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Home » How to Pitch for a Copywriting Job – What You Need to Know

How to Pitch for a Copywriting Job – What You Need to Know

When you have a passion for something, no matter what it is, there is always going to be a way for you to make a living out of it. Copywriting may not seem like a conventional choice for a career, but there are a variety of ways in which you can go about finding work in the field. In this article, we will discuss how you can make the most out of your existing skills and qualifications whilst also honing your pitch-writing abilities, so that when the time comes, you can land yourself a juicy copywriting job. Let’s get inspired.

The Most Crucial Aspect Of A Pitch

In order to land yourself a copywriting job, you first of all need to be able to write a pitch. A pitch is basically a one-page advertisement, which serves as a concise summary of the key points of your story. Whilst it may not seem like a difficult process, doing so can be an intensive exercise in journalistic and linguistic skills. In this article, we will explore the most crucial aspect of a pitch, which is its structure. More importantly, we will reveal how to write a winning pitch that will get you noticed by the right people. Let’s get into it.

The Structure Of A Pitch

As a budding copywriter, you may have already come across the ubiquitous pitch template, which is essentially a formula that all commercial pitches must follow. This standardised structure was first adopted by the New York Times in 1914, with the publication of their newspaper turning-pointing the evolution of the pitched story. Essentially, the NYT model posits that a good story can be broken down into three distinct parts. These are:

  • The hook
  • The middle
  • The twist
  • The reveal
  • The takeaway

The structure of a pitch can be incredibly effective, as long as everything fits within its four corners. In other words, the longer the piece, the more effective it will be. Short, snappy pitches tend to communicate the key ideas of a product or service in a single, concise phrase. Whilst this may be more effective in some instances, it also limits the story that you can tell. Having an exact measure of how much space you have for each element will help you determine the right length for your pitch, whilst keeping all the pertinent details intact. This is most crucial if you want to retain the attention of your audience. Sometimes, a short pitch can even prove to be more effective than a lengthy one, in terms of hooking the reader. In cases like this, short is often better, especially when the goal is to generate as much interest and as many clicks to the website as possible. Thinking about the reader and their needs is essential, as you will be pitching to people who have a specific problem that you solve, or an aim that you promote.

The Hook

A good hook is all about creating interest. In the world of advertising, the term is used to summarise the first part of your pitch, which often times is its headline. In a nutshell, the hook is what draws your attention and makes you curious about the rest of the pitch. It can be something as simple as:

“The next Ice Age is coming”, or, more elegantly:

“Millennials are taking over!”

Whichever one you choose, the important thing is that you keep your reader intrigued enough to want to continue reading.

The Middle

Once you have hooked the reader, you then have the opportunity to persuade them to take action. This is where the bulk of your pitch will take place, and it is here where you promote your product or service and explain why it is useful or necessary to the reader. In some instances, you may even compare your product to competitors, or review its various features. The more you can do to establish credibility, the more effective your pitch will be. In a nutshell, the middle is all about providing the reader with necessary details about your product or service, whilst at the same time, convincing them that it is the correct solution to their problem. In short, this is where you establish both the need for and the value of your product or service to the reader.

The Twist

The twist is all about surprise. In every story, there is always one part that you didn’t see coming. In other words, the twist is what makes the story different, whilst at the same time, keeping all the preceding elements within your reader’s knowledge. The twist is often the part that enables you to communicate the important details of your story in a way that is fresh and interesting. Take the 2015 movie Baby Daddy, for example, the twist is where the protagonist learns the truth about his fianceé’s infidelity. In a nutshell, the twist is all about preventing your reader from seeing the piece the same way you do, and ensuring that they gain something new from it. It is always best when used sparingly, and in combination with the reveal, which we will discuss in a bit.

The Reveal

The reveal is all about satisfying your reader’s curiosity. In commercial pitches, the reveal typically occurs at the end of the middle, or towards the end. At this point, you will drop all the details that you uncovered during the course of the story – the middle. Essentially, the reader will be presented with all the information they need to make a decision. In a nutshell, the reveal is all about coming clean and spelling out everything you have managed to convince them of throughout the course of the story. In some instances, the reveal may simply be the solution to the problem that the reader came in for, and in these cases, it can be a simple yet effective device.

The Takeaway

The takeaway is the part at the end of your pitch that reiterates the key points you made in the preceding three sections. Essentially, the takeaway is where you bring back in what you have learned from the whole process – the middle and the reveal. In other words, the takeaway is all about bringing closure to the story. In a nutshell, the takeaway is all about making sure that your reader leaves the encounter with the feeling that they have gained something new from it. In the aforementioned example, the protagonist’s story ends with him walking away with a smile after learning the truth about his fianceé’s infidelity. This part may not always be as straightforward as that, but you get the point.

As a copywriter, you will be asked to take a briefcase to work every day. Inside the case, you will find all the necessary materials to write a winning pitch, including a computer with the necessary software, a printer, a few thick folders, and a pen. Your job is to come up with catchy slogans and ad campaigns for various industries.