Learning copywriting is an essential skill for entrepreneurs who want to learn how to sell their products and services with words.
Selling is an essential skill I believe every entrepreneur should possess.
You could have the best product or service in the world, but if you don’t know how to sell it, no one will buy it.
Most people learn how to sell person-to-person, which is a must, but few learn the art of copywriting; salesmanship in print. Have you ever been enticed to click on one of the “recommended links,” below an article you just read?
Have you ever bought a course, a product or a service online, because the words felt like they described every problem have experience and a solution you just couldn’t say no to? If you want to learn how to sell to one or many by utilizing nothing but words, copywriting is the way to go.
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So What Exactly Is Copywriting?
According to Merriam-Webster, a copywriter is “someone whose job is to write the words for advertisements.” The material a copywriter produces is used for marketing, persuasion and raising brand awareness. Does that sound like something you could use for your business?
You have probably seen advertising campaigns and slogans, from the famous “Got Milk?” to Nike’s “Just Do It.” They were all created by skilled copywriters, and if you still remember them after all these years, they did a good job.
Hiring a Copywriter vs. Learning It
Good copywriters are expensive because their words sell. You probably know the old adage of “What you don’t have in money, you have to invest in time,” and unless you are funded, I suggest you learn some basic tricks yourself. It’s not very hard.
When I was learning it, I bought a bunch of books from the masters, such as David Ogilvy and Dan Kennedy, and started reading relevant blogs, such as Copyblogger, John Carlton’s blog and The Gary Halbert Letter. They should all be sufficient to get you up to a level where you can start seeing massive improvements in your conversion rates.
What Are the Basics of Copywriting?
Like I mentioned above, great copy entices the reader to continue reading and to take action. The first, and arguably most important element of any copy is the headline. Research shows that a vast majority of people never read past the headline.
Advertising guru David Ogilvy said, “Unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money.” It is commonly suggested that you should spend as much time on your headline as on your copy. A great headline stops the reader, it makes them hungry for more information, shows the benefit of what you are selling, sells the product, and sets the stage for the body text.
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When it comes to the text, it should speak to your audience. It should solve a problem they have, and most importantly, it should make them take action. Great copy explains the benefits more than the features. What is the difference?
Features are factual statements about your product or service. What it does, dimensions, specs etc. Benefits tell them what your product or service can accomplish for the reader. They answer the question “What’s in it for me?”
For example, the features of Greek yogurt would be that it’s made of milk, it has probiotics, it has a thicker consistency than regular yogurt and a sour taste. The benefits would be that it can improve your digestive health, it gives you energy because of the B12 it contains, and it helps you recover after a workout, as it is rich in amino acids and protein.
One trick I have learned on how to figure out the benefits of something is to ask myself the question, “So what?” Using the above example, let’s figure out a benefit for Greek yogurt. It has probiotics (a feature). So what? They are good for your belly. So what? Probiotics have been shown to improve digestive health, which in turn can lead to a stronger immune system. Now we have a benefit we can use in our sales copy. Try it out on your own products and services.
In addition to a fantastic headline and great copy explaining the benefits, you need to put testimonials in there for social proof, and a sense of urgency (such as a time constraint or limited supply) to get the reader to take action.
How do you get the reader to take action? You ask them to do it! Never forget that most important thing called a call-to-action in your copy. Tell them to subscribe, buy, download, or whatever it is that you need them to do. It’s just like closing a regular sale; you have to ask for the deal.
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So Where Do You Use Your New Skills?
Everywhere. Your emails will be more enticing, your landing pages will convert much better, your ads will have much higher click-through rates, and your revenue will go up if you do it right. There are many examples of where just one or a couple of words were changed, and sales doubled, tripled or increased ten fold.
Good luck, and now get going.