If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a professional copywriter or an aspiring one. Maybe you’re already doing some significant copywriting work and are looking for ways to improve and streamline your process.
No matter what stage you’re at in your career, you’re bound to run into questions about how to best approach copywriting projects. I’ve collated some of the most common ones below. I hope they’re useful.
How Should I Approach a Copywriting Project?
It’s important to approach each project with a strategy in mind. You don’t want to throw away precious creativity by simply rushing into the task. To that end, here are some tips to consider before starting your copywriting project.
It’s not enough to have a suit and tie — you need to look the part. Even if you’re writing online, it’s best practice to look professional. You don’t want to throw away a lead just because the person reading it feels like they’re in middle school. In my opinion, this is one of the most important things you can do. It’ll make or break your copy.
You can never be too prepared. Even when you are writing online, it’s essential to plan. You don’t want to start writing and realize half way through that you’ve forgotten something important. For instance, if one of your main points is to encourage readers to subscribe to your newsletter, you’ll want to make sure you’ve taken care of that in your planning stage. Otherwise, you could end up with a pitch that’s a little unfocused and potentially even loses the reader. While you’re at it, plan out what you’ll say to encourage them to buy your product or service. The more you plan, the more you’ll feel confident about producing flawless copy. Plus, it’ll give you something to reflect back on when you’re stuck — making you a more confident copywriter. You can never be too prepared!
Check The Product Or Service You’re Writing About
This one may seem obvious, yet people forget it all the time. You can’t write about something you don’t know much about, right? Before you start pitching, do some research into the product or service you’re writing about. Even if you’re not particularly technical, you can usually find enough information online to get the gist of it. If not, there are always plenty of books available at the local library. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the entire industry so you don’t come off as ignorant or misguided in your comments — especially when pitching someone new. Remember, you’re not writing for Google — you’re writing for humans!
Research The Market
Even if you’re writing for someone other than the general public, it’s always a good idea to do some research into the market. You don’t want to pitch something to an audience that doesn’t even exist, right? Before you put a shovel in the ground, you’ll want to know that there’s actually someone out there who needs or wants what you’re offering. One of the best tools for research is the Google Trends Keyword Planner. The tool is incredibly powerful and can tell you not only what people are searching for but also how they’re searching for it. In short, it’ll help you figure out what topics are and aren’t popular as well as how to best approach each one.
Create Multiple Versions
You never know what could happen when you’re pitching a new product or service. Things could go incredibly well, or incredibly poorly. Regardless, you’ll want to create multiple versions — both good and bad. This will help you identify what worked and what didn’t work when pitching this particular project. Sometimes, all it takes is a little touch up here and there to make a pitch really pop. Sometimes, it takes a complete overhaul and a complete redo. Either way, it’s good to have both versions around so you’ll remember what worked and what didn’t work when developing your final version. It’s also a good idea to send them out to different groups of people as well — both internal and external groups. This will give you the chance to test out your pitch and see how others respond to it. Sometimes, all it takes is a little adjustment to really get the response you want. Internal groups can be really beneficial in this sense as well — it lets you know whether or not what you’re doing is making a difference and whether or not people are hearing your pitch the way you intend them to.
Even if you’re perfectly confident that what you’re doing is right and the results are going to be spectacular, it’s still a good idea to get some feedback. Sometimes, there are just things that you don’t know about that could hurt your chance of success. The best thing you can do for yourself is to solicit feedback. The only way to truly know if what you’re doing is right is by getting input from others. The more people you talk to about what you’re doing, the more likely you are to find some flaws in your approach. These flaws can then be fixed before you start throwing around money or charging thousands of dollars for your work. Getting feedback ensures you’ll be able to produce a high-quality product that will satisfy your clients. If you want to be successful as a copywriter, you need to be open to criticism and willing to improve your craft.
Hopefully, these tips will help you come up with a game plan and get started on the right foot. Make sure to dress and act appropriately, do your research, create multiple versions, get feedback, and be open to criticism — all of which will help you be a more successful copywriter.