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"Required reading" for today's smart writer. As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Daily Blog Tips, Write to Done, Technorati, WOW! and other popular sites.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

7 Steps to Savvy Copywriting! Timely Tips for Greater Success



Contrary to popular opinion, you can “teach an old dog new tricks.”
I discovered this morsel of wisdom some years ago, when I navigated new waters as a copywriter.
Truth be told, I knew as much about copywriting back then as I did Bar Mitzvahs.

It just wasn’t a part of my creative repertoire. So when I came across an ad posted on CRAIGSLIST.ORG, my initial reaction was to bypass it for the cardinal rule of writing…”write what you know.” Right?
But, as a strategic writer, and true businesswoman, I’m always looking for ways to expand my portfolio, my client base, and my bottom line.

(And you should too).

Days after seeing that ad, I shot a quick Email to express interest in taking on the project, as well as online samples of various works.

After all, it seemed interesting and easy enough…

Here was my mission...

A new clothing designer from India was seeking someone to create web content for a site she was launching, along with some product descriptions.

Rather than concentrate on my lack of experience,
I decided to draw from my relevant exposure---

1). as a person who loves fashion
2). as someone who, in my former life, worked for a P.R. firm
3). as someone who has had success writing greeting card copy
The end result?

With a little ingenuity and some creativity, I produced some great concepts that won me a new fan and a new client!

HERE ARE SEVEN SAVVY PRINCIPLES I LEARNED ALONG THE WAY...

1. SPEAK THE LANGUAGE!
Regardless as to your knowledge base, “project” an expert image by using acronyms, lingo, and key concepts that are unique to the industry of which you are writing. For example, substitute words like pants and blouses for separates and coordinates. If you don't know the lingo, simply conduct Google searches, or take a visit to your local library to learn more.

2. TEST THE WATERS.
If at all possible, use the product or service you are endorsing. You’ll come across as much more convincing and credible if you speak from experience. It’ll also be much easier to convey a sense of passion.

3. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
A simple Google search here will also give you background information and success stories of your client from which to develop the “big picture”. It also shows resourcefulness.

4. GET DETAILS IN WRITING.
This prevents miscommunication and wasted efforts. It also serves as a protective measure to ensure getting paid without drama or delay.

5. HAVE AT LEAST ONE CONVERSATION ON THE PHONE OR IN PERSON.
Ah, the Internet! It has revolutionized the way we interact and increased our efficiency immeasurably. However, many people still like that personal touch. Speaking on the phone, or in person, also allows you to assess your client’s personality, which can go along way towards future relations.

6. GIVE THEM MORE THAN THEY EXPECT!
Ideally provide multiple samples from which they can choose. Also, show some initiative by devising other ways that you can assist them in marketing their business even before they ask.

7. REMEMBER THE IMPORTANCE OF PACKAGING.
Make sure that the finished product always reflects positively on your client and your business!

As the expression goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Your turn. Thoughts?


Image: Freedigitalphotos.net



13 comments:

  1. Thanks for your post Jennifer,

    This is definitely a topic that I find interesting, since I do Affiliate Marketing on my Blogs, (Pre) Selling all kinds of Products & Services. For what 'Test the Waters' is concerned I also prever to write about Products & Services that I use myself, or that I am Enthousiastic about myself. Making it a Win/Win-Situation that way.

    Also great to hear that you also had Success in Writing Greeting Card Copy since that is actually an area that - besides writing Product Reviews - I also find interesting.
    That might also be the reason that
    both posts about Writing (Book) Reviews,
    and about Greeting Card Writing on my Writing Blog actually made it into
    the Most Popular Posts List.

    For what - Greeting Card Writing - is concerned, I also just made a special File Folder for Greeting Card Ideas and some info about Greeting Card Writing, I like that type of writing since it can be somewhat Conversational in style, and I wonder if it might be possible to possibly use some of my own Photo Stock Photography that I once in a while write about on my - Digital Camera Ideas - Blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. H.P.,

      Sounds like you're on to something here; keep us posted.
      Greeting cards are a fun and profitable market.

      Delete
    2. Yes, especially since - as you can read about on the About Page on my Blog - besides experience with all kinds of Creative Music Marketing Campaigns, and...,

      Winning all kinds of Creative (Photo) Competitions, I also frequently win all kinds of Creative Writing- & Slogan Contests.

      Delete
  2. I appreciate the tips and encouragement. I often bypass ads b/c of my lack of specific experience. Will think a little more creatively from now on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. I've passed up so many opportunities because I lacked specific experience. But how will I ever get the experience if I never start? I think Jennifer was right when she said to focus on your strengths and related experiences.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Karen and Sarah,

      Put your best foot forward and hope for the best.
      Sometimes we might be amazed at how much "life experience" we have that would qualify us for an array of opportunities, if we expanded our perspective...

      Delete
  3. Thank you for putting in simple terms the formula for success. They teach us how to take our writing career from step A to B and moving on.
    Anjali

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anjali,

      Glad that the "formula" was a winning combination for you.

      Delete
  4. Jennifer, I so appreciate your "go ahead and give it a try" attitude. How else can we expand and broaden? You are wise and brave. Nice post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan,

      ...And you are sweet and thoughtful. Always a pleasure to hear from you. :-)

      Delete
  5. I definitely agree with tip # 1. Each business and industry has a specific lingo or language that they use to communicate within their field and with their target audience. As a copywriter, you must know these languages in order for you to understand the company, the brand and the product. It also will help you to create a copy that is related or close to the theme of the brand. Apart from learning the words, you must know how to use this in a way the company would use these words.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Darryl,

    Welcome! You bring up a good point about creating copy that's closely related to the theme of the brand. Great to hear from you on this. :-)

    ReplyDelete