Copywriting needs to reach your ideal client – the one person you’re hoping to motivate to buy. For example:
“Jennifer is a forty-something corporate executive who’s been in her job for a long time. She’s starting to get restless. She sends out a handful of resumes and gets no response.”
Suppose you had a resume service. How would you write copy for Jennifer?
Before I studied copywriting, I might have suggested a headline offering to help Jennifer write her resume more productively. It seems obvious, right?
But there’s one more question that’s not on a lot of checklists.
“Is Jennifer aware she has a problem?”
For a long time copywriters have identified “stages of awareness” among prospects. It’s important for fine-tuning your copy and even positioning your offers — and maybe your business. The concept comes from a classic book by iconic copywriter Eugene Schwartz.
(1) Jennifer is Unaware when she doesn’t realize she’s got a problem with her resume. At this stage she might be thinking, “I’m just getting started.”
If she visits a career services website, she’ll go right past the resume section. She won’t pay attention to blog posts, articles or books on the topic.
(2) At some point Jennifer begins to realize her resume might be working against her. Perhaps she shows her resume to a trusted friend who exclaims in horror, “You sound like a bumbling amateur!”
Or perhaps a recruiter says, “I can’t represent you till you fix you resume.”
Now we say Jennifer is Pain Aware (or Problem Aware).
Incidentally, she doesn’t have to follow the steps in this sequence. She might skip steps altogether. Our copy reaches her at a moment in time.
Now Jennifer begins to get nervous. She has no idea where to get help. After all, it’s been a long time since she looked for a job.
(3) Fortunately, Jennifer has many friends. One suggests hiring a resume service. Another says, “My career coach knows everything.” Another recommends a library book. And still another says, “Get on the Internet.” Now Jennifer knows her problem has solutions, i.e., she’s Solution Aware.
(4) Along the way, Jennifer stumbles across your resume service, as well as the services of your competitors. Well, maybe it wasn’t an accident — you did a good marketing job. Regardless, we now declare her Product Aware.
(5) Jennifer would be considered Most Aware when she does her homework, recognizes that you could provide a solution — and is beginning to identify your service as the best one for her.
How do you use this information?
Your USP, copywriting and content topics can be designed to encourage prospects in a particular stage of awareness. If you’re new, or moving in a new direction, you will be most productive when you target Pain Aware and Solution Aware.
What about people who don’t know they have a problem? They require a lot of education. Often they won’t be convinced till they experience consequences first-hand.
In some businesses, you target the opposite end of the spectrum. People are comparison-shopping. You stay out of their way. .
For example, recently I was looking at new software for a particular need. I was Most Aware. I’d identify a company we’ll cleverly call X as a likely solution. The company responded to my request for a test drive with, “Our representative will call you.”
Huh? I don’t need or want to talk to a representative. I want my test drive! The company hadn’t realized that I’m Most Aware.
The middle groups are the most fun – and most challenging – as copywriting audiences. You can’t move to fast to solution mode …and you can’t ignore them because the problem will get bigger and they’ll be shopping soon.
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If you’d like me to review your copy, or work with you to develop a strategy to reach your audience, let’s hop on the phone for a consultation. We’ll dig deep into your audience and figure out how to respond to your prospect’s awareness level (and a lot of other things). Visit http://mycopy.info/cc