I’ve only been a professional copywriter for less than the average lifespan of a fly, but I’ve picked up some copywriting techniques that I wish someone had told me when I first stepped foot in the office.
FAMILIARITY BREEDS AUDIENCE
You have a customer that sells make-up. You don’t really bother reading past that because they seem boring, so you construct some copy starting with the sentence “Make-up. Ermagaaaahd. This colour is fabulous on my human skin!”. Now what you didn’t realise is that the make-up is intended for dogs with blemishes, merely bought by humans.
“Make-up. Ermagaaaaahd. This colour is fabulous on my dog’s skin” is a good way to start implementing the target audience. However, most companies don’t like you using such colloquialisms. Limiting this to a simple “My dog looks ten years younger!” is probably a better way to phrase it.
Getting yourself acclimatised to your customer product and their tone of voice is a key ingredient in making your writing process easy. It’s probably THE essential of the copywriting techniques. Ask ‘em all the questions, bombard them with emails. Do whatever it takes to turn a section of your brain into a content generating monster and eventually, things will get easier.
Original thoughts are cool. In fact, they’re ice-cold. But to make sure your ice-cold blog post doesn’t make the reader paddle through your stream of consciousness, frame everything in the way you’d explain a product to someone who doesn’t know a thing about it.
A heading that looks like this: “Introducing the re-chargeable ‘Blackhole in your Pocket’! Your go-to for getting the car of your dreams in your pocket today!” is not that great. What does Blackhole in your Pocket do? How does it help me get a 2007 Honda S2000?
To avoid having people question your product with bad Google searches, perhaps reframe it like this: “Wanna suck cars into a different dimension to be yours forever? Introducing ‘Blackhole in your Pocket!’, the re-chargeable Blackhole that puts all the things you want into one safe, convenient place- in your pocket!”.
See, the copy just sucked you in. Much like the product.
GET ANOTHER OPINION OR TWO ON EVERYTHING YOU WRITE
Build a rapport with some like-minded individual at work. And then one with a not-so-like-minded individual. Ask them both to review your work. Take their opinions and split the difference. They may both have valid points and spot things you didn’t because you were too excited to show them that you did a thing. If you’re feeling shy or frustrated that they didn’t like your work, take a breath, or walk outside for a little, or boil the kettle and make some tea to comfort your soul. Whatever it may be, just know that you can’t be right all the time, and that’s okay.
No point in listening to your co-workers if you don’t re-write, now is there? Through re-writing, I have found a sort of meditative state. I am fully attentive to the present moment, taking my past-self and navigating through my mistakes. Every sentence changed is a new brick on the path moving forward. Sometimes the thought if it is so challenging, it drains all my energy and I feel like crying. But I do it anyway. At the end of the day, you owe it to yourself to get better- and challenging yourself is the only way.
Implementing these four copywriting techniques on the daily, despite how I’m feeling, really helps me flow better. It also makes me look super-professional, and that’s a good look.
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