Art? Sales? Deception?
If that’s what’s on your mind when you hear the word Copywriting, then you’re wrong, but you’re not the only one. The vast majority of people interested in the subject don’t have a clear definition, thus I want you to leave this page with a clear definition of what it is really about, what separates a great copy from random selection of words by industry experts with huge experience that don’t know s*it about Copywriting, btw that’s what most of them are. But don’t be deceived, sometimes a big differentiator between great copywriters is style, rhythm, and even certain elements of structure, that’s why great copy has an individual voice, and it differentiates from another, it’s a creative endeavor. So, my first promise is, you will leave with a clear definition of Copywriting, and will be the author of this definition.
As you deduced from the title it is going to be a blog series, and it all started with a challenge from my mentor, it was an easy challenge, so I decided to add some taste to it. This blog is a battle of ideas, the David and Goliath or Ali vs Foreman of Copywriting. I will take a different approach, one that is easy to understand and exciting to read, and most importantly one that will help you in the journey of growing your own identity as a Copywriter. Greatness comes to those who put in the hours — nondebatable! but one thing you need is a sense of who you are and where are you going, it gives sense to work an extra hour on your skill and the pleasure of doing it because you fall in love with doing it. It’s easy to fall in love with what you do if you do it in your own terms.
As I mentioned Ali and Foreman, there is another parallel I want to make between boxing and Copywriting, in boxing we have: Defense, attack and counterattack; I will try to keep this similarity throughout the blog series so you can visualize what you are doing in the ring, oh! sorry on paper. Also, well talk about tactics, things that you can apply right here right now, with this I won’t keep you waiting for the next blog to come out, I will share one Tactic per blog in a dedicated section. There will be another section called Practice now, that’s where I will share the best ways to practice certain elements we covered in the blog. Last but not least, it is planned to be a 10 blogs series that will transform a dedicated reader into someone who can help their client boost their sales and quality of the copy.
Who is David and Goliath of Copywriting?
Through continuous research I was able to find diverse copywriters with their unique style and something exceptional we can all learn from. With that said, I think all of them deserve to be mentioned, alongside with their books and insights in the final part of this blog.
I have decided to go with David Ogilvy and Joseph Sugarman. But I doubt they will be the only ones who will be compared in this blog series. I picked those two legends, because their name is the first that comes to my mind when it comes to Copywriting, when I have a dilemma, I simply open one of their books to find out what they have to say. Also, I wanted to start with the classics.
Joseph Sugarman — Copywriting Legend who sold 200 million sunglasses, he sold a used airplane valued at $190,000 for $240,000 through a single magazine ad. He is the author of the notorious book “The Adweek Copywriting Handbook” and “Triggers: 30 Sales Tools You Can Use to Control the Mind of Your Prospect to Motivate, Influence, and Persuade. “
David Ogilvy — Although he is well known for his advertising, he’s insights into copywriting are priceless. I always recommend having a broader view on the matter, think like an advertiser, not just a copywriter, the goal is to generate sales not just to write good copy. Ogilvy is known as “Father of Advertising.” His ideas and techniques are used till this day. Author of “Ogilvy on Advertising” and “Confessions of an Advertising Man”
Although we will discuss about those two giants of the Copywriting world, note that you need to form your own identity. Without a coherent sense of self, the order that produces our identity in the world around us will become more chaotic and feel less amenable to our wants and needs. To organize our writing identity, we first must organize ourselves.
Tactic: 2 Skills that you need in order to successfully start your copywriting career:
Interviewing — If you can master this skill, you will achieve you task better and faster. No one knows the product better than your client, let them tell you the story, ask them questions that will make them talk with passion about their product, the story, the reasons why? Etc. The opposite of this skill is interrogation, yes or no questions, which will kill your copy, you will have no choice but make your own research and most often it is time consuming and deceiving.
Cut, cut, cut — If you had a great interview, you took notes, recorded the meeting, and created a mind map of the product or service (we’ll uncover this technique in the future blog), then you suddenly have 300% of your copy done, your job starts now purposely cut all the clutter until you have nothing in excess, no meaningless words.
Only after that, the creative process begins, now you must put some purpose behind the words, edit and structuralize your content, put the techniques, styles, ideas in action, that’s what separates great from good. Be mindful that you need to develop a switch on your creativity, sometimes it is better to turn it off for your own good.
Practice now: Exercise to get better at copy:
Simply copy. Copy the greatest copy ever made. Adopt the techniques used by the greatest copywriters on the market by copying there sales copies repeatedly until it sounds an echo on the back of the mind. Keep following this blog series to find out the various sources where you can get access top copies on the market. I will unveil much more about this technique when I speak a about Copy analysis.
Books to read:
- Accidental Genius, Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content by Mark Levy.
-Consumer Neuroscience by Moran Cerf and Manuel Garcia-Garcia.
-Start with why by Simon Sinek.
-On writing well by William Zinsser.
- How to Write Copy That Sells: The Step-By-Step System for More Sales, to More Customers, More Often by Ray Edwards.
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