~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~
Happy (late) Valentine’s Day! I hope you celebrated in a big way.
Me? I celebrated all day, listening to my favorite music, petting little Lina, and (of course) writing.
My whole foray deep into the world of fiction has been fascinating. The mindset between fiction and nonfiction writers would make an incredible case study.
Case in point: I was invited to take part in a “Run” (more like a mad dash) for New York Times bestseller status. I recorded a podcast regarding my thoughts on this topic, but thought I’d yammer a bit about it here. If I haven’t offended too many people, I may actually upload the podcast for a wider audience. 😛
My problem with this invitation is this: Does that label even count when I’d be one of 20 authors in a box set selling for .99? How can that be a legit label if I paid 500 smackers so the group would have ten grand to spend on advertising?
Worse yet? From what I hear, once that set sinks back down the sales ranks, the only thing I’d walk away with is the label. From what I hear, many writers who’ve done this don’t really see a long term bump in actual sales.
So yeah… I’m currently trying to figure out why someone would sign up for this. Perhaps I’m missing something. Let me know if I am!
I have so many thoughts concerning the scampering, breathless world of marketing fiction. Perhaps I’ll chit chat about that next time. Until then…
Onward and upward,
P.S. OH! Big news! I almost forgot. I’m fairly famous! (I’ll put away the exclamation points now.) Turns out you can see me in cartoon form over at Cancer Owl. If you’re into cancer and dark humor (ha), surf here: https://cancerowl.com/comic/2017/9/10/good-luck
I probably should have mentioned this sooner, but I was gobsmacked at reading my story… then I felt self conscious about it… now, a few months later, I’ve apparently decided it’s OK to share that part of me. Ack.
Kudos to Matthew Paul Mewhorter. He’s incredible.
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Your Marketing Needs to Accomplish 5 Things
Copywriting is a subset of advertising; a peculiar branch of writing focused solely on persuasion. Writers who specialize in this unique niche recognize the purpose of the sentences they craft are to:
That’s it. If the advertising copy meanders from that goal in any way, it won’t succeed. The writer needs to identify the product’s primary benefits, zero in on them with a laser focus, and absolutely nail those benefits using active language.
2. Keep the reader on the page
Readers drop boring copy fast. In fact, in the Internet age, sellers have less than a couple seconds to snag a reader’s attention and draw them into the copy. After that, if the copywriter has used active, vivid language, they raise the chances of read-through.
Truth is, the longer you keep the reader engaged, the higher the chances of success when you address the final call to action.
3. Pique interest
The reader is concerned with one thing: WIIFM. That stands for “What’s In It For Me.” While it’s impossible to address every person’s self interests, a competent copywriter will take the time to get to know your audience, poke around enough to know their primary concerns, and will address these… and how you can solve them… using concrete, active language.
As discouraging as it may sound, you have to realize yours isn’t the only sales message your potential client will read today. To combat this, your copy needs to pop off the page, grab attention, and keep your reader engaged.
It’s exceedingly important to always communicate with potential readers using their language. In that way, you build rapport. Once your message resonates with a potential customer, you can guide them towards the action you’d like them to take.
4. Communicate using the language of the reader
This is exceedingly important.
Many times, the natural inclination of business owners is to describe their product in a logical manner, teaching their reader why they should hire them/buy from them. That’s a mistake.
You have to turn the conversation 180 degrees because many potential customers will feel skeptical about hiring/buying from you… especially online. Face it, getting someone to hand over their hard earned cash or give you their time (even more precious) takes a bit of skilled communication.
Here’s the deal: You want to communicate with them like a friend, an ally, someone who totally understands their situation. Even better? Actually BE an ally, a friend, someone who understands them. A big way to achieve this is to understand their point of view, then speak their language.
Many copywriters liken this type of communication to a conversation you’d have while enjoying a cup of coffee together. As you speak, you chit chat, using simple language. Sometimes you ignore grammar rules. It’s communication at its most basic, intimate form.
You need to capture this intimacy in every communication with your readers. A skilled copywriter can help in this regard.
5. Copywriting is salesmanship in print
When you watch a really great sales person (not a smarmy one), they assess their potential customer pretty fast. They listen. A lot. If you really watch them, they basically transform into the person their customer needs. Their demeanor changes to suit the customer’s communication preference. Their language adjusts.
You never hear them trigger an argument. They don’t demean. They don’t pontificate. They listen and problem solve.
That’s what great copywriting does: it solves your customer’s most vexing problems using communication that resonates with them.
A good copywriter will adjust language, communication style, even the visual representation of their words (font, images, and such) to conform to customer expectations. For just a few moments, they turn into the potential customer, address their concerns, explain how your product/service will solve those concerns, and will help your customer become excited to make the purchase.
Final thought: Solid copy not only describes your product/service, it sells it in an effective, lively way. Each word carries weight and propels your reader towards the next word, phrase, paragraph. It speaks the language of your reader and closes strong.
If your sales materials fail to do this, it may be time to hire a competent copywriter who understands not only your product, but your customer’s needs, wants, and desires.
You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:
This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com