As TJA’s junior copywriter, it’s probably important that I actually know how to write well. Showing up to work every day to brainstorm clever one-liners and craft quippy sentences is truly a dream come true. They say that creatives have “fun jobs”, and they’d be right. However, copywriting isn’t always a walk in the park. Sometimes, you’re tasked with creative jobs for that not-so-creative client and can even run into the dreaded creative block. It’s not always easy, but follow these tips and you’ll have no problem writing killer copy that will “wow” your clients.
1. Know Your Client + Your Target Audience
First and foremost, you have to know your client. Imagine a car salesman trying to pass off a ’98 Dodge Stratus as a top-of-the-line Dodge Viper. Yeah, it just doesn’t work. Without the proper knowledge of your client and the proper direction, you’re going to be selling ice to an eskimo. However, you mustn’t stop there. Just as important as knowing your client, is knowing their target audience. You wouldn’t speak to an adult the same as you would speak to a teenager, right? The same rules apply. You must appeal to the sensibilities of their particular demographic/psychographic. Voice is key. The more focused your thinking is, the easier it will be to accurately communicate your client’s message to their target audience.
2. Get Out Of Your Own Head + Welcome Criticism
It’s important to understand that there’s no such thing as a bad idea. However, it’s just as important to understand that not every idea is gold. In order to be a great copywriter, it’s crucial that you actively seek an outside perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in your own ideas and let pride get in the way. Swallow that pride, now. Feedback from your team and clients is the lifeline to your work. It provides you the opportunity to have your work torn apart, so you can go back and pick up the pieces. More often than not, when put back together, those pieces are greater than the sum of their parts.
3. Translate Criticism + Build a Masterpiece
Criticism is a healthy thing for copywriters. It tells you what works and what doesn’t. So what if that headline you wrote didn’t make the client jump for joy? Take their direction and feedback, because it will offer valuable insight to allow you to refocus your writing and draft a masterpiece. Writing is an imperfect art form, and as powerful as words are, there’s no one way to satisfy everyone. That’s not what you’re writing for. Write to connect. Write to inspire. Write to engage. Your words give your client a voice in the marketplace, so speak up and be heard.
Copywriting lacks a clearly defined set of rules. However, if you follow these tips, you’ll be better prepared to tackle any client’s project. Every job will be different, but don’t let that intimidate you. With the proper knowledge of your client, the ability to take criticism and to adapt your writing to fit their direction, you’ll write killer copy that speaks to their target audience, each and every time.
Wesley Chaderton | Junior Copywriter
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