The Utterly Compelling Copywriter | Strategic Brand & Marketing Communications

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Copywriting and the Art of Zen

There is an old Buddhist quote that says: ‘When you meet a swordsman, draw your sword. Do not recite poetry to one who is not a poet’.

It is a quote popularised by Robert Greene in his excellent book The 48 Laws of Power.

And while it rings true in warfare, i.e. always know who you are dealing with, make sure you ‘size them up’; to my mind, it is also applicable to business, especially the copywriting business.

You see, ‘knowing your audience’ and what they want is a key component to success.

Here are 4 ways you can apply this in practice:

1) Content

When it comes to your blog posts, articles and email marketing are you writing about what you want or what you think your audience wants? What’s compelling and interesting to you might not be to your audience.

Key takeaway: Write for your audience, the challenges they face and how you can solve them.

2) Brand and positioning

Are you attracting the right clients for you? Are you clear on what you are offering and to whom? Or are you inviting gunslingers to a knife fight? Or even worse – time wasting freebie seekers who are never going to buy from you or even know you have something to sell (btw that’s a real thing!).

Key takeaway: Be clear on what you are offering and to whom it is best suited.

3) Language

Are you speaking your customer’s language? Do you take note of their feedback and the language they are using online (think forums, marketplaces, product reviews)? Have you entered their world? Are you asking them the questions you need to know to be able to serve them better?

Key takeaway: Learn how to speak your customer’s language.

4) Action

Always take note of what people do, not what they say they will do. If you conduct a survey and your audience say one thing, it’s not always the case that they will follow up and do it.

So as well as taking note of the language people are using, take note of what they are actually buying. I have discussed the ‘kippered herring effect’ before (see my post here).

Key takeaway: Take note of action.

And remember, the pen is mightier than the sword (but actions speak louder than words!).

Until next time,
Love, Peace & Zen Copy!

P.S. One of the key areas of my latest course – specifically for freelancers – is about attracting the right clients.

Don’t waste your valuable time and money marketing to the wrong people. Find the clients that are right for you! It’s a win-win situation. Take a look at the curriculum here.

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