Every writer walks through a different path – so this is just what I learned from writing various forms of copy and running marketing campaigns with different budgets and scale. Having written Facebook Ads, Google search, YouTube Ads, email sequences, landing pages, short and long-form copy and sending over a total of over 3 million emails…for speakers such as:
- Tony Robbins
- Jay Abraham
- Nas Daily
- Robert Kiyosaki
- Grant Cardone
- Gary Vaynerchuk
Here are some wins, mistakes and hopefully some learning lessons from my journey in copywriting and marketing.
Whatever your profession is, it always pays to be a better writer. Once you have some form of understanding of copywriting, it can be adapted into many formats. I have used copy to write sales letters, negotiated budgets, job descriptions, emails, brochures, newspaper ads, press releases, speaker bios, corporate messages, videos and so on.
Being a better writer doesn’t just benefit authors, copywriters and people who write for a living – it helps you get better at your work. Whether you’re a CEO, marketer, HR personnel, customer service, retail – this will work for you.
Ok now…so how to get better at writing? Work on your craft daily. I used to hand-write sales copy that I liked for the first 30 minutes of my workday. And when I get that out of the way, all other writing that comes after that seems to flow much better. This point requires a whole post in itself.
Get started with a few examples here.
The power of a good research process. Read widely in your niche – whether that means subscribing to newsletters, emails, blogs, reviews. If you have done thorough research on your subject matter that you want to write on, the content usually writes by itself.
You just need to organise it in a way that flows. I rate research way more important than the writing itself.
Talk to people more often. The reason why I am more comfortable writing is – I’m an introvert. And I think I express ideas better in writing. But I have realised that when you talk to people more often – whether it’s the sales team (to find out their biggest objections) or customers who bought your product (why they bought it and loved it). It makes the writing process easier.
This means you will be more accurate in your positioning and offer – because you are not assuming things based on your own research.
The target audience matters more than how good your copy is. Who you speak or write to matters more than what you write. Cause if you are writing to the wrong person, then no amount of persuasive copy can help you convert the person into your client. So start with who you are speaking to first.
Get your emails to land in the inbox. It’s important to actually make sure your email lands in the customer’s inbox. And not in the promo tab or spam. No matter how good your copy is, if your audience does not receive it… it doesn’t matter.
Headlines matter. This includes everything – not just for email open rates, blogs and social media postings. But to call out the right person who is interested in what you are sharing.
I’ve skimmed past this step before, so don’t make the same mistake I did. It makes a world of difference. Take a moment to write a few headlines before you post anything.
Paid advertising vs Organic reach. Paid advertising when done well, works like a charm. It’s a predictable source of income that you can scale accordingly to meet your business goals. But with the rising costs of ad spend, ad fatigue by viewers, ad-blockers and compliance issues – marketers should also look into growing organic reach and providing valuable knowledge first, instead of the straight hard-sell.
So that the audience will know, like and trust you. Which means – better content marketing strategies required.
Writing Facebook compliant ads. Writing for Facebook is a totally different game now. You can no longer apply the hard-hitting direct response style of copy on Facebook because Facebook wants to maintain its user experience. So your copy, creative and landing page has to be compliant to their rules and each moment your ad gets disapproved – time, money and resources are wasted.
Seasonal offers work. Whether it’s Black Friday, 11.11 Singles’ Day, holidays or new year, great offers work. Alibaba made $1 billion in the 1st minute of the opening of its 11.11 sale. So make offers strategically.
Write freely and then edit thoroughly. If you try to do both at the same time, your copy will not get finished, as you will keep going back and forth between writing and editing.
Read into data. They tell stories. There are some metrics that are more important than others. Depending on your goal, some look into impressions while others measure click-through rates or cost per acquisition, etc.
A content piece that has 3,465 likes and 326 comments may be good for social proof and your presence but may generate 0 revenue, while another post with 4 likes may have brought you 2 high quality leads to your pipeline.
Use Google Docs. I used to write my copy on a word document and save it to the laptop. Then I realised it’s much easier to write, edit and share with the team using Google Docs. It streamlines the whole workflow.
Ok, one more bonus point since you have read till here.
Platform vs Principles. Some of us become platform-dependent (Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Instagram) until one fine day algorithm changes and messes your whole business – and run the risk of closing down.
But if you set yourself on a journey to ground yourself with solid marketing and copywriting principles, then you are most likely to survive no matter what social media platform you are using for your business.
Reminds me of this book that I am going to revisit: 22 immutable laws of marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout.
So that’s 13+1 things I learned doing copywriting and marketing throughout the year. What are your biggest marketing lessons that you live by? Drop a comment below and share your thoughts as well.