And still others want to hire a copywriter, but want to learn enough about copywriting to make sure they get what they need.
Many people are surprised to discover that creativy and writing are not the most important components of copywriting (although they certainly help). Here are a few suggestions to start.
(1) Focus on mindset, not techniques.
Sure you can get a phrase book and apply phrases and sentences that have selling power. The key is to know when and how to use these phrases…and what goes in the middle.
Copywriters learn how to put themselves in your customer’s shoes and ask, “What’s in it for me? Why you? Why now?”
You’ll also get comfortable with promoting yourself proudly, but without coming across as hype-y or sales-y. Discovering your hidden benefits can be the most importnat challenge of oppywriting, before you write the first word.
(2) Identify the best role models.
When I was new, I would go to sales letters from the top marketers.”They must be good,” I reasoned.
Later I realized that top marketers can promote themselves based on reputation or because they have a particuularly loyal market. Others hire top copywriters who produce sales letters that are worthy role models (what copywriters call “swipes”).
Additionally, you need to identify role models for your target market. If you target “conscious entrepreneurs,” you’ll need a dramatially different style from someone who targets hard-core marketers.
But there’s a catch. Sometimes your industry has developed sleepy, tired me-too copy. When you introduce new techniques – carefully – you can make a huge impact.
(3) Combine learning with coaching.
Every copywriter I know has combined classroom and book learning with coaching. When you take a class, you absolutely need feedback on your drafts. You might even volunteer for a “hot seat,” where your copy gets critiqued (usually fairly gently unless you’re training with the pros).
In fact, if you don’t want to invest time and/or money in a class, I recommend working with a copy coach who will go over your drafts. Your copy will be stronger and you will be in good shape to hire a copywriter as your business grows.