Put simply, copy writing is the craft of using words persuasively to get a customer to buy something.
Whether that thing is a book, a sofa, a subscription or an idea, the copywriter uses carefully chosen words and phrases to achieve one aim: success in selling your products or services.
Scratch the surface of that statement and you’ll realise that every TV advert, radio commercial, film trailer, press ad, brochure, sales letter and web pop-up is based on copywriting.
Persuasive prose is all around us, on our mobiles, laptops, in our newspapers and magazines, in the correspondence that pops through your letterbox every day.
You might well say – I know my product better than anyone else, so I’ll save money and write about it myself.
Well, yes, but there's a huge difference between writing an effective sales letter and drafting a normal ‘buy my business’ piece of mail. Simply writing a detailed description of your product and expecting people to buy it isn’t good enough.
We’re used to seeing and experiencing very sophisticated ads and selling techniques nowadays. So only a professional approach will convince a potential customer you’re a serious business prospect.
And perception is all-important – it’s why CEOs and advertising managers spend fortunes on brand designs, logos and concepts.
All right. First, you'll first need a brilliant, catchy headline – since, on average, five times as many people read the headline as read the copy. Then add equally memorable subheads, and your first few sentences are crucial too.
Begin listing the benefits of your product – not the features (and if you don’t know the difference, you’ll need to work it out).
Next, consider how to target your potential customers in an appropriate way.
A sales letter may be the best approach, or perhaps a press release to trade publications. Or maybe a regular email newsletter to keep existing customers informed. An ad in the local paper? A website? Maybe a paid campaign with Google Adsense – effective when using targeted keywords for your business but a waste of money and time if not.
But be careful – doing it yourself may appear a cheap option, but if you do it wrong, it will turn into an expensive waste of effort and time.
I hope I’ve convinced you that hiring a professional copywriter is a necessity not a luxury, and a cost-effective necessity at that.
A copywriter is a master of the rich words and evocative phrases that conjure desire. He knows how to write headlines, build anticipation and longing, and get your customer quivering in anticipation of an answer to the eternal question - what’s in it for me?
He's also expert at soothing your customer's doubts, and solving her problems by demonstrating the absolute benefit of your product or service, backed up with impressive features to reinforce her need. This creates a slippery slope with powerful words that has her falling all the way to an unmistakeable conclusion – the request to buy your product.
I will always quote a firm price based on the number of words required, the complexity of the project and any research time involved.
Give me a ring on my mobile: 07788 543764, or landline: 01284 767734
Or if you prefer, send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll have an informal chat about your needs, then I’ll send an email with an estimate of time and cost to achieve the results you want. This initial consultation is completely FREE, and the timescale and prices are not binding.
Because we may need to talk again, and revise the initial assessment.
If you hire me, I will supply a formal agreement listing your requirements, as I understand them, with a firm price and an estimated time scale for the work. All I need from you then is an email or letter confirming you want me to proceed with the work.
I’ll produce an initial draft to your specifications.
When you receive this draft, you’re free to suggest revisions, or even a complete rewrite if you’re not happy with it. Up to two revisions are included in my price. When you're happy with what I've produced I'll then send you the finished, polished copy.
HOWEVER, nothing is ever quite black and white, and if there are a few final amends, I will do them free of charge. I will only make extra charges if the brief has changed dramatically from our initial agreement.
I hope you will be delighted with my work and ask for an invoice for the agreed cost.
Again, no - although I do like to see my clients if possible. However, travelling expenses for distant meetings will be chargeable.
Skype is a useful (and free) alternative.
I live in the bustling town of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England.
Third rock from the Sun.
By cheque, PayPal or bank transfer, details of which will be in our agreement.
Within 30 days of the date of my invoice.