As a copywriter, I have to be able to learn your industry quickly, get inside your customers’ heads, and push the right buttons. This goes beyond writing.
I start by learning everything I can about your industry, including the buzzwords. Sometimes this is easy. Often, it is not. I have written about telecomm, hormones, bioscience, cloud hosting, and gamification. I have also written about food and beautiful Caribbean islands.
I assess your strengths, limitations, and untapped opportunities in the marketplace. I unearth what your want to achieve with the project and what success will look like. I also review any parameters I must adhere to, such as legal or technical requirements.
Who is your closest competition? What can we learn from them? What can we do better than them? Are there any issues we should sidestep because we can't go head to head with them? We create a snapshot of where you stand in the competitive landscape.
Who is your audience? What are their priorities in life, their fears, and their aspirations? Where will they be when they read the copy and what external factors will be influencing them? Do we need to include video or other messaging? How should they react when they read the copy?
Develop a laundry list of product features, including customer service, shipping, and price, and how they benefit customers. Compare to the competition. Can we claim to "own" one or more consumer benefits?
Translate our product benefits into a core statement, or "unique selling proposition." This USP summarizes the authentic reasons why we stand out from the competition as a superior choice. No USP means no competitive edge.
Decide upon a brand voice, or writing style, that will best convey the USP in a way the audience can relate to. For example, if the USP relates to an easier way of doing something, the copy should easily not formally.
All marketing materials, both web and print, require the organization of content so that the reader can readily follow ideas and be persuaded by them. Placement is important, not just on the page, but in the overall scheme of things. Copywriters are the abstract idea experts, and usually take on this task.
Short copy is ten times harder to writer than long copy. Every word is significant. Reduce, just like you would carefully simmer a sauce to reduce it down to a few tablespoons of potent flavor.
Robert Frost said, "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader." Writing requires emotional energy. It is a blend of reason and inspiration.
Writers must never miss a deadline, ever. If I have to stay up 48 hours straight to hit the mark, I will grit my teeth and do it. I don't take projects, no matter how lucrative, I can't deliver on time with quality.
Create a call to action (signup, consult, purchase) that dovetails with the USP and general copy flow. The CTA is the culmination of the sales logic and brand voice built into the project.