Q 6. What is the most important thing to say?

Alan Sharpe
A free video tutorial from Alan Sharpe
Veteran direct response copywriter
4.5 instructor rating • 12 courses • 19,790 students

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Copywriting for Beginners Part 1 of 3: Seven Vital Questions

Discover the seven questions you must ask before you can begin copywriting

01:09:51 of on-demand video • Updated June 2020

  • Define what copywriting is
  • Describe the five main channels for copywriting
  • Explain the types of copywriting that require specialized skill
  • Understand the two main audiences for copywriting, and how they differ
  • Describe what copywriting is not
  • Understand the terms, jargon and buzzwords that every new copywriter must know
  • Discover what you are selling
  • Learn where you are selling (channel) and when (in the sales cycle)
  • Uncover vital facts and insights into your target audience
  • Discover why people buy (and don't buy) what you are promoting, so you can use this information to your advantage
  • Understand the five types of competition you must overcome with your copy
  • Focus your copy on one unique selling proposition
  • Research any product or service to uncover its unique selling features and benefits
English [Auto] When I landed my first job as a copywriter back in 1992 the Internet didn't exist. Companies promoted their products and services mainly through print advertising printed collateral and direct mail. Those who had the budget also used radio and television to advertise in those days. I was always given a word count to work from. If I was writing a full page ad for a trade publication for example and if the page was eight and a half inches wide by 11 inches tall I knew that space was limited. There was a limit to how many words I could write for that print. At the same goes for brochures direct mail and radio and television by copyrighting was always constrained by how much real estate on the page I had to work with or how many seconds of air time I had to work with. I learned quickly that I could never ever say everything I wanted to say about a product or service. There wasn't enough space there wasn't enough airtime. So how did I know what to write. I asked a simple question. I asked my client in this promotional piece that I'm writing. What's the most important thing to say or sometimes phrased it another way after a prospect has read this ad or this direct mail piece. What is the one thing that we want them to understand and remember about our product or service. That question forced my clients to focus their attention and it forced me to focus my writing. Today of course on the Internet space is technically unlimited. A web page can have unlimited words an email cell letter can have unlimited words except that on line the new problem is. Attention Span. A web page can can contain an infinite number of words but your potential customer does not have infinite patience. Your prospects attention span is limited. That's why you must always discover what the most important messages for each project you're working on. My goal is to get my clients to articulate their unique message in one sentence. Some people call this a single minded proposition. Others call it a unique selling proposition. The key thing to remember is that your message should be singular and unique by singular I mean that you should have one message to communicate not three not five. And by unique I mean that your message should be something that your competitors can't claim. This uniqueness might be a product feature. It might be a benefit. It might be a promise that you're making to the buyer. Here are some examples. M And can these melt in your mouth not in your head. At sleet country we will beat any competitors advertised price by 10 percent. The new iPad Pro is more powerful than most PC laptops. You can see how these phrases all answer the question that you should post your clients here's the question again after a prospect has read my copy what is the one thing that we want them to understand and remember about our product or service. You may be thinking that having a narrow focus like this is limiting on your creativity but you'll discover as I did all those years ago that having a narrow focus actually boosts your creativity when you know what your copy must communicate and when you know that it must communicate a single compelling idea. Your mind goes into overdrive. So avoid the pressure from your client to say as much as you can about your product or service. Effective copy is tight. Copy make your clients focus their thinking on one message that they simply must communicate to their prospective buyers. They may resist you at first but they will thank you soon enough. When your copy starts generating more sales for them.