What is a Copywriter?
A copywriter is a professional who offers writing services for the text on an advertisement. This could be in the form of an ad copy, sales letter or any other marketing material. Some marketers would call this skill “salesmanship in print”. And for good reasons as a highly-trained copywriter will know how to craft sales messages that are persuasive and gets your readers to take action.
How to Write Marketing Copy?
There are a number of different methods depending on the copywriter and who they learnt from. This also leads to a number of different “sales formula” you’ll find on websites and blogs. One of the most basic and popular copywriting formula is by copywriting legend, Dan Kennedy. His formula has only 3 steps but each of them simplifies the sales process without losing its persuasiveness.
These steps are Problem -> Agitate -> Solve.
Regardless of the formula you’re using, the important thing to take note of is your sales funnel strategy. By having a marketing process, you can begin to attract and qualify prospects and build a dependable system of generating leads for your business.
What is the Importance of Copywriting in Advertising?
Every good advertisement tells a story. But not just any story… you want to tell a story that captures your audience attention, interest them and most importantly… get them to buy your product or service. That’s where advertising copywriting comes into the picture. Whether it is an image, a video or an audio podcast… when it comes to advertising you only have 5-7 seconds to capture your audience’s attention. Maybe less.
This is where having a strong hook (copywriting lingo for a big idea or theme to your ad) will stop your audience dead in their tracks to give your ads a second glance. But what about those ads which have fewer than 10 words? Are they less effective?
To answer that let’s look at the next question in line…
What is a Creative Copywriter?
These are usually copywriters from an advertising agency. If you have watched the series ‘Mad Men’, you may be familiar with this scope of copywriting. Here the hook is vital for success as most ads are short in nature. The headline becomes a major factor in the success of the ad. These creative copywriters are paid well for their ability to think out of the box and compress the sales message into a single sentence or paragraph. In most cases, the ads are also part of a series of marketing campaigns that adds value to the target audience.
This art differs from another school of copywriting known as direct response…
What is Direct Response Copywriting?
Famous direct response legend, Gene Schwartz expresses this art in a very simple term… in his book ‘Scientific Advertising’ he talks about the different stages of awareness a prospect goes through in the advertising game. This model has been taught and even modified by different marketers but the fundamental concept has always remained the same.
In short, direct response copywriting is focused on one thing… getting your audience to fulfill a specific action. It could be to sign up as a lead, to call in for a demo, or to buy a product. Regardless of the desired action, persuasive content is necessary to push “lukewarm” readers over the edge.
It’s hardly surprising to see why these copywriters are highly paid for their skills.
How to Become a Good Copywriter
The truth is… while copywriting isn’t a difficult art… it does require you to have a good understanding of human psychology and what makes people tick. The adage “people buy on emotions and back them up with logic” holds very true. Anyone can easily do technical writing and get away with it.
But to be good at writing persuasive sales messages, you need to first understand psychology. In fact, it is usually easier for a sales person to learn copywriting than it is for a scholar. The sales experience will always be a good plus point.
Training under a mentor is another fast way to pick up this skill as often you may miss out on your mistakes when you’re on your own.
Which ever method you use, the most important thing is… practice.
Nothing can ever beat practicing. Keep writing sales copy and testing them out in the market. Let the market tell you what’s working and what isn’t. Often, we tend to let our opinions affect how we write, but at the end of the day, we want stats and data to lead us. Not gut feels. That’s the best lesson you can ever hope to receive.
How to Get Copywriting Jobs
If you’re new to freelance copywriting, the initial phase may seem scary. But the truth is… copywriting in Singapore is a growing demand. More and more businesses are realising they need to produce content. It could be for their websites where they need online copywriting or it could be their social media accounts and so on.
You could go to online forums, visit local workshops or seminars to expand your network, or better yet… write a sales copy and send them straight to prospective clients you want to work with.
The best part about mastering this skill is that you have options. You get to choose who you want to work with and you’re never afraid of not having a job. After all, you possess the skill to sell almost anything. Including your services.