When I first hung out my shingle as a newbie copywriter, I made PLENTY of mistakes.
I’d price jobs way too low… and I took on jobs about things that I had absolutely ZERO interest in (this is especially difficult — it’s hard to get excited about a new tool for Microsoft Excel. For me anyway).
But the most egregious mistake I made was something that is absolutely vital for any copywriter worth his or her salt.
You Gotta Do Some Research
In my very early days, I rarely bothered to do any research at all about the particular product or service my client was selling. Even worse, I never bothered to research what the potential customer wanted or needed to hear in order to buy.
David Ogilvy, one of the Godfathers of modern copywriting, once wrote that you must, “stuff your conscious mind with information”.
His thinking was for every bit of information you had banging around in your head-bone, you’d be able to draw upon it later when you needed to pull out a fact to make your product more appealing… or your service more valuable.
Gary Bencivenga, one of Ogilvy’s proteges said it best:
“The best copywriters are the most tenacious researchers. Like miners, they dig, drill, dynamite, and chip until they have carloads of valuable ore.”
And John Caples, another legend in the field, stated that a copywriter should gather seven times more interesting information than (you) could possible use.
He went on to say, “research is the infallible cure for writer’s block.”
So there you have it boys and girls. To effectively sell, you’ve got to do your research!
Learn about the product or service your client is selling.
Research the potential customer’s pain points. Find out what they NEED to hear in order to buy.
It makes all the difference in the world.