What is copywriting?
The gurus say “salesmanship in print”. Well, used to be in print, now it’s for the most part digital.
Anyway, I was thinking about it as I start new projects. New things to learn, new markets, new products, new audiences. All pretty exciting if you’re a learning nerd like me.
And also the other day someone made a comment about what they thought copywriting was… “oh, those annoying pop up banners!”…
Let’s destroy the misinformation.
So what is my job exactly? If it’s selling, what’s one of the most effective ways to sell?
That’s when a customer recommends your product and you get instant credibility, authority and proof. And the sale.
So again, how, as a copywriter could I channel this power?
I think that more than sales, copywriting is the art of referring.
And to be able to refer, you have to become part of the audience. That’s why we go through months of research, we speak with customers, we read hundreds of reviews, we try the product, we study competitors etc.
Our ultimate aim as copywriters is to (if even just for a while) become the customer. So we can speak their language, so we can feel their pain, so we can dream about their goals.
The best skill you can learn to help with this, if it’s even a skill at all, is empathy.
“Empathizing = to understand and share the feelings of another.”
So again, what is copywriting in its purest form?
It’s not the word you use, the storytelling, or the formulas (those almost never work when used blindly).
I think copywriting is empathic communication.
Something we all do every single day. But harder to do when you think you have to persuade someone to buy from you.
Words like persuading, and selling, they all imply friction and having to overcome an obstacle.
The customer’s mind.
Reason why companies hire people like me. We basically help them forget all the BS they know about what they “should” do and take them back to the source. Their audience.
Copywriters don’t overcome any obstacles. They simply align with what people think.
Copywriters are shepherds!
Ok I’m pushing this too far, but you get the gist.
Anyway, just a thought to hopefully help you think about copywriting in a new light.
If you want to see what the entire process looks like for an ecommerce website, check this out.