How to Become an Expert Copywriter in Just 5 Steps

By October 27, 2016Copywriting

 

copy

In order to become a top notch marketer, growth strategist and business owner, you have to have some copywriting skills.

Most businesses rely on good copywriting to grow and boost marketing campaigns and to captivate their audience in order to generate more sales.

Without having an effective voice out there for the world to see, it becomes impossible to grow your business online and really get your name on the map.

“Great copywriting is one of the most essential skills in digital marketing today”- Neil Patel

Being an effective marketer is really about being an effective story teller, and when you can write awesome stories that go along with your brand’s products and services, the sky is truly the limit when it comes to generating sales.

Even if you have no writing experience, even if you struggle to string an email together, have no fear because there are some simple and effective strategies you can use to drastically improve your writing skills.

Following these effective steps may not make you a master copywriter, but with consistent effort and hard work, they will help you to level up with some of the best copywriters in the business.

So, if you are ready to take your copywriting to the next level, let’s get started-

1. To be a better writer, you have to become a better reader

If you want to improve your writing skills, you first have to improve your reading skills. Most avid writers out there are also big time readers. If reading gritty fiction is not your thing, even reading blogs and e-books can help.

Find writing that really resonates with you and just keep reading it. By doing so, it will help you to get a sense of the rhythm and tone of the words. It will also give you a great example of the different styles of writing you can emulate.

For example, if you love reading smaller sentences as compared to longer sentences, that may be something you can incorporate in your own writing.

Ideally, the more you read and the more you absorb from the world around you, the more inspired and creative your own writing will become.

2. Learn who your customers are

The next step to becoming an awesome copywriter is learning who your audience is and who you are going to be writing for.

Think of it this way, if you were going to be explaining how your product works to a 3-year old, you would naturally change the language and the words that you use.

The same goes for writing your copy, you have to understand who your audience is and how best to connect with them through language.

This is one of the steps that can transform you from an average copywriter into a great copywriter.

Start by getting clear about who your audience is on a basic level such as their-

  • Age Range
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education level
  • Socioeconomic status

Once you have the basic information, it is time to go deeper. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think about the type of language, values and drives that are going to excite them.

Get to know what engages your audience and what types of issues they feel passionate about. There are a few ways you can do this, such as customer surveys, asking questions on social media and tracking comments and engagement on your company blog.

Once you have a crystal clear idea as to who your audience is, you can now start to develop your writing voice.

Ideally, your writing voice is going to be a combination of what you like to read, mixed with who your audience is and what their greatest desires are.

3. Know your product inside and out 

If you want to write about something in an informative and rich way, you need to be an expert on it.

When you are knowledgable about the products and services that you are selling, it allows your writing to go into greater detail and it allows you to take more creative liberties when it comes to how you present information.

Of course, if you have created the product yourself it is going to be a lot easier for you to write about it in detail. But if you haven’t, you may need to do some research.

Start by finding out everything you can about the product or service. To help you with this, perhaps come up with a list of questions that your audience may want to know and gather the answers to those questions first.

Once you have gathered the information that your customers would be most interested in, it is time to fine tune things a little bit.

a.) Work Out Your 15 Second Pitch 

If you had to tell someone about the product or service you are writing about in 15 seconds or less, what would you say?

By answering this question, it is going to help you clearly and succinctly communicate what your product or service is all about, which is going to help you dramatically when it comes to writing effective copy.

Here is a guide to writing your 15 second pitch-

“For (insert target customer)  who has (insert customer need), (insert product name) is a (insert marketing category) that (insert one key benefit). Unlike (insert competition), the product is (insert unique differentiator).”

By creating a quick pitch like this, it is going to also allow you to keep in mind the key points of your product or service, such as the main benefits and what makes it unique.

b.) Work out the benefits

The next most important step when it comes to knowing about your product is to be very clear on the benefits of the product.

A good copywriter is also extremely familiar with the fact that benefits and features are two different things.

If you want to take your copy to the next level, your words have to benefit driven and the only way you can use your benefits to drive your copy is to understand them.

To come up with the main benefits of your product or service, here are a few pointers to get you started-

  • What pain point does this product or service solve?
  • Why would someone need this product or service?
  • Why would someone want this product or service?
  • Why would having this product or service change things for the better?

Once you have a clear list of the benefits, it is going to help your copy to really shine and drive a powerful message.

c.) What makes your product or service different?

One of the big questions in business is – how is your product different to what is already out there?

Chances are there are probably products and services out there on the market that are similar or comparable to your company. While this is not a problem, you have to be able to offer something unique or different in order to stand out.

Your unique selling point doesn’t even have to be big or grand, your unique differentiator could be something as simple as the fact that your product is locally made, whereas your competitors are made overseas.

Make a list of all the unique properties of your product or service and then focus on the few that is really going to stand out and resonate with your customers.

If you are struggling to find something unique about your product or service, here are some questions to get you started-

  • Does your product or service solve a particular pain point that your competitors do not address?
  • Do you offer a more in-depth or more detailed analysis compared to your competitors?
  • Does your product or service come with some special features that you can’t get elsewhere?

Once you have figured out your competitive advantage, it is really going to help you to write engaging and incredible copy that is going to push conversions through the roof.

By taking the time to get knowledgable about the products and services you are writing about, it is going to really transform your copy from bland and boring, to meaningful and impactive.

4. It’s all about the headline 

The next step to becoming a great copywriter is all about the headlines. Research has shown that a powerful headline can make a huge impact and is more likely to get your copy read.

In fact, if your headline fails to grab the attention of your audience, most of them won’t even keep reading or continue to find out more.

Especially when it comes to online marketing, audiences have a very limited attention span. This is why your headlines are really key to writing effective copy that actually gets read.

The good news is that there is a sneaky formula you can use to ensure that your headlines really pack a punch. This takes all the struggle and guess work out of writing headlines and frees up your creative juices to focus on selling the product.

Here are the three steps to writing effective headlines-

  1. Say something to grab your audiences attention: if you want your audience to be engaged, you have to grab their attention. This is where having a solid understanding of your audience is going to help. Think about the words that are going to grab their attention and start from there.
  2. Make your headlines specific: while you don’t want to give away too much information in your headlines, you do want to let your audience know what they can expect from reading the rest of your copy. Are you going to show them “how to” do something? Are you going to “list” things? Be clear with what your audience can expect from reading your copy, but don’t give it all away either. If you are writing a headline for a landing page, your strategy may be slightly different. Here you will want to instantly communicate to your audience what your landing page is all about. This is where your 15 second pitch will come in handy.
  3. Make it urgent: if you want your audience to take action straight away, your headline also has to create a sense of urgency. To do this, you need to structure your headline in a way that makes them want to take action now. Again, this is where having an understanding of your audience is going to help- what is going to drive them to take action? What emotions can you manipulate to get them to act? Everyone has something that makes them want to take action. Usually it is things like- safety, financial security, love, health and so on.

By taking these three factors into account, it can help you to come up with powerful headlines that are both attention-grabbing and actionable. Of course, it is worth mentioning that headlines are one of those things that do take trial and error.

You may have to test out a few different headlines to see how they resonate with your audience and what your audience best responds to. Some audience’s respond better to more aggressive headlines, whereas others like something softer and gentler.

The only way you are going to determine what your audience likes is by testing.

4. Get Your Audience to Convert

The whole point of writing copy in the first place is to generate sales and get your audience used to the tone and style of your branding.

Effective copy is ultimately what is going to drive conversions, so let’s take a look at some strategies that you can use to take your writing to the next level —

Step #1: Focus on the benefits over the features

Earlier we mentioned the importance of staying benefit driven when it comes to writing effective copy and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to writing copy that you want to ultimately convert into sales.

Let’s actually look at this in action so you can see the difference for yourself. One of these copy examples is benefit driven while the other is more feature driven. Read both and see which one stands out to you the most…

“Enjoy our four, 1-hour long video modules, detailing all the basics of marketing your content through social media, emails and guest blogging.”

OR

“Discover the content marketing secrets that will help you to write viral articles guaranteed to make you triple your income in just a few short weeks.”

If you are like most people, the second piece of copy is probably more likely to grab your attention than the first. It is also more likely to get you curious about what is involved and more likely to keep reading.

As you can see from these two pieces of content, they both clearly highlighted what was involved, they just did it in a different way. The first example included more features, whereas the second example included more benefits.

If you want to write more effective and engaging copy like the second example shown above, all you need to do is think- benefits.

Step #2: Offer Specific Value

The next step in getting your copy to convert into cash, is to make your copy specific and valuable all at the same time.

To do this, you need to tell people in as few words as possible, exactly what they are going to get or take away, from your products and services.

How will your product or service enrich their lives? How will their lives change once they start using your product or service?

You need to get specific, to the point and communicate very clearly the value that they will receive.

Saying generic statements like- “it will change your life for the better” is not going to warrant swift action. But letting them know exactly what changes they can expect such as, more income, more safety, more comfortability and so on, is going to be far more valuable.

When it comes to communicating the life changing value of your products and services, it is also important to be honest.

Making ridiculous claims or false advertising is going to eventually turn your customers away for good. Be honest but at the same time, don’t be afraid to go big if needed.

Step #3: Go for the emotions every time

The number one secret to effective copy is emotional copy. When your writing can stir and evoke emotions, that is when you are going to have your audience hooked.

All humans are emotional and often purchasing is an emotional decision. To really capitalise on this, your copy has to stir up big emotions. While sharing facts and figures is important, remember that is really going to be emotions that will get your audience to click buy.

To target the emotions of your audience, it is important to really understand them on the deepest level possible. We already spoke about knowing your audience on an intimate level, and this is where that is really going to come in handy.

In order to experiment with targeting the emotional side of your audience, here are a few suggestions and strategies to get you started-

  • Create a story about how their lives will change in just a few months if they buy your product or service- how will their lives be better or easier?
  • Highlight how their persona will change through the purchasing of your product or service such as, more confidence, greater skills, more knowledge etc.
  • Highlight how the product is going to make their life easier, safer and more enjoyable. Key words to think about here include- more safety, more security, more money, less stress, more time etc.

When you can tap into the emotions of your audience, that is when your copy is really going to speak to them.

When your copy speaks to your audience, they are not only going to remember your brand but they are also going to be more likely to do business with you.

Conclusion

Copywriting is not an easy skill to master, but by following these five steps you are going to be well on your way to being a seasoned expert.

Effective copy is really the cornerstone to any good marketing strategy. You could have the best product in the world, but if your copy is subpar, it is going to be very difficult to generate sales and new leads.

Here is a summary of all the main points you need to remember when it comes to writing and creating effective copy that turns your business into a thriving selling machine-

1. The quickest way to improve your writing skills is to read.

2. Read a variety of materials to help expand your vocabulary and your imagination. Also pay attention to reading things that interest you and mimic the same tone that you would like to create with your copy.

3. Understand your customers inside out- really get to know them on deepest level possible as this will help you tailor your writing to your specific audience.

4. Know your product or service inside and out. Learn the benefits, the features and what makes your product or service stand out from the crowd.

5. Be able to summarise what your product or service is all about in under 15 seconds.

6. To take your writing to the next level, keep your copy focused on the benefits and not the features.

7. Focus on the competitive advantage that is going to impress your audience the most. Attach some emotion to your competitive advantage as well for added effect.

8. Your headlines are the most important part of your copy. Make your headlines attention-grabbing, specific and urgent. Test out different headlines to see what resonates with your audience the most.

9. Persuade your audience by letting them know how their lives will change through acquiring your product or service.

10. Emotions are powerful and can help to persuade your audience to turn from a reader into a customer. Find the most powerful emotions for your specific audience and work with those for maximum effects.

Writing good copy simply takes practice and a lot of it. The more you practice and the more you put your writing out there for the world to see, the more confident you are going to become in your voice and in your business.

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