How To Copywrite Like a Pro
Finding success as a copywriter can be difficult, no matter your level of writing experience. In terms of easiness, learning how to copywrite like a pro is a goal that lies somewhere between grilling the perfect steak and playing drums for Iron Maiden. Nobody said it would be easy, but with the right amount of dedication, effort, and know-how, you can drop your drumsticks and make your writing skills rock.
How To Copywrite Like a Professional
Use the following steps to learn how to copywrite at a professional level:
1. Consider Your Audience
As a professional copywriter, you may not be trying to move gently used Toyotas off the lot, but you are a salesperson of sorts. That’s why it’s imperative that you know your audience inside and out: their wants, their needs, their demographic, their questions, their favorite member of the Backstreet Boys.
Okay, so that last one’s probably too specific, but you get my point. All writers, from George R. R. Martin to the team that came up with the “Got Milk?” slogan, consider their audience in order to figure out what the goods are and how to deliver them. Great professional copywriters never even begin a project until they adequately understand their audience.
2. Identify Your Purpose
Once you know who’s going to read what you write, it’s time to ask yourself what you want them to do and, therefore, what you want your copywriting to do. Are you trying to make the reader think? Spur them into action? Encourage a donation or purchase? Get them to stop eating ice cream sundaes for breakfast? Pinpointing your goal upfront will help you stay on target as you navigate the copywriting process.
Part of your purpose as a professional copywriter is to also get the point across to the reader in the style that reflects the brand you’re writing for. When learning how to copywrite like a pro, mimicking a brand voice (or helping them create a new one altogether) creates consistency across a brand. If, as a reader, a brand comes at you from too many stylistic writing directions, it may be hard to give that brand an identity. A brand with no identity is one that won’t be remembered.
Stay within the style created when copywriting, and your writing will go further and do more to build the authority of the brand at the same time.
3. Know Your Product
It’s an adage as old as time, or at least as old as your freshman English class: Write what you know. For most professional copywriters, that means doing your homework. Careful research of your subject, its market, and its competition usually guarantees a smoother writing process once you finally crack open that word processing document. What’s more, identifying your purpose before you research your product can help direct your research too.
Knowing the product also includes knowing why consumers would need the product. What are people’s pain points that this product/service solves? Solving pain points and providing benefits is one of the oldest (and most effective) copywriting tactics out there.
4. Be Persuasive Yet Direct
You may be a copywriter on a mission, but you should still address your audience in the same way that you would like to be addressed — unless, of course, you like being addressed like an 18th century English baroness. In that case, you do you in your free time, your majesty, but keep things concise and conversational when you’re cranking out the copy.
The key to knowing how to copywrite lies in helping people make decisions without feeling like they were strong-armed into doing it. In a way, copywriting is a lot like the movie ‘Inception’ – help plant the idea in their head so that they think it was their idea to make the purchase of the product all on their own!
5. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Professional writers know that credibility counts, and one of the best ways to gain that is to produce clean, proofread prose that exhibits keen attention to detail. Professional copywriters also know that good proofreading constitutes more than just kicking back with a grape soda while your spellcheck program does its thing. You’re never too old, seasoned, or far away from the classroom to read your work out loud to catch mistakes.
Another great copywriting hack is allowing a second set of eyes to look over the copy. No matter how great of a copywriter you are, you tend to overlook your mistakes. Having an actual proofreader (or editor) look over your work before publishing is always a good idea. Professional copywriters know how important professional editors are to producing finished copy.
Become a Professional Copywriter!
Nobody becomes a professional copywriter overnight unless there’s a magic amulet involved. It takes practice, patience, and effort. Do you have any advice to share with other writers who are eager to learn how to copywrite like a boss? Please share them in the comments below!