10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part Three

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Shoes Photo3. Walk in your readers’ shoes.

In Stephen R. Covey’s best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit #5 is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Well, that’s also one of the habits of highly effective copywriters. They seek first to understand everything they possibly can about their audience before they even begin to attempt to be understood themselves.

Yes, the more you know about your customers and constituents, the easier it is to make a potentially valuable connection with them.

Unfortunately, that’s much easier said than done.

Tight schedules and small budgets often supersede any opportunity to look closely at the demographics – and psychographics – of those whose attention you covet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find out what makes them tick.

What you really want is the chance to hear directly from customers, prospects, donors or stakeholders, people who can provide you with credible, honest feedback about your client’s products or services. That’s where a focus group can be a big help (if it’s an option).

There are plenty of other ways to research your audience, though. Call them. Email them. Google them. Learn as much as possible about them – age, gender, income, location, likes, dislikes, idiosyncrasies, so on and so forth.

Are your readers on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? What about the blogosphere? Wherever they hang out, use social media to find them, then walk in their shoes. The more you understand them, the easier it’ll be for you to speak their language and help them understand why they should be doing business with your client.

This is the third in a 10-post series on how to succeed as a copywriter. Over the course of the next few months, I’ll publish the balance of the series, one post at a time (not necessarily consecutively), here on my blog, A New Marketing Commentator. Please stay tuned. And if you have any feedback on this series for me, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or click “like” below. Thanks.

Previous Posts in This Series

10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part One
Dare to be different.
10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part Two
Care deeply about results.

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