Understanding human behaviour is the top requisite for a copywriter (after the obvious such as being able to write).
But what does ‘behaviour’ mean? (unpicking concepts is a major part of the job). Here’s the definition you won’t find in any dictionary. It means ‘doing’.
People are always doing things including eating, working, and sleeping.
It’s our job to get them to stop doing the thing they’re currently doing, and do the thing we want them to do (eg. buy a product or get on a list).
Imagine being able to stop anyone in their tracks, get them interested in something, then get them to take action on the spot (and then get them to do that everytime they read your copy).
The guarantees you’d be able to give your clients and prospects would be record breaking in every respect.
Prospect: “I need more business, can you guarantee it?”
You: “Of course. All my work is guaranteed. The guarantee isn’t the problem though, the problem is, you probably can’t afford me.”
At this point the prospect will either love your arrogance or walk away (if they walk away, you don’t want them as a client).
As you can see, this is one mighty promise. But can you do it? Can you guarantee your copy will convert every time?
No. Of course not. We have ZERO control over our prospects (not just ours, but our clients’ prospects too – the clients who have just hired us to get them more sales).
But what you can do is talk about controls. What’s a control? A control is a way to measure your current copy against its predecessor.
Now, assuming they’re in business and making a profit, then they’re ALREADY using copy to make sales. That copy is the control I’m talking about.
Our job now becomes beating whoever wrote the previous piece of copy. This is not just a simple way to understand what we do, it’s a simple way to explain it to clients too.
And that makes any future negotiation about using your services ten times easier. Clarity is everything (not just in your copy but in your sales strategy for getting more clients).
This brings us back to behaviour. We have a bare-bones client-getting strategy with a strong guarantee (the guarantee is that we’ll do whatever it takes to beat the previous control – and that means the client will make more money).
That makes it easy to get attention, and getting attention is the first step in changing someone’s behaviour.
The next step is figuring out how much to charge (or raise your fees if you’re already in business). That’s something I’ll go into next week when the doors open for membership of the International Copywriters Association.
Speaking of which, there are international associations for most areas of marketing (Direct Marketers, Professional Writers, Proofreaders, etc.), but none specifically for copywriters.
It’s about time that changed, and next week (Monday 23rd March 2020) it will. The ICA will be born.
I’m a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (the best known marketing association on Earth). It allows me to use the letters FCIM after my name.
When I visit corporate clients, they need to see this. It gives them confidence I’m not just someone off the street promising the world but incapable of delivering it.
I want the same thing for members of the ICA. In order for me to be a Chartered Marketer, I have to do CPD ( continual professional development) to ensure I’m up to date. That’s only fair for my clients too.
So the ICA includes monthly online training to keep you up to date with everything you need to know to maintain and improve your skills as a professional copywriter.
If you’re serious about this industry, then you’re going to want to keep abreast of everything that’s going on including the latest strategies and tactics being used today.
The ICA is also here to help you build and grow your copywriting business or agency. And to help with all of that, when you become a member, you’ll also get full access to ProCopyClub – my premier 52 week beginner to pro course (you can find out more about that at https://procopyclub.com).
Because I want the ICA to grow fast, the cost of becoming an Associate, the starting tier for all members, will be tiny. More news on that next week.
If you have any questions, hit reply and let me know.
The most popular piece last week was called Fresh Eyes. It’s one thing to change behaviour, it’s quite another to write copy good enough to make it happen.
Fresh Eyes is a good example of a BIG IDEA (something covered in the Science of Copywriting group and in previous newsletters – search for it in the group).
The article is about the importance of editing. If you’ve written anything you weren’t happy with, it’s because proper editing was lacking.
The problem with editing is we have memories. That sounds weird, but the point is this, whatever we write, we retain for a certain period of time.
If we edit before we’ve forgotten what we wrote, we’ll probably not do the best job. Instead, we must leave our first draft for a day (when we’re starting out) and only then come back and reread it.
That’s the concept of Fresh Eyes (it’s also why we find it oh so easy to criticize other people’s work – when we see something for the first time, mistakes stand out like a sore thumb – and not just typos, the flow, the meaning, everything).
Beans was the second most popular post last week (it’s working title was Money). Take a look. All links below.
With my love,
Science of Copywriting
PS. If you skim read this to the end, there’s more news on the ICA and how it can help you become a recognised copywriter next week.