Are you new to the world of copywriting? Are you considering copywriting as your next career or as a source of extra income? This article is for you. Read on as I unravel a top-secret that could help scale your copywriting career.
Copywriting is simply an art of persuasion. It is the sole art of using persuasive words on multiple channels (social media, web pages, ads, landing pages, promotional materials) etc. to compel people to whip out their wallets or credit cards and buy your products or services, or that of your client.
“A copywriter is a salesperson behind a typewriter.”
That quote comes from Judith Charles, president of her own retail advertising agency, Judith K. Charles Creative Communication. And it’s the best definition of the word copywriter I’ve ever heard. The biggest mistake you can make as a copywriter is to judge advertising as laypeople judge it. If you do, you’ll end up as an artist or an entertainer—but not as a salesperson. And your copy will be wasting your client’s time and money.
Simply, being a copywriter is like being a salesman. Your job is to convince people without pushing or screaming your business in their faces to buy what you are selling irrespective of the fierce competition surrounding that business.
According to one of my coaches, the first step in any copywriting project is to fully understand whatever product you’re helping your client to sell. Take David Ogilvy, a legendary copywriter and one of the pioneers of copywriting, for an example.
When he won the Rolls-Royce account in 1957, he produced 26 different headlines for the ad and got half a dozen writers from the agency to go over them and pick out the best one, which ended up being “At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.” As a result of this ad, this company’s sales in 1958 rose 50 per cent from 1957.
This ad ran consistently in The New Yorker & numerous big-city newspapers until 1962 when Ogilvy stopped working with Rolls-Royce because he wasn’t satisfied with their latest production quality. Many consider it to be one of the greatest advertisements ever written & Ogilvy himself said it’s the best headline he ever wrote.
He is famously known for taking three weeks of meticulous study to come up with a winning concept for the Rolls-Royce ad. It took him that much time to find a detail compelling enough to sell a Rolls-Royce.
Now, if it took David Ogilvy that long to discover such an important selling feature, it’s surely worth taking some time to study your clients’ product and services to learn which features will stand out to their customers. This is what we call research. To be successful in copywriting, you must be given and committed to in-depth research about the product you are advertising before writing your copy.