What is a copywriter? The person who combines the art and science of writing words that promote a product, a business, a person or an idea. It means knowing the mother-tongue very well and the ability to take abstract ideas and put them into words that will express the concrete. It means selecting, editing and building those words that will also persuade the reader to act in the way that is best for the product / service you are promoting. What do you need to know to become a good copywriter? Here are some tips for a beginner copywriter.
Find out the duties of a copywriter
Generally speaking, a copywriter is an author of commercials. He drafts the advertising message on the basis of which he sets the advertising materials and adapts the message for each channel of communication. Writes the slogan, title and texts necessary to an advertising campaign. If need be, finds names for the new products that are to be launched to the market. After this, he takes part in the creation of the advertising materials, together with the graphic art director or designer.
Beginner copywriter: How to teach yourself
You will find many blogs and online books, publicity and marketing books that you should read, even though nothing compares to practical experience. That is why, the most important thing you can do is just write. There are classes for beginning copywriters and exercises of creative writing that you can take and you could even create a blog and write commercials or try to write the texts for certain commercials.
Know your client well
When dealing with your first customers, the most important thing is to know the client well — even who they are as human beings. Knowing your client gives you the ability to anticipate their needs and do a good job. To avoid a refusal, find out what kind of advertising materials the client has approved until now, what kind of texts were successful for his business and what kind of text he would like you to write. Don’t forget to talk to him before you get started to get an exact idea of what he wants.
Find out details about your client’s firm
Not only do you need to know the client as a person, but you also need to know everything about the product / service he wants to sell, data regarding the target audience you are writing for, general information about the company’s previous campaigns.
Ask questions about the material you have to write about
Before starting work, a beginner copywriter needs to know all the details about what is going to be written:
• The type of material – flyer, poster, presentation folder, banner, article, site text, etc.);
• What is expected of the target audience – to buy, to visit the site, to contact the company, to be informed, etc.;
• Where and how the material will be distributed – the place and way of distribution, the person who will distribute it;
• What is the tone of the text – aggressive, passive, informative;
• What is the predominant style of the text – formal, semi-formal.
Find out about your client’s competition
You need to be a step ahead of the competition, so find out about their advertising campaigns, what kind of texts and materials they use. You don’t want to copy them, just research.
Know your price well and don’t start a project until you get a part of the money and don’t charge hourly, but for the whole project. Use industry salary surveys to gauge the fair market rates for your market. See Shauna’s article comparing fees by type of writer.
Settle on a way to communicate with your client, a way to be easily reached and stick to it. Your work might start slowly, and be ready to manage the downpour of work and edits. There are rainbows – and successes all along the way.
Written by: Adam Smith
About the Writer: Adam Smith is known for his role as an education consultant, Adam guides widely on developing career, internships, volunteering etc. He has taken seminars, in-services, lecture programs and developed in-school workshop with students in the past years. Adam is the author of many journal articles and contributions to various educational websites and has published a number of articles in the same manner with Theinterngroup.
Edited by: Shauna McGee Kinney
About the editor: Shauna is a writer specialising in writing for energy, mining, engineering, manufacturing and technology companies. She helps technical people transform complex ideas into web pages, brochures, training manuals, and business procedures. Shauna is originally from Los Angeles, California and is now based out of Perth, Australia.