad copy and long-form branding language, to email campaigns and website optimization, to video scripts and writing blogs.
Thanks to my neuroses around grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and my years of experience across dozens of clients and platforms, I know that a sentence is more than just a sentence and that copywriting is more than writing.
As the late, great Eugene Schwartz puts it, “Copy is never written. Copy is assembled.” My job is to assemble it well, then test it, tweak it, and send it out all over again.
If you can’t hire a copywriter, here are some key features of copy that sells:
A clear, concise value proposition
This is foundational and oft-forgotten. Craft a concise sentence or two that explains your product’s unique value proposition and appeals to a wide range of potential customers. You only have a moment to communicate with prospective buyers and if they can’t grasp your brand quickly, you’ll lose them.
Speak their language.
As the old saying goes, “Know your audience.” Get curious about your customers. With all of the tools available to analyze your purchasers and learn about your prospective buyers, it’s imperative that you know who your consumers really are, not who you think they are. You must be able to speak to them in their language, and this takes time.
Focus on the one, not the many.
Once you’ve figured out how to speak your customer’s language, make sure your copy is focused on the single consumer, not the crowd. Every effective sales interaction should be focused on selling to the individual—connecting to a him or a her, rather than to a they. This ensures clarity, heightens genuine connection, and keeps you from diluting your message.
Keep things positive.
It’s easy to compare or skew negative in your writing, but as a general rule, keep things positive. Share what you DO do, not what others DON’T do. Sure, some brands have gotten away with this tactic; however, it’s harder to do effectively and it can mar the path to a good first impression with more potholes than necessary.
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