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Copywriting Learn Copywriting Marketing

I’m A Good Writer. So Why Should I Learn Copywriting?

Why Learn Copywriting? The short answer is: There’s a huge difference between being a good generic writer and being a good Copywriter.

The difference is obvious in the Intent, the Construction, and the Results of the writing.

  • Intent – The intent of generic writing is usually to impart information or news, or a story to the reader.  A Copywriter’s intent is to educate, inform, and influence readers to take a specific action, or member a specific thought. 
  • Construction – There are few, if any, hard and fast rules on how generic writing should be arranged.  The science/art of Copywriting has many standards, customs, and templates that have been proven effective in elevating basic writing into celebrated and acclaimed, and money-making, copy.
  • Results – Good writing is still good writing when the results follow the intent.  Good Copywriting is the same – but the results are vastly different…educate and inform readers on a specific topic, leading them to conclude that this product, service, or cause, is one that brings benefits to themselves or others.

Now, let’s move on to some of the writing and construction (aka structure) guides and tutorials you can expect to get from a good, detailed, comprehensive copywriting course(s) or system.

You already said you’re a good writer.  About 7-in-10 people have what it takes to be genuinely talented copywriters and don’t even know it.

How do I know?  Look at your life.  Have you ever…

  • Asked someone out on a date and they said “yes”?
  • Offered a suggestion to a work or civic group that was met with enthusiasm?
  • Put together an impromptu party, ball game, or even for you and your friends?

If you done these sorts of things, my friends, you did the job of a copywriter…you got an idea, placed that idea in front of people who might benefit from it, and they reacted positively and acted.  Bingo!

The key to great copywriting is “the Ability to use the Right Words and the Right Images, in the Right Order”.  I call that the copywriter’s “Million Dollar Advantage”.

Legendary Copywriter says it's critical to learn copywriting from the classic texts.

Here’s what you can expect to add to your current writing talents when you learn copywriting with the How To Write Copy system:

  • The Techniques and Secrets of the World’s Best Copywriters.
  • How to write Clearly, Concisely, Conversationally, and Convincingly.
  • Understanding how to choose the Right Psychological Approach.
  • How to Differentiate and be Unique.
  • Formulas and insights to creating your Unique Marketing Message .(aka Value Proposition).
  • How to know when to break the Grammar Rules.
  • Rules when writing for Print Media.
  • How to write Radio spots.
  • Rules when writing for TV.
  • How to write a Press Release.
  • How to Write Web Copy.
  • The keys to creating Effective Email Campaigns and Sales Letters.
  • How to choose the Best Fonts for the Situation.
  • How to Sell Your Product with a Story.
  • The AIDA Code.
  • How to create a Credibility Letter.
  • How to write Reports, White Papers, and Brochures.
  • The secret to write Incredibly Effective Headlines & Sub-Heads.
  • Why you should follow the “5 Steps To Benefits” Headline Rule.
  • How to Avoid False Alarm Headlines.
  • Why you need to know about Cross-Heads.
  • Writing Long Copy Made Easy.
  • How to create a Hook and how to use it.
  • The Methodology of Copywriting.
  • How to use the Curiosity Factor.
  • How to get the Specificity Advantage.
  • Learning to write in Thought Bites.
  • How to create Taglines for Branding.
  • How to avoid the Spam Police.

Copywriters, in general, write about products, services, and charitable causes.  So, a copywriting education without some reference to Marketing is incomplete.

Don't be one of "them". Learn Copywriting>

Every copywriter, whether in-house, agency-based, or freelance must learn about business marketing…and every business marketer should learn some copywriting.

A good, extensive, copywriting course/system will have a robust lineup of marketing guides specifically written for copywriters and marketer/copywriters. In other words, you’ll learn copywriting from a Master Copywriter.

Here are some examples:

  • The TRUE Definition of Marketing.
  • Understanding the difference between Tactical and Strategic Marketing.
  • How to develop your Unique Selling Proposition.
  • The clues to Generating Leads.
  • How to distinguish Features, Benefits, and Satisfactions.
  • How to avoid the most Common Marketing Mistakes businesses make.
  • Why the old stand-by Elevator Pitch is outmoded and how to improve it.
  • Understand the difference between Now Buyers and Future Buyers.
  • How To decide on Offers and Risk Reducers.
  • The vital importance of your Call-To-Action (CTA).
  • Cautions for Start-Ups (under 2 years in business).
  • Basics of Franchising.

Marketing and Copywriting are inextricably bound together.  Specializing in one without knowing the other would be like building a house and forgetting the roof.

Almost all Businesses, Organizations, and Non-Profits have websites.  For small businesses, websites are the MOST important tool in their arsenal.

Writing for websites is very close to copywriting with the one caveat of, “Get The Facts Out First” – In 7 seconds or less.  All “Learn Copywriting Courses” worth their salt should offer significant assets and spend significant time on the subject of Websites, Landing Pages, etc.  Some examples follow.

  • Why A Website Doesn’t Produce – and how to fix it
  • Why the first 7 Inches and 7 Seconds are critical for Website Success
  • Essentials you Must Have on your site
  • Colors and your Website, A Psychological Approach
  • How to get More Clicks from your Call-To-Action (CTA)
  • How to write Facebook Ads
  • Key Elements of a World-Class Website
  • Obstacle to Website Success
  • SEO or PPC – which is better for you?
  • The “Write In” Test – Can your Homepage Pass?

A lot of Website Strategy and Effectiveness is covered in our next section, Construction.

One of our modern Marketer/Philosopher understands why business people need to learn copywriting.

Now we come to the final section where we will explore what a copywriter and marketer/copywriter must know about the psychological and physiological effects how the readers react to the copy on your page (paper or digital).

Page construction (aka Structure) can’t be overestimated – especially online – because people with Intent (that is, the desire to see what you have and do business with you if their needs are met) are looking to see three things immediately on arriving at your website, opening your email, or looking at your ad.

  1. Am I in the right place for what I want?
  2. Does this company do what I’m looking for?
  3. What are the Benefits I get from them?

If you don’t answer these questions within about 7-8 seconds, visitors , readers, listeners, start leaving.  Below you’ll see samples of what you should expect when you take Copywriting Courses.

  • How to plan your page with Logical Thought Sequencing
  • When to offer your Value Proposition
  • How to maximize the Look and Flow of your Website
  • How to Maximize Call-To-Action Buttons
  • The “One Concept Per Page” Imperative

Okay…enough already.

I apologize if I took the long route to answer the question.  But, as a Master Copywriter for almost 40 years, I wanted to do a thorough job because I believe,  wholeheartedly, in what I’m saying.

In closing, I want to offer you – other than my words of wisdom – a solidly helpful Check List for you when you write copy.  It’s called, “The Unbreakable, Unassailable, Copywriting & Structure Rules”.  It’s one page; it’s Free, and it helps many of my clients and students write better copy.  Download It Here.

One more thing.  If copywriting interests you and you’d like to see more free content from me, simply go to my website.  And…don’t forget to download my latest book…Free!

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Categories
Copywriting Free Copywriting Content Learn Copywriting

Can I Learn Copywriting From Free Content?

Up to a point…yeah. Depending on where your current skill level lies, I have no doubts that anyone can learn copywriting from free internet content.

For some, this will be enough to help them in their business or career.  For others it will be a starting point.

It was much too nice a day to stay inside watching college football.  Temperatures in the mid-eighties under a cloudless Arizona sky beckoned a few of us to hit some golf balls and then grab lunch on the patio while we were recording the Tennessee – Alabama game for watching that evening.

At lunch, my friend Raul, who knew only that I was a writer, speaker, and coach, asked me about what it was that I wrote, spoke, and coached about.  I explained that my writings were focused on providing marketing and copywriting how-to guides and tools for small businesses and emerging “wannabe better” copywriters to elevate their skills.  It seemed to grab his interest, as he was dead set, so he said, on adding skills to his resume in this  scary, highly uncertain economy.

Then, he came out with a question I’d not heard before, “Can I learn copywriting from Free Content on the internet”?

I’d never had to actually put my thoughts in order enough that I could answer his question fully, yet concisely.  So, I begged off answering until “later”.

That evening, after we watched Alabama eke out a victory against a very good Tennessee team 34 to 20 (the thrill of victory for me; the agony of defeat for Raul). I asked Raul to let me think on his question some more so I could give him a reasonably good, thoughtful, fact-based answer. 

That night, when the house was quiet, I started to compile my answer.

Let’s start by breaking down his question, “Can I learn copywriting from free content on the Internet?” into parts.

First, we’ll need to examine:

  • Why do you want to learn copywriting?
  • Who shares good, helpful, Free, content on the net?
  • Why do these Content Providers post all that free content?
  • Copywriting Content is my business.
  • Why is most content free, but some is not?

As we progress, I’ll be using my own experiences mixed with what I know of other Content Providers, to craft the best answer possible.

Before anyone can answer your question, they must first know your “Why”.

  1. Are you looking at copywriting as a career choice? (Highest level of training.)
  2. Are you a marketer who wants to increase results by learning to write copy better? (Level of training will vary depending on how you acquire customers, and what your goals are.)
  3. Do you have a J.O.B. and want to add copywriting skills to your resume? (Training level will be basic to intermediate.)

All good, solid reasons.  And, as you can see, all get different answers.

Larger amounts of Free content are usually given by people like me – experts in their fields…and usually in conjunction with their businesses.

I, personally, provide the following content about Copywriting, Marketing, and Website Strategy on open forums:

  • Over one hundred articles on my blog.
  • Forty “20-Second Video Tips” on YouTube.
  • More than two hundred twenty TWIZDOMSä tips and quotes posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linked-In.
  • And even my 16 Lesson Audio book, “WIN the Marketing Game and STOP Wasting Money” is posted on my website.
  • One hundred percent FREE.

There are many providers like me posting content in their areas of expertise.  It’s up to you, the questioner, to submit a question to Google that covers exactly what you want to know.  Make it too narrow, you’ll get sparse results; make it too broad you’ll be wading through hundreds of options.

Content Marketers do have a very good reason for creating content and putting it out free for all to see and learn from. 

Many of us write our content to answer questions that people are entering in the Search Engines, like Google, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, Bing, and others.  Since Google is the elephant in the room, I will use them in my examples. 

Why do we do it?  So the Search Engines will find our piece of content and rank it high on the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) and that the searcher will click on, and read, our articles.  Here’s an example:

  • Someone enters “Will A.I. Replace Copywriters?”. I have an article by that exact name.  Google will, therefore, rank that article very high on the results pages because Search Engines are really in the business of finding answers to your questions. 
  • Then, the searcher sees that I have an answer to his or her question, clicks on it, reads it, and then the reader and the provider have an opportunity for mutually beneficial engagement.

This is what Content Marketing is all about.

I am a Master Copywriter, and I ♥ to write.

I write about what I know best and want to share it with others interested in marketing, copywriting, and website strategy.  Most – if not all – Content Providers I know, share insights and how-to’s aimed at helping readers improve their lives in fundamental ways.  Most readers find our articles, tips, videos, and other content helpful in their quest to:

  • Get a better job.
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Start a new business.
  • Grow their current business.
  • Work on their business, not in it.
  • Be more successful in their business.
  • Make more money with their business.

People follow us because they like what they’re reading and they know they can learn – and benefit – from our content.

Because Content Marketers like me, own businesses that offer information products, services, and personal help to people…and (frankly) because we’re in business to make a living.

Our “advertising strategy” is to let you read, watch, and hear much of our products.  Then, since you experienced me as a writer and an educator, you may wish to follow me or look into more information and/or in depth training.  To these people, I offer my online “How To Write Copy” System as a solution to their needs.

And this can lead to a beautiful, win-win relationship.

Our businesses are built on our own experiences, knowledge, and skills – and we want to pass this on to our readers.

We content providers generally segment our content into three levels:

  1. Get It Fully Free – Huge amounts of content are there for you in whatever you’re looking for. Just click and read, listen, or watch.  Helpful, but Incomplete – that is to say, the content delivers what it promises – “What To”, “How-To”, and “Why-To” information.  These pieces can’t go much deeper simply because a 1200-2000 word article would easily turn into a 20,000 word book.
  2. Get It Free with Opt-In – You can have this content if you’ll give us your name and your email address. By opting-in to this content you are giving permission to the provider to communicate with you (usually through emails) about the subject area you are interested in.  Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.  What you get in exchange is a Very Helpful, but still Somewhat Incomplete piece.
  3. Get Content For $ – by a subscription, purchase, or membership – this is how we pay the bills and have the resources to create the content, websites, videos, graphics, and hopefully make a nice profit. Extremely Helpful, Very Complete Content.  For example, in addition to hundreds of free content pieces, the member area for my product consists of:
  • 4 Courses.
  • 3 Tutorials.
  • 7 Loaded Toolboxes.
  • Over 100 original articles all in one place.
  • 53 Videos and Audios with hours of material.
  • 87 full Marketing & Copywriting How-To Guides.
  • 35 Templates, Checklists, Case Studies, and Self-Tests.
  • 32 Infographics, Study Guides and Writing Companions.
  • Unlimited email support plus the ability to get personal coaching.

I am, and I know my Content Marketing colleagues are, proud of what we bring to our followers, friends, and subscribers.

The short and sweet answer to my friend and to you is, “As much as you want to…” with the caveat that you may find you want to take your training to a higher level, in which case, it may require a financial commitment.

It depends on your goals, needs, and (yes) pocketbook.

  • If you are looking for a few tips – you can have those in spades – and virtually all are Fully Free.
  • If you want study guides/infographics, newsletters, self-tests, or full checklists, you’ll have opt-in with your name and email address. You’ll be getting some relevant emails, articles of the week, and so on – and even an offer or two. If you don’t want these perks, you can also unsubscribe from that email list.
  • If you’re looking to learn all the techniques, strategies, and secrets we have practiced and perfected over a career, you can become a paid member (as I am with a few of my favorite Content sites). What’s really important is, that in my experience, the Value of the tools, information, and advice you get is almost always much greater than the cost – and there’s generally a way of contacting the author with questions. 

Look, I tried Facebook ads to attract more interested people to site.  I tried Linked In Navigator.  But it wasn’t until a good friend suggested I put my hundreds of valuable content pieces out for all to see, that I understood the value of Content Marketing.  I realized the good it does for both the reader and provider.  I became a convert.

  • Content Marketing is a way to let everyone take a massive amount of helpful, relevant content for a free “test drive”.
  • Internet Content is plentiful and easy to access, whatever your area of interest.
  • When you’re ready to go deep, you can purchase, or become a paid member to, the courses, information products, master classes, one-on-one coaching, even “Done 4 U” services providers may offer.
  • Most sites will give you a Money-back guarantee or a free trial. Beware of sites that don’t.
  • You are always in control. Go as far as your dreams and talents take you.

Remember – Success is a journey.  Learn and Prosper.

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Categories
Copywriting Marketing Marketing Mistakes

“What Are Taglines & How Do They Make You More Money?”

Short answer…Because they aid in name recall and that results in more sales!

Small businesses need good Tag Lines as much as billion dollar brands.  Here’s a quick tutorial on how to create one for your business and an interesting Case Study.

Taglines, or slogans, are short, memorable statements about a company or its products or services.  Along with your name, they are designed to convey a strong message about what the product is and what it can do for your customers.  

A good tag line will differentiate your product or service from the competition while planting your message firmly into the mind of your prospects.  Just about every company should have a tag line.  Large companies, like GEICO, Fosters Beer, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Raid, BMW, and Rolaids have singular lines they’ve cultivated for decades. 

  • GEICO – “15 Minutes Can Save You 15% Or More On Car Insurance”
  • Fosters – “Australian For Beer”
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken – “Finger-Lickin’ Good!”
  • Raid – “Raid Kills Bugs Dead”
  • BMW – “The Ultimate Driving Machine”
  • Rolaids – “How Do You Spell Relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S” (70+ years old)

Others like Burger King, Hertz, Miller Lite and Coca Cola go through a carousel of tag lines sometimes jettisoning a wonderfully effective and memorable line (a killer message) for a so-so message, just for the sake of change. 

Often this is a mistake.  Keep using a killer message as long as it works.  Early on I was taught the folly of change for change’s sake with this credo, “A killer message doesn’t get stale.  Your prospects haven’t heard it enough yet and your customers believe it.”  Maybe that’s why it’s referred to as a “killer”.

Let’s take a look at some really great lines that were left behind.  Why?  No one seems quite sure.

  • Burger King – “Have It Your Way”
  • Miller Lite – “Tastes Great, Less Filling”
  • Hertz – “It’s Hertz Or ‘Not Exactly’!”
  • Coca Cola – “The Real Thing”

The only thing for certain was…the following tagline didn’t work as well.

Small Business Owners or Small Business Organizations – did anyone ever ask you, “What does your company do?” 

Did you have a short, memorable answer on the top of your mind you could give in under five seconds?  If not, you should have.  Properly articulated tag lines (and/or logos) can be used in a variety of ways.  Websites, letter heads, thank you cards, business cards, advertisements, uniform shirts, signage, etc., etc., etc.

You don’t have to be a big business to use a few of their good ideas.

Small businesses are different from large corporations and national and international brands in many ways. 

One of the most significant differences is that of time and money.  Owners can’t invest months or years and obscene amounts of money building a brand.   Small businesses run ad campaigns, put up websites and engage in SEO and social media to get results.  Now – not in six months.

      So it’s doubly important for a small business to create a tag line that works.  Ideally, it should differentiate you from the competition, relay to the customer a meaningful benefit and do it in a memorable way.  I know that’s a tall order, but the better you do…the better you’ll do. 

Don’t be a scaredy-cat.  You can do it.  Just follow your head and hard and some of these tips.

Try these three steps to create (or recreate) your own tag line:

  1. Find your Unique Message (or Unique Selling Proposition).
  2. Determine the most meaningful benefit you bring to your customers that is not also touted by the competition.
  3. Craft a simple, short, and easy to remember statement that incorporates A and B when coupled with your business name.

Over the years I’ve developed dozens of tag lines for some of my small business clients.  Here is a sampling.  See if you can identify the unique message and or benefit.  (Hint:  It’s really easy!)

Iowa Café (AZ): “Back-Home Cookin’, Small Town Friendly”

Landscape Architect: “Landscaping So Extraordinary, So Perfect…So You!”

NARPRO.com Auto Repair Referral Website*: “Find The Best Mechanic For Your Car” - and – “Love Your Mechanic”

HeliServices, Inc*: “Arizona’s Personal Helicopter Company – Yes You Can!”

Castanza’s Cakery: “We Put Joy In Your Mouth”

R&G Brenner Income Tax Service: “Pay Not A Penny More Than You Have To – Guaranteed!”

Luxury Import Car Repair: “The True Dealer Alternative”

Please…

  • Don’t say what your competitors say.
  • Don’t say something so trite and obvious that no one believes it (like “Best Service In Town”).
  • Do say something real and special about your business.

And now, let’s see what happen even in the world of big business with millions on the line.  Many times the small business owners I work with have a gazillion times more common sense than a Million Dollar a Year CMO (think New Coke…think Bud Light…but just think).

It seems little more than a fantasy now, but once, about 50 years ago, upstart Burger King almost beat McDonald’s in the Burger Wars.

McDonald’s was the first truly successful hamburger chain/franchise.  No one could come close.  Whenever Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, was ever challenged, he’d focus on, then dispatch his opponent.  This story is about upstart Burger King which, if they didn’t make one of the biggest marketing blunders in history, could have, might have, won the Burger Wars.

Let’s get in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine and go back to the 1970’s.

Products have used tagline (aka slogans) successfully for over 150 years.

A good tagline, when combined with the company or product name, tells the prospect who you are and what you do.  A great tagline will tell – or imply – how you are different and how your customers benefit.  A “World-Class” tagline also needs to be memorable to stick in the heads of the readers.

Such a tagline was created in 1973 by top ad agency BBD&O, and Chris Schoenleb, for Burger King and led to the Burger Wars.

“Have It Your Way” At Burger King.

A phenomenal line that, in four words tells us two things:

  • You can order your burger any way you want, which gives the customer control over their sandwich. (Differentiates Burger King from other franchise burgers – AND gives the benefit of CONTROL to the customer.
  • It implies – rightly – that you can’t do that at McDonald’s where all the burgers were made identically.

This tagline propelled Burger King very close to McDonald’s in the burger wars.  BK was trending up while Mickey D was trending down. 

Then, inexplicably, Burger King abandoned the message that got them there and began a long, slow slide backwards – giving us the biggest burger blunder of all time.

But company they didn’t want to be in.

Burger King ranked right up there with Ford’s calamity, the Edsel.  BK reigned as one of the top two marketing mishaps in modern history until 1985, when Chief Marketing Officer, Sergio Zyman, introduced the world to New Coke. (also known as the “Edsel from Atlanta”.)  This total miscalculation reminded everyone, marketing execs, copywriters, small business owners, even non-profit organizations, of one unbendable, unbreakable rule.

“If it’s working…Don’t’ [M]uck With It”.

I realize only a small percentage of you are engaged in a ‘Burger Wars’ type of business, but you need a crackerjack tagline as much as, and maybe more than, large corporations.

The reason is simple.  You don’t have the widespread name recognition that mega-marketers like Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Apple, Walmart, or Proctor & Gamble have…and you don’t have their budgets, either.  So, you need a short, memorable tagline that tells people WHAT you do, HOW you’re different, and the BENEFITS that the buyer gets when buying your product or service.

Personally, I’d evaluate your current tagline with these three things in mind, ASAP. 

Get a jump on your Website, Marketing, Taglines, and Copywriting with my FREE Copywriter’s Ultimate Checklist.

And, if you’re interested in even more info and free Copywriting and Marketing Content, please check out my website, How To Write Copy” at Write Like A Madman University.  I know you’ll enjoy looking around at all the free Copywriting and Marketing Content.

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Categories
Copywriting Marketing Marketing Mistakes

13 Copywriting Tips & Tricks You Might Not Know

I am happy to provide you with these 13 Copywriting Tips & Tricks taken from my 35+ years as a Master Copywriter and now Head Madman at Write Like A Madman University.

I think it’s helpful to segment these copywriting tips into four categories:

  • The View From 30,000 Feet
  • Headlines and Such
  • Wordsmithing
  • Cautionary Technical Copywriting Tips

With this in mind. Let us proceed.

The View From 30,000 Feet

In this section, we’ll concentrate on those tips and tricks  related to the overall mindset and goals of the copywriter.

1  Copywriters Educate, Inform, and Influence

Your main focus as a copywriter is to educate your customers and prospects.  When done correctly, this leads to an increase in trust…and remember, people buy from people they like and trust.  Get yourself into the mind of your reader and stay there.  It’s not about you.  It’s about your customer. (Also see my article, “I Am A Copywriter”)

2  Be Believable

Copywriting legend (and Original Madman) Bill Bernbach stated “The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.  So don’t fudge, don’t obfuscate, don’t misrepresent, and don’t lie.  It doesn’t do you or your client any good.  (Also see my article, “Copywriters: Be Believable Or Be Gone”)

3  Tell a Good Story

People like stories and respond to them well.  Your story can be as short as one sentence or as long as your arm, as long as it is personal, interesting, and true. (Also see my article, “How To Sell With A Story”)

4  Write Like Your Customers Speak

Listen, I don’t care how educated you are, or are not.  Why? Because your job is to write in the voice of your ideal reader.  What words and phrases do they use?  How “perfect” is their grammar?  Do they occasionally speak in industry “jargon”?  If so — copy them.

Headlines and Such

The copywriting tips in this section deal with the part of your copy that gets read the most – Headlines, Sub-Heads, and Crossheads.  Most people skim websites, articles, emails, or ads first to determine whether they want to read the whole thing.  By having good, attracting headlines, even the 80% who don’t read your whole piece will read the most important parts.  You will have gotten into, at least, one slice of their brain.

5  Headlines

The ad for your ad.  This is the most critical element of your piece, so take the time and care to write it right.  In Write Like A Madman University, we devote an entire toolbox and portions of four courses, to headlines. 

These days – especially on the net, your headline needs to deliver the Benefits to the reader in two seconds or less – which is the time it takes to read five short words.

6  Sub-Heads

Most headlines have a sub-head “attached”.  The job of the Sub-Head is to add facts to the headline that increase the chances of the prospect reading the body copy.

You might come across sub-heads that “refute” a common objection before the reader can think of it. This is an excellent use of sub-heads as well.

Try it.

7  Crossheads

This copywriting tip concern one of the most neglected elements of writing strategy: how to keep the reader reading.  Crossheads introduce the next concept to the reader.  Crossheads are used in websites, emails, ads, and reports when you don’t want to risk the reader’s eyes and attention waning so they may stop reading.  Look at the words HeadlinesSub-Heads, and Crossheads, above.  They are perfect examples of a crosshead used in longer copy.

Wordsmithing Copywriting Tips

The copywriting Tips and Tricks we’ll discuss here are used to make an impression and awaken the mind of your reader.  Additionally, they serve to make your writing more memorable. And, that’s something that’s very important to the copywriter and his or her client.

8  Triples (or the Power of Three)

I don’t know precisely why people recall things better in groups of three than any other grouping.  Think of all the “Triples” you’ve heard and may remember. 

  • “Snap, Crackle and Pop” (Rice Krispies)
  • “The Few. The Proud. The Marines”. (USMC)
  • “Just Do It” (Nike)
  • “Complete – Easy – Effective” (Write Like A Madman University)

Why were there 3 Stooges?  Why did Donald Duck have 3 nephews?  And, why did Daisy Duck have 3 nieces?  And Popeye, 3 nephews?

Next in the line of memorability after Triples, comes doubles…two words or short phrase.

9  Double-Ups

Double-Ups are a Copywriter tip to exponentially increase the power of one word by adding a second word with the same meaning.  Which of the following sentences (for American Express) sounds more powerful, confident, and trustworthy to you?

“When it absolutely has to be there overnight.” -or-

“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

Aha!

10  Alan Adores Alliterations

Alliterations are a group of words starting with the same sound.  “Genuinely Great Grapefruit”, etc etc etc.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Frosted Flakes, and Cap’n Crunch. Even the title of this article uses the words “Tips & Tricks”.

Early in my career, I wrote the most “expensive line” I could imagine. It was for a new, sleek sports car. The line was: ”It’s for going fast, going far, even for going formal”. 

So, why was it expensive? I got paid $600 for my work with the team, but I was so taken with the product, that I went out and bought one for $5,100! (In 1973 – that was a lot of cash for a young copywriter.)

Cautionary Technical Copywriting Tips

Our first ten Copywriting Tips and Tricks were all positives.  Do this…and you’ll succeed.  Now, I come to the part of this article where I must caution you NOT to do something or three. Or heaven help you.

11 Eradicate Polysyllabicism Immediately

How about this crosshead title?!?  I use it to make my first caution.  DO NOT use long 5, 6, 7 or more syllable words – unless they’re generally understood (like Delicatessen).  And…DO NOT use unusual words whose meaning are not generally understood words by your target readership (like Prolix) – unless you’re using it for memorability or emphasis – and the exact meaning is not important.  Examples: would be “rigamarole”, ‘Huckleberryfinn-ish”, or “gobbledygook”.

12  Watch Your Margins

On a piece of paper, this warning would not be necessary…but…since much of the copywriter’s work goes on to the internet, websites, emails, etc. the margins become something to consider. 

Most readers generally learn to read from, newspapers, magazines, and books.  Newspaper and magazine columns contain 30-45 characters, books average about 50-60.  Why then, do people put lines of type (copy) on their websites from one side to the other…sometimes 80, 90, 100 or more characters.  People and their eyes are not used to reading lines that long.  And when they tire, they stop reading – and you are the loser.

So, move the margins in, or increase the size of the font until you have no more than 60-75 characters per line.

13  THIS SENTENCE WOULD BE A NO-NO IN YOUR BODY COPY

Ditch ALL CAPS for most writing.  Caps are great for emphasis (see preceding sentence) or for SHORT Headlines.  Otherwise forget it.  ALL CAPS are harder to read than the traditional mixed upper case-lower case sentences.  If you want to keep your readers reading, lose the “all caps”.

Want an example? Which of the words below can you most easily read?

PSYCHOLOGICAL

Psychological

Which did you choose?

Well, my friends, that’s all lucky 13 Copywriting Tips.  Somewhat earthshaking. And, maybe a “tich” startling.  But good, solid, tried-and-true advice for emerging writers and reminders for us “experienced” practitioners of this wonderful art/science of copywriting.

Want To Know The Secrets Of The World’s Best Copywriters?

Many budding copywriters and business owners need help in crafting branding statements, advertising, online web copywriting and content, press releases and the like. 

I encourage you to find a good branding strategy consultant and/or professional copywriter who can take what’s in your heart and your head and put it in a way that will let you reach your goal of educating your prospects, allowing them to conclude they would have to be raving lunatics if they didn’t do business with you. 

So, if you’re looking for a good online digital copywriting course, kindly check out Write Like A Madman And Make Money Like Crazy, my 13-Video, 30-piece multi-media Signature Course.  I invite you to sit in on video Session 1, just to get a feel of it.

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Categories
Copywriting Marketing

What Are The Secrets Of The World’s Best Copywriters?

What Are The Secrets Of The World’s Best Copywriters – and how can you use them in your business?

Learning the Secrets Of The World’s Best Copywriters is one of the surest and least costly ways to boost your business, conversions, and sales.

This statement has been proven true time and again.  A recent study shows that your message is even more important than how much you spend on online or traditional advertising.

So, small business entrepreneurs, the fastest, cheapest way to increase your sales and conversions is to learn to write better.

Who Says So?

To start with, The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  Plus me.   Now, being a copywriter for over 30 years, I got to experience that first-hand.  The better I got, the better my results seemed to be.  It was like magic.

But let me tell you right here and now, copywriting has little to do with your average high school or college writing course.  It is a clear, concise, and conversational way of speaking with your customers and prospects.  In some ways, it’s a down and dirty art form, in others, it’s the product of proven formulas.  But one thing it isn’t, my friends – it isn’t just a bunch of lies.

Bill Bernbach, one of the “Madmen” of Madison Avenue, who inspired the hit TV show, cautioned us, “The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.”

Power Up Your Website, Brochures, and Ads with The Secrets of the World’s Best Copywriters

Powerful, memorable, unique messages are what copywriters provide to their businesses or clients.  Just because you were an “A” English student, don’t make the mistake of thinking you are already a copywriter.  Not true by a long shot.

Aldous Huxley, acclaimed author of the novel, Brave New World, and sonneteer tells us, “It is easier to write ten effective sonnets than one effective advertisement.”  And he should know.  He tried his hand at copywriting – unsuccessfully.

Numerous other famous authors have also come from the ranks of copywriters.

How To Write Copy

So…Who Else?

Let’s see…besides Huxley, here a just a few recognizable names.

  • Helen Gurley Brown (Icon of Feminist Movement, Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan, Wrote Sex and the Single Girl)
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald (Led generations of readers with his writings including The Great Gatsby)
  • Joseph Heller (A leader of American thought from 1961 to his death in 1999.  Penned the classic Catch 22)
  • Elmore Leonard (A prolific writer of what was called “pulp fiction”.  Leonard was also an Award-Winning Author and Screenwriter. Among his many books and credits are “Get Shorty” (John Travolta)”, “Mr Majestyk” (Charles Bronson), and “Hombre” (Paul Newman)
  • James Patterson (King of the Mystery/Crime genre.  It’s not feasible to list his titles here, but his best selling books add up to over 230 million.)
  • Salman Rushdie (his “The Satanic Verses” were a worldwide phenomenon that forced him to live in hiding for decades due to the fatwas placed on him by Muslim clerics who found his book blasphemous.)

Learn the Secrets Of The World’s Best Copywriters and you will be able to craft your unique messages with power and style.  You will be able to “talk” to your readers clearly, without fear of being misunderstood.  And with the confidence that you are telling them something that will make their lives better.

The copywriter.  The critical link between a business and it’s customers. “Good marketing”, says Joe Chernov, CMO of Robin, “makes the company look good.  Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.”  Getting to “great” is the job of the copywriter.

What “Secrets” Will You Learn?

I was trained by, and wrote for, three Top 5 International Ad Agencies on Madison Avenue.  These agencies were headed by the some of the most respected, accomplished, and noteworthy copywriters of all time.  Bill Bernbach, David Ogilvy, and Rosser Reeves.  What I learned from my time with those agencies could fill a hundred books.

The “Techniques and Secrets” they imparted to me and others, formed the foundation of my writing education.  As I moved through almost 40 years of copywriting, I consistently got to put those techniques into play at every level I attained.  As a Freelancer most of my career, I updated the practices as required.  I got to know what worked in which situations…and I started helping/coaching/advising the next generations of copywriters and small business entrepreneurs.

Eugene Schwartz, probably the best direct response copywriter ever, theorized as to why more recent copywriters and marketers did not have the outstanding success that Schwartz and the others enjoyed.

How To Learn The Secrets Of The World’s Best Copywriters

I have worked with over three thousand small business owners and copywriters through my Seminars, personal website evaluations, and consulting relationships.  The one questionable trait I found in quite a few of these Bedrock Entrepreneurs, was thinking that because they were experts at their business (almost always true) they, therefore, were experts in marketing their businesses (almost always false).

If you’re one of those entrepreneurs who want the hands-on experience of marketing, I suggest you learn those secrets, techniques, and practices that make professional copywriters able to boost the performance of almost any website or ad campaign.

Once you get the basics and move up to advanced techniques, you can be your own copywriter.  You’ll then be more able to take what’s in your head and in your heart and communicate it to your customers and prospects.  You’ll also learn “special” skills like:

  • Conversion Copywriting
  • Copywriting for the web
  • Writing for Recall
  • Tagline and Slogan copywriting
  • Headlines
  • Structuring Your Marketing Message
  • Building A World-Class Website

The Secrets of The World’s Best Copywriters are among the skills you will discover and learn in my signature tutorial, Write Like A Madman And Make Money Like Crazy.  This original, multi-media program consists of 13 videos and 28 supporting Guides, Templates, Check Lists and Audios.  It is, to my knowledge, the most complete, online marketing, branding, and copywriting tutorial specifically designed for small business entrepreneurs.

Just Some Of The Strategies, Techniques, and Secrets, You’ll Discover

Members of my How To Write Copy @Write Like A Madman University will be entertaining the following, plus others.

  • Flow
  • Hooks
  • Offers
  • Clarity
  • Rhyme
  • Rhythm
  • Benefits
  • Taglines
  • Strategy
  • Curiosity
  • Branding
  • Congruity
  • Headlines
  • Relevancy
  • Specificity
  • Messaging
  • Psychology
  • Crossheads
  • Satisfactions
  • Thought Bites
  • Risk Reducers
  • Future Buyers
  • Calls-To-Action
  • Customer Focus
  • Lead Generation
  • Value Proposition
  • Logical Thought Sequencing

Want to learn about all these, and more?

Here’s 3 Free, Helpful, Quick, Ways To Start Getting The Techniques and Secrets Of The World’s Best Copywriters

Watch Video #1 of my program, absolutely free.  I’m confident you’ll find it not only interesting, but relevant to the small business marketing experience, both online and traditional.

Get a jump on your Website and Copywriting with my FREE NO OBLIGATION Information package.  

Visit my Website and get loads of Free, Original Copywriting and Marketing Content.

I ♥ Copywriters and Marketer/Copywriters

Once you have become familiar with how to write effectively, you will notice that your prospects are staying on your site longer or reading your emails and clicking on your offer more frequently (whether the offer is to buy, get more information, reserve a time to talk to you, or whatever your goal is for that marketing piece).  In other words, your results will increase.

The longer you stay with it, the more you learn, the better your writing will become.  And Better Writing Brings Better Results.

I would love for you to read my article “Copywriters Are The Heart and Soul Of Marketing“.

Wishing you amazing success and the best of luck in your current and future endeavors.

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Categories
Copywriting Marketing Marketing Mistakes

The Worst Marketing Mistake Ever

The Worst Marketing Mistake Ever?  Am I serious?!?  I am.  Truly.

Let’s start with a very short quiz and put this all in perspective.

Which if the following is the MOST critical part of your marketing?

  1. Digital Marketing driving traffic to your website or landing pages
  2. Automated Email/CRM System
  3. Lead Generation
  4. Free Content/Blogs
  5. A Unique, focused Marketing Message and presentation structure
  6. Cutting-edge Website Design
  7. Money

Answer will be revealed in this article

The One Mistake That’s Destroying Your Sales

Just STOP.  Stop right there.  Stop making the same mistake as thousands of small businesses are making right now.

What’s the mistake?  Misunderstanding the one aspect of your business marketing that makes the rest of your marketing work.  I’m talking about choice (5) A Unique, focused Marketing Message and presentation structure.

How many of you got that right?

How Can I Say That?

Allow me to explain. (Those of you who got it right and are satisfied with the results of your marketing can stop now and leave early – although reading to the end couldn’t hurt).

This next statement is critical to your future success.

“Operating without a unique and powerful Marketing Message will weaken every other aspect of your marketing strategy.”
  • When your digital marketing drives people to your website or landing page, that page WILL NOT CONVERT in any way near what it would with a Unique and Powerful Marketing Message on it.
  • Your Automated Email system will be sending emails to people who, for the most part, are not fully convinced of the benefits of your product or service without the Message.
  • Your lead generation efforts will under-perform because those coming to your website or landing page won’t get that “Aha! Moment” where they say to themselves, “I’d have to be a raving lunatic not to do business with these people”.
  • After reading your blogs, people may want more information. If the message they’re receiving is lackluster and not properly written and laid out, the result will be the same…limited conversions and a much higher cost of customer acquisition.
  • No matter how modern, slick, or pretty your website, if it’s not “delivering the goods” (your Message) you will simply have one of millions of ineffective websites generating disappointing results.
  • Money? Yes, money.  I’ll wager more than a few of you thought money can be the determinant of success in marketing.  It is not.  A huge study by the prestigious Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania concluded that “Message is more important to the overall success of your marketing than is how much money you spend.”

Now that you know all this, let’s get started on the positive track of increasing the effectiveness of all elements of your marketing, by creating a Unique and Powerful Marketing Message.

Let’s Set the Scene

Try this…let’s say your own a restaurant called Our Place, and a couple new to the neighborhood asks you, “A restaurant?  Wow!  How’s the food?” 

Your response is, “My family has owned and run Our Place for 32 years.  We’re open every day for lunch and dinner.  Comfortable seating, plenty of parking, affordable prices make Our Place and the kind of place you’ll want to bring the family again and again.”

What’s the chances that your “Elevator Pitch” answer will entice them to give you a try?  In my estimation – less than 50-50…perhaps a lot less.

Give Prospects The Information They Want and Need

So, did you answer their question?  You did not.

They asked about the food, you answered with everything but.  So, what does this little example this have to do with your business and your Unique and Powerful Marketing Message?

Everything – because your answer (Message) was neither unique nor powerful.  It was a dud, a bomb, a waste of time.

Your Unique and Powerful Marketing Message

To begin creating your Message you must put yourself in the customers’ shoes.  What is the most important thing when choosing a restaurant?  Right…the food.

Your message needs to communicate what the customer is most interested in.  It’s NOT about you.  It’s all about your customer. 

  • Give them the answers to what they want to know about your business – and your chances of attracting and retaining that customer go increase exponentially. It’s not rocket science. 
  • But you must understand what the customer values most about your business. How about saying, “If you’re looking for homemade Italian specialties made from my grandma’s original recipes, with fresh, quality ingredients and served with pride and love, you couldn’t do better than Our Place…and when you come in look for me and I’ll give you an appetizer or dessert to welcome you to the neighborhood.”

Okay…now what’s the chances of these folks patronizing your restaurant.  I’d make the odds 80-20 at least.

Your Unique and Powerful Marketing Message Checklist

Your website, landing pages, advertisement, social media, emails, and blogs (marketing pieces) are there to communicate your message to your prospects and customers.

Here’s a quick, 8-point checklist for creating that powerful message:
  • What’s unique, different, and better, about your business compared to your competitors?
  • What are the top three needs, wants, or problems your prospects hope you will fulfill or solve?
  • What are the benefits your customers will get when doing business with you?
  • Do the benefits match up with the needs, wants, or problems?
  • What third-party social proof can you provide to reinforce the idea that you’re the company they want to do business with?
  • Do your marketing pieces contain…
    • A headline and/or main image that interrupts and attracts?
    • A motivating offer or offers?
    • A solid risk reducer?
    • A well-worded call to action?
  • Is your message written so that it is…
    • Clear?
    • Concise?
    • Conversational?
    • Customer-centric?
  • Is your message structured so that one thought – or concept – leads smoothly into the next, building the case for your business, and bringing the reader (or listener) to your call to action?
Use this outline to template your Unique and Powerful Marketing Message and you should see an uptick in clicks, conversions, and sales.
Truthfully, everything in your marketing tool belt is dependent on the words and images you use and how well you use them.

How To Be A Better Marketer and Writer and Make More Money

Get some serious training.  Now.

“How To Write Copy” at Write Like A Madman University offers 4 Copywriting, Marketing and Website Science and Strategy courses, 3 deep dive Tutorials, and 7 Toolboxes stuffed with over 245 additional videos, audios, guides, templates, case studies, checklists, InfoGraphics.  Check out the concept and even sit in on the first session of our signature course, “Write Like A Madman and Make Money Like Crazy”.

More Free Help

Also, see my related article, The Better Elevator Pitch.  

Please visit our Website.

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Categories
Copywriting

Will AI Replace Copywriters?

Will AI Replace Copywriters?  It’s a Damn Good Question.

Lately, I started playing around with Artificial Intelligence.

My motivation for this was a statement I heard at a panel discussion, “Eventually, AI will replace copywriters”. Well, let me tell you, that made me sit up and take notice. Not for me. I’ve been a professional copywriter for almost forty years. But it makes for a hell of a prediction for those good souls enrolled in my copywriting courses, learning an in-demand skill for their future success.

Given that, I had to look into AI (that I now dub “Albert Inestein” and see what all the bombast was about.

I Was Surprised

Going in ready to rip apart the idea that AIbert could replace ME… and all my fellow copywriters, I was simultaneously stunned, astounded, and surprised.

What I found was a logical, easy-to-learn, tool for writing.  In scant seconds the AI on ChatGPT answered both simple and complex questions with logical, readable prose that (like a copywriter) informed and educated the reader.  The “machine” answered my question about the “four top elements of a successful website – above the fold in 2.4 seconds and was, from a copywriter’s standpoint, 50% correct.

That also means that it was 50% wrong.

Whew – Dodged A Bullet – For Now

After running a half-dozen additional tests, I can answer the title question, “Can AI Replace Copywriters?”.  The answer is, “Not now”.

Let me give you the full answer from the ChatGPT AI its own self.  “Where AI has made remarkable strides in language processing, it’s unlikely to replace copywriters completely.  Copywriting involved creating written content that not only communicates a message effectively but also engages the target audience, and it requires a certain level of creativity and empathy that machines are currently unable to match”.  So, the good news for we writers of copy is…No.  AIbert will not replace us anytime soon.

And the better news is…AI can be, in time, a terrific time-saving tool good copywriters can use to produce superior copy much more quickly.

But…There Is Some Bad News, Too

AI presents copywriters with an opportunity and a crutch. 

The lazier, less talented, less inquisitive, less perfectionist, and less honest, may (OK…will) use AIbert instead of their God given intelligence and talent.  Please don’t succumb to the “easy” way, when you are equipped to deliver copy written the “BEST” way.  As I serve as a coach and mentor to the members of my “How To Write Copy” program at Write Like A Madman [online] University, I shall be cautioning each of them to be true to themselves and their profession.

We can utilize AIbert Inestein in our projects the way we currently utilize internet searches – as aids to our writing, not as substitutes for it.

Never Accept AI At Face Value

Within a couple of hours of playing around with AI, I realized not everything that comes out of the mouths of machines is correct.

We are copywriters, we educate, inform, and influence.  I am attempting to do that with you now.  I have found that we, the receivers of the AI information need to be careful and make judgments as to whether the information provided is reliable or questionable. 

Make the wrong judgment and it’s your work that will be blamed and your reputation that will be tarnished.

Copywriters Rejoice – You Can Do Many Things AI Can’t

We are copywriters; we are also human beings with a soul and an ability for articulate speech.

We stand far and above the AI machines in the most important ways.

  • Human Understanding
  • Life Experiences
  • Thought Bites
  • Engagement
  • Messaging
  • Prioritizing
  • Memories
  • Creativity
  • Empathy
  • Warmth
  • Nuance
  • Passion

We can either dismiss AIbert out of hand or recognize it for the tool it is and add it to our unique repertoires of knowledge, skills, and talents.

Copywriters Continuously Study, Evaluate, and Perfect Our Talents

The best copywriters “live and learn”.  We are always analyzing our own efforts to find out what works best.  What will bring our clients increased results.

One of the talents or skills good copywriters develop is the “Ability to use the Right Word and the Right Image, in the Right Order”.  I call this our Million Dollar AdvantageÔ.

To quote Mark Twain – one of the most quoted writers of all time – “The difference between the Right Word and the almost right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug”.

Page Structure Suffers Under AI

Right now, our Albert does not get high marks for the ability to plan the structure of a page, it has little feel (from my experience) for the interaction between long and short sentences.

As I teach in my seminars and in my online “How To Write Copy System”, a copywriter should intersperse sentences of different lengths to keep the copy fresh, so the readers don’t get lolled into a state akin to mental boredom.  Good copywriters make it a point to use, at times, very shout sentences of three, two, even one word.  Do we really?  We do.  Absolutely.

Artificial Intelligence is just that – artificial.  It can put cohesive thoughts on paper, and even make a stab at sequencing those thoughts in a logical order, but I’ve found that once a new question, thought or concept,  is posed to“ Albert Inestein”, the resulting text shows little in the way of connectivity and flow from the previous answer.  Thus, that bond copywriters can create with our readers goes unnourished.

I suppose AI will be able to do this someday, but not today.

AI Understands Words More Than It Does People

Every page, whether on a website, email, brochure, or advertisement, must be planned to focus and direct the readers’ eyes, so their experience will be easy and pleasant.

Our friend, Albert is smart, but he has (again – in my experience) learned that a marketing piece is not like a novel.  It requires leading the reader down the page as smoothly and effortlessly as possible.  Readers appreciate this and reward us by continuing to read down the page.

It is only when pages are optimized for easy reading that “stopped reading” is at a minimum, and results can be maximized through the copywriter’s art and science.

A Parting Thought

Allow me to let the machines give us our take-away for the day.

“Copywriting involves a deep understanding of brand voice, tone, and messaging. An AI system can mimic an existing brand voice, but it cannot create a new one. Copywriters bring a unique perspective to the table and can develop fresh ideas and creative campaigns that resonate with audiences.”

“In conclusion, while AI can assist copywriters by generating ideas and providing data insights, it’s unlikely to replace them completely.”

Kick Start Your Career or Side-Gig

Whether you’re just emerging as a copywriter or have been at it for years, I’d like to offer my help.

First, if I may humbly suggest you grab a look-see at the latest book in my Five Buck Book Series.  Details at www.MillionDollarAdvantage.com.   My website is www.AlanTarr.com.  And secondly, I encourage you to contact me with any questions about adding copywriting to your skill set.  You can reach me at Linked In or at alan@writelikeamadman.com.

Want to learn Copywriting?

Thank you.

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Categories
Copywriting Marketing

Can You Be Your Own Copywriter?

Can you?  YES.

Should you?  Decide that only after you have all the facts presented in this article.

This is how we’ll go about it.

This is how we’ll go about it.

 

    • We’ll take a quick look at the state of the industry and your place in it.  Don’t be nervous, the bulk of this article is designed to help you – the small business, or non-profit entrepreneur.

    • We’ll delve into that fantastic mind of yours and try to discover why you might want to add copywriting to your skills as a small business entrepreneur.

    • We’ll look at what’s involved in learning to be a marketer/copywriter and what that skill set can do for your business.

    • We’ll discuss the time and capital required to get you ready to write your own webpages, email campaigns, ads, etc.

    • We’ll go into the pros and cons of doing it yourself, hiring internal help, or finding an expert outside advisor.

Marketing Today

The vast majority of businesses that wish to attract new customers and retain current customers market their products or service.

Half of these marketers are businesses with sales in excess of $50,000,000 and over 50 employees.  They account for the vast majority of traditional and digital marketing and advertising.  You’ve seen their marketing pieces (ads, websites, emails, pop-ups, texts, billboards, and even blimps.  They pay to get their products featured in movies, TV shows, and even music videos.  You probably have noticed that some of them are (in your opinion) terrific, and some (also in your opinion) are uninteresting, lackluster duds.

It shouldn’t surprise you that these larger marketers employ top national and international advertising agencies, as well as freelance master copywriters to – as near as possible – ensure the success of their campaigns.  [Note: I worked in an agency and as a freelancer for over 20 years.]

But What About The 50% Of Marketers Who Run Small Businesses?

It is obvious too all but a few, that larger marketers spend billions of dollars on creating and communicating their messages and campaigns to the public. 

But what about the small businesses ($250k – $50M in sales and 1-49 employees)?  They face obstacles that larger businesses usually don’t.

 

    • Lack of resources to hire top talent (copywriters, digital marketers, webpages content and design experts, etc.).

    • Lack of a realistic marketing plan with a powerful and Unique Message.

    • Lack of persons trained and proficient in the skills laid out in bullet #1, above.

Worry not, for most small businesspersons have some critically important advantages they may not even recognize, that will set them up to be the master marketer for their business.

Small Business Owners Are Their Own “Ace-In-The-Hole”

Through my seminars, I have worked with over 3100 small business entrepreneurs; some have become clients, others enrolled in my courses, and a number have become friends.

I’m happy to say, many have achieved success or increased their top and bottom lines.

What I discovered was these entrepreneurs have attributes few hired experts can  duplicate – as we’ll see in the next section.

Why are you thinking of learning copywriting?

I’ll start by posing some questions for you to answer to yourself and points to consider with your closest friends and advisors.

Are you looking to market your business more effectively?

 

    • Entrepreneurs are persons with the courage to make decisions and take prudent risks, the innermost knowledge of the workings of their business,  and the passion to make the lives of their customers better.

    • These qualities make them superb candidates for adding copywriting to their skill sets.

    • What they probably lack is the ability to take what’s in their heads, and what’s in their hearts and turn it into a unique and powerful marketing message that will educate, inform, and influence their prospects and customers – and bring in more business.  And that they can learn.

Is it because your previous attempts to increase Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI) has been disappointing, or downright pathetic?

 

    • You’re not alone.  Did you know over 70% of small business marketing underperforms due to the lack of someone who has the “Ability to use the Right Words and the Right Images, in the Right Order” to be a successful marketer/copywriter.  I call this ability the copywriter’s  Million Dollar Advantage!

    • Businesses I’ve worked with and studied grew their revenues 30% – 100% and more by simply adding a powerful and effective marketing message to their webpages, emails, and advertising.

    • This was done without increasing their marketing budget by even one thin dime.

Do you anticipate using your acquired skills as a base for a freelance copywriting side gig to help other businesspersons succeed?

 

    • It’s not unusual to see business owners who boost their own marketing results, offer to help friends understand the process.  Occasionally we see one of our Copywriting System members begin a nice Freelance side gig that can bring in some significant extra dollars. 

    • Those who may anticipate this for their futures know that, for most entrepreneurial businesses, the biggest – and most important – part of marketing is copywriting.

The Essence of Marketing is your MESSAGE, and the Essence of your Message is COPYWRITING

Time, Capital, and Other Considerations

How much is your time worth?

 

    • I don’t expect you to break down your responsibilities and tasks.  The question I’d like you to answer is, “Can you afford to take an hour or two out of your day to, first, learn the art and science of copywriting, and second, to write, and implement your marketing strategy?”

Are you currently working in your business or on your business? 

 

    • Working in your business is generally not the best position for an owner to be in.  When you work ON your business, your efforts are focused on bringing in more clients and making sure that they get the best you have to give.

Do you have a current marketing budget and what is it used for?

 

    • Without a working budget, it will be very difficult for you to determine your ROMI and what part of your marketing strategy (not tactics) is working.

Do you intend to delegate the marketing responsibility to one of your team members?

 

    • Many businesses hire marketing “specialists”.  Sometimes without really knowing what skills and experience the specialist has.  If you have a good person on staff, I might suggest that you put him or her through some extensive (not expensive) marketing and copywriting courses.

    • I would also suggest that you, as the owner, spend some time with the courses as well.  That way, if your employee should leave, you’ll be able to take over until you hire a replacement.

How long does it take to learn copywriting?

 

    • I don’t mean to sound flip, but how much quality time are you willing to put into the effort?  Here’s the non-answer answer.  To get to a point of basic competency takes about 10 to 20 hours plus another twenty hours or so of practice using your own business as a model.

    • Having someone like me available to evaluate your writing will speed up the learning curve.

    • Virtually every good, professional copywriter I know and connect with echoes my sentiments – I NEVER stop studying and never stop learning.  You’ll get better with every piece you write, with every headline, and every value proposition you create. 

    • And if your courses give you  access to a super-sized library of multi-media, how-to guides, checklists, templates, case studies, and more – you’ll always have the tools to do a superior job of writing copy and content. 

Is it very expensive?

 

    • There are Copywriting courses online free or for less than $100/year.  There are some high rollers charging $5,000 – $10,000 for either an in-person seminar or virtual courses or “mastermind classes. 

 

    • Please note: the following is a commercial break ->>>  I offer my How To Write Copy system @ Write Like A Madman University.  I believe it’s the most complete, easy to understand, and well-illustrated system on the internet.  You can get full access to the program for $49 a month…or Less!

    • When you consider the cost – compared to the alternatives – this  might be perfect for you.

Alternatives To Learning And Doing It Yourself

Hire a darn good, experienced copywriter with a varied portfolio.

 

    • On the internet you can find copywriters who charge very little (2 cents to 20 cents a word. Be careful. Most of this “cut-rate copy” is worth what you pay for it.  Request at least five samples of their writing.

Pricing

 

    • The cost for a Darn Good copywriter will average out to between $.75 and $1.50 a word for a 400 word page.  It will cost more if the writer is tasked with creating your marketing message, headlines, and other specialized work.

    • Once the writer has created the foundation of your messages(s), you’ll find the price goes down because the hardest part is already done.

    • Ask about how the money is paid.  I require (as most do) 50% up front and 50% upon client’s satisfaction.  If they are not satisfied, they don’t have to pay the second installment – but they can’t use any of the writer’s work, either.  Beware of anyone who wants you to sign off on a multi-page contract.  This has always been a “handshake” type business.

    • Generally, you get what you pay for. (I’ve been hired dozens of times to fix what some cheap-o writer passed off as great copywriting.)

Top 10 Advantages of Hiring an Outside Copywriter/Marketing Advisor

 

    • TEN – Unless you’re a marketing expert, your time might be more profitably spent running your business.

    • NINE – Your advisor has been through what you’re going through – and learned from it.

    • EIGHT – Outside advisors bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to old problems.

    • SEVEN – A professionally developed marketing program can increase results significantly.

    • SIX – Your advisors have access to all the additional talent you may need.

    • FIVE – A good advisor can also help improve other parts of your business, like sales, customer service, offers and risk reducers.

    • FOUR – Advisors aren’t intimately or emotionally involved in your day-to-day operations, so they can more clearly see the big picture.

    • THREE – Advisors aren’t selling advertising or anything else, so their advice on how and where to spend your marketing dollars is completely unbiased.  Ad reps often sell you what they have, not what you need.

    • TWO – Your advisor can save you from making a REALLY BIG or VERY COSTLY mistake.

…and the #ONE reason for hiring a marketing advisor is:

 

    • ONE – Unlike an employee – you can fire an advisor in a New York minute.

Disadvantages

 

    • Cost

    • Unless they educate you as they go (and they should) you’ll be forever relying on them.  Ask questions about what they wrote and why they wrote it.

    • It is up to you to impart as much knowledge of your business to the advisor as possible.  Most will “interview” you to find out what they need to know but, one way or another, you have to make sure to tell it all.  If you don’t, your advisor may miss a very important differentiator or benefit which might lessen the results you get.

    • You, the client, may feel compelled to put a committee in charge of working with the hired expert.  Don’t do it.  It’s a waste of everyone’s time.   [Author’s note:  I do not work with committees; it has proven to be the biggest waste of my time ever.  I only accept assignments where there is only one point of contact.]

Many Small Businesses Opt For Learning

Whether it’s an issue of cost or keeping control, DIY is a popular way to go.

With a good training package, you can be competent in a few weeks and then, by continually adding more advanced techniques to your skill set, you’ll build excellence over time.

Some even turn their talents into a nice side gig, helping friends with their copywriting needs.

You Can Start Small

As a Master Copywriter with over 35 years writing copy and content for large corporations, small and medium sized local and regional businesses, and even solopreneurs, I encourage you, or someone on your team, to at least take a close look at learning How To Write Copy.

Let me tell you about a good (and darn cheap) way to get acquainted with how to write copy and decide if it’s for you.  Check out my latest “Five Buck Book”  I Guarantee you will improve your copywriting and/or marketing skills immediately after reading it.  (I also guarantee that not one word of my book, or anything I write has been “written” by Artificial Intelligence.)

Thank You

I’m so glad you took the time to read this article.  I enjoy getting any questions, opinions, or thoughts readers might have.  You can send them direct to me at alan@writelikeamadman.com.

Now a few answers to questions I received.

FAQs

  • Is it true that learning how to write copy will absolutely, positively bring me more clicks, conversions, and sales?
  • No.  But it is true that learning how to write copy CORRECTLY, utilizing the formulas, techniques, and templates available to you can, and usually does, boost results by 30%, 50%, 100%, or more.
  • I’ve never really written much before.  Will this be a hinderance?

    Most probably not.  As close as we can figure, about 2/3 of business entrepreneurs possess what I call the “Copywriter Gene”.  How do I know?  Think of your life experiences.  Have you ever asked someone on a date, and they said yes?  Have you ever organized an outing for friends to the movies, amusement park, fish, golf, or shopping?  And have you ever made a proposal to a work group, or a civic organization that was enthusiastically received?  Of course, you have.  Well – what you did was put a proposal in front of people and they liked it.  That’s the job of a copywriter.

  • How will I know if my copywriting is any good?

    The same way you’d know if a professional writer’s work is good.  By the RESULTS.

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