Copywriting, copywriters

What Copywriters Do (That Other Writers Don’t)

Remember the headline that piqued your curiosity enough that your eyes moved with interest down to the next sentence, which made you think.

As you devoured the paragraphs that followed you felt informed, educated, and motivated enough to do, feel or think something that you weren’t planning on  doing, feeling or thinking before you started reading. You bought.

A Copywriter wrote that.

That’s what Copywriters do. They ultimately sell using the power of the written word.

Their toolbox is full of words and phrases; quotes and expressions; emotional intelligence; and the psychology of persuasion.

They can unlock the closed mind and coax the most timid emotion out into an engaging conversation.

Copywriters are not artists, they are craftsmen and craftswomen. They motivate an audience to take action. In essence, they unlock the true value of a product or service enough to persuade you to acquire it for yourself.

Good Copywriters aren’t the hard-sell, foot-in-the-door type of salesmen.

They know what keeps you up at night, and they speak to those needs and wants and fears. They know you want the truth. That you want information to help you make an informed decision. And they know you will benefit from a product or service that will solve your problem, so they want you to have it.

They also understand that even though times change, people don’t. As Claude Hopkins says in his timeless little book, Scientific Advertising, “Human nature is perpetual. In most respects it is the same today as in the time of Caesar. So the principles of psychology are fixed and enduring.”

What does challenge Copywriters now, though, is the unprecedented tsunami of noise and interference in the space in which they operate. “We are drowning in information and starving for knowledge,” said Rutherford D Rogers, a former Yale Librarian.

Bob Bly summarises the Copywriter’s job as:

  • Getting attention
  • Communicating
  • Persuading

So art is for artists, copywriting is for salesmen. It’s not entertainment, it’s business. The objective is not applause but a profitable bottom line.

These realities guide every word, tense, full stop, and question mark that the Copywriter uses.

Getting attention is getting our audience:

  • to read our headline and want to continue to the next line
  • to open our email
  • to stop their world for a few seconds and choose to enter ours
  • to want to know more so that those few seconds extend into a minute or two

That, in spite of everything else competing for their attention.

Communicating is where change happens. The reader will see the value in our product or service. As the words speak to their needs, wants, and fears, they will see the truth in our persuasion and believe.

Persuading happens when an individual takes positive and profitable action.

It doesn’t always mean they press the ‘Buy Now’ button. Maybe the goal is for them to download, or sign up. Maybe the reader is at the Zero Moment of Truth and the goal is to get them to the First Moment of Truth, and then onwards to the Ultimate Moment of Truth.

Fiction writers create amazing stories that feed our fertile imaginations.

Screenwriters translate stories onto the screen, giving us a lifetime of visual entertainment.

Journalists give use the news, and tell stories about what’s going on in our world.

Content writers move us through the marketing funnel with relevant information and education.

Copywriters sell the value that keeps businesses alive and well.

 About the Author: Robin Kirkley helps business owners and companies create remarkable content for their brands so they enjoy a profitable return on their marketing spend.

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