Recently a business owner said, “I’m getting ready to launch my new program. I want to set up a consultation with you, but I’m not sure I’m ready. You focus on marketing. I’m still working out how to position this program and identify the best target market. That’s not marketing, is it?”
This business owner is not unusual.
Take a random survey and people will tell you they define marketing as advertising … and copywriting as wordsmithing.
But more important, many of us are hard-wired to assume processes are linear; for instance, most career change books set up a pattern of discover your self, find careers that fit and find a job in one of those careers. In fact, as Herminia Ibarra points out in her book, Working Identity, career change is a process of serendipitous stumbling around.
We also see the classical story line as a straight line. Hero sets out on a fine day. Hero encounters obstacles. Hero overcomes obstacles. Hero lives happily ever after. Most iconic stories- such as fairy tales – follow this pattern.
So it’s not surprising: business owners often assume product launching is a linear process.
You develop a strategy — your position, target, USP, differentiation points, and purpose. You might hire a marketing coach, strategist or branding pro.
Once that process is complete, you hire a copywriter. (Some people hire a designer first. Bad move. Here’s why. )
You get the sales page. Maybe you even get two versions so you can test. You get copy for the email sequences.
And then you celebrate your launch. It looks like this:
In reality, marketing begins with the very first gleam in someone’s eye and doesn’t really end… ever. The process is iterative, moving forward, then back, then forward again, then back a few steps.
So when you set up a consultation about launching, you might begin with a discussion of positioning and targeting, which generally fall under the heading of “marketing strategy.” You (or your copywriter) will then write the copy.
But when you write the copy, you realize your message won’t work. You need to stop and clarify benefits.
So you break out the erasers and go back for a rewrite. Or you go back again to your strategy.
It looks like this:
The reality is …
Copywriters (the ones you don’t find on Craigslist) don’t just wordsmith your message. They help you build your strategy — identify your target market, USP, benefits, points of differentiation and more.
Often writing the copy helps you clarify your strategy. You realize what’s missing and what could be better.
In fact, in my 5-Step Blueprint For Creating Your Online Course, I recommend starting with the sales letter. Ask, “How will I market this course? Will anybody want it?”
So I wish I could tell every client, “Don’t wait till everything is in place before you start working with a copywriter! Start as early as possible. You’ll be surprised how differently you’ll experience marketing when you do this.”
Want to talk about your own content creation challenge? Start here.