Entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and service providers need to realize that copy can make or break your business. By copy I include both content and sales copy.
But most likely you are not a professional copywriter. So what do you do?
You can hire a freelancer (but good ones cost a lot of money)
You can write the copy yourself (lot of time and you better be good).
You can write some yourself and hire for the rest.
You need to become a good judge of copy
The big thing is you have to get good enough to judge copy because you are the final approval. If you hire you need to approve or ask for reweirtes. And if you write it yourself you have to be able to look at and know when it needs to be better.
Steve Jobs, Copy Chief
Steve Jobs took copy so seriously he acted as a copy chief on apple’s important ads and content, approving or demanding changes when necessary. And even wrote some copy himself.
It can be daunting if you are not trained in copywriting. So here are some practical tips on being the Copy Chief of your own business:
Prioritize and separate copy into categories.
Sales copy and content copy
There are similarities between the two but also important differenes.
Many have a toughest time with sales copy. Sales letters. Video sales letters. So if you are going to hire a freelancer, sales copy is probably the place to do it.
The first 50 words rule
Whether you go references, search on google or go to websites like elance, there are a few things you need to look at before hiring a freelancer for your ales copy.
Most important is to look at the first 50 words or so of some sample sales copy. Imagine yourself the target audience of the ad or letter.
Does it hook you in? Does it make you curious? Does it make you want to read more or watch more? You don’t have to analyze it. Just read it (or watch the video) and see if it hooks you in in the first 50 words.
That generally includes the headline, main subhead and first few paragraphs. If you’re not hooked in within the first 50 words, then look for someone else.
(by the way, that rule also applies to content. )
Another thing to check out in the samples: Is the Offer Clear?
The other absolutely crucial element to the ad or sales letter is the offer. The offer and its value need to be clearly articulated. In fact, research shows that when it comes to the offer, clarity trumps creativity.
What About Content Writing? Should You Treat It Differently From Sales Copy?
I recommend trying to write content yourself- or at least important content pieces. Content is a key branding and authority builder – and your brand personality needs to come through.
This is especially true when writing scripts for on camera content videos. The audience sees and hears you. If what you say doesn’t sound authentic then it will be very obvious. Unless you hire a really top copywriter or ghost writer, it will be tough to capture that in on camera video unless the words really come from you. At the very last, try writing a first draft and then have someone edit it.
Whether you hire freelancers or write copy yourself, you still need to become a good judge of copy. So get as good as you can about what makes good sales copy and good content.
Here are the most important copy elements to get good at or at least to develop a good feel for:
3)Concepts themes, and hooks
All are extremely important. But if I had to pick one to get really good at it’s headlines. Without a really good headline, you won’t grab attention and people won’t read or watch what you have to say.
If you want to get a really good start on writing and recognizing good headlines, I recommend the following 10 top headline templates. It’ll give you headline samples, fill-in the blanks templates, and examples of the templates in action.
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