Heads up — I’m going to make a big claim. When you’re done reading this leave a comment and tell me if you disagree.
Here we go…
Ultimately, you’re in the business of getting people to take an action that benefits both of you.
If you can’t do that, you’re out of business.
And the most powerful and effective way to accomplish this goal is with the written word.
Copywriting is simply the art and science of communicating your ideas in a way that compels the right people to take action.
The problem is, there are legions of copywriting gurus out there hoping to convince you that secret “persuasion hacks” are what stand between you and the sale.
But, assuming what you offer has real value, I can almost guarantee the real problem is a lack of clarity in your copy.
When you make your writing clearer, you solve 80% of your communication problems.
That’s because fundamentally what your copy really needs to do is prove that:
- You understand the customer’s problem
- You know what you’re talking about and have a reputation to protect (and therefore have skin in the game too)
- Your solution is their best option, and will work for them specifically
- They must take action now, not later
It really is simple. But it’s easy to overcomplicate.
I think the belief in copywriting persuasion hacks is fueled by a common misconception that copywriters are wielders of some arcane persuasion knowledge. Combining words in ways no one else could, in an almost magical process.
But that’s rarely the case. A lot of my job as a copywriter is to see what the client can’t — because they’re too close to their business.
A common tale among copywriters is the story of Claude Hopkins and Schlitz Beer.
In the 1920s, while touring the Schlitz Brewing facility, Claude asked employees a ton of questions about the minituate of the beer-making process. He became particularly interested in the process they used to purify the beer.
To the Schlitz employees, this was run of the mill stuff. After all, all the other beer companies did the same thing.
But Claude was an experienced ad man. He saw what they couldn’t because they were too close and it was ordinary. Yes, other companies did the same thing. But no one else had told that story.
And Claude was savvy enough to see that he could make the ordinary into something extraordinary.
They launched an advertising campaign that positioned Schlitz as the most pure and clean beer on the market. At the time, that created a huge point of difference.
Would you really want to drink the other, dirty beers?
Within months, Schlitz shot from fifth in the American beer market to first.
Here’s my point…
The best copywriters are excellent listeners and observers. It’s not my job to create something from scratch or invent something new about your company (would you really want me to do that, anyway?)
It’s my job to find what’s fascinating about you and shine a light on it.
When you’re close to something, it just looks like a tumbled mess.
But as you gain some mental space, you start to see the forest from the trees. Things start to take on a clear and definitive shape.
And that’s where clarity — and great business results — comes from.
And that’s why copywriters like me are so valuable. We see what’s hidden in plain sight. We see the threads of your business for what they really are, and use them to weave together a rich tapestry that’s irresistible to your customers.