Top Skills for a Copywriter
In this article, you will discover the skills necessary to become a successful copywriter so you can ensure this is the right career for you.
Copywriting is the process of writing promotional and advertising materials. A Copywriter is responsible for email copy, website copy, text on billboards, brochures, and advertisements.
The copywriting industry is currently worth $47.7 billion. If you think there is a solid level of demand for individuals with this talent, you’re absolutely right. It’s worth noting copywriting is completely different from editorial or news writing.
Copywriting is about pushing the reader to take action and will usually lead to a purchase decision. It could also be about getting a reader to engage, opt-in, or connect with a company or service.
For this reason, a copywriter is typically referred to as “a salesman in print.”
Copywriting will attract a wide range of different individuals. One of the reasons for this is that there are no qualifications or degrees needed to become a successful copywriter.
Instead, you just need to make sure that you have the right skills to succeed. So, what are the most important skills for a copywriter?
Copywriters are often faced with a key challenge in their industry. They need to ensure that their sales writing stands out from other competitors on the market.
All businesses use the services of copywriters to promote their company and build brand recognition. To attract attention, it’s important to understand how to ensure your writing stands out.
This is always going to depend on creativity. It starts with the headline. The headline of the project should immediately compel the reader to continue on.
It should hook them in with an interest or engaging idea that is related to the ultimate goal of the content. If you are creative you will also be able to explore different ways to access an idea and viewpoints that could be relevant to the target audience.
Creative thinkers will even be able to understand the perspective of the reader and write for them rather than the company itself.
Creativity is always going to make your content more interesting or engaging.
It could even lead to content online going viral and that can be enough to expand the base of readers for the business.
They say nothing is original anymore. That’s probably true and it’s why copywriters need to be able to make something old look new, fresh, and exciting.
Regardless of the project you’re working on, there will always be 500 other attempts already on the web. Your task will be to take the project in an unexpected direction that still leads to action from the reader.
You could also need to make a boring idea, service, or product exciting and engaging. This is why copywriters need to have a sense of curiosity.
They must be interested in exploring the different angles for a product or service and injecting a healthy level of creativity to make it more fun or interesting. (see also: Creative Advertising Methods and Madness)
Never forget that copywriting is about selling a product, service, or company. One of the best ways to do this is through the art of storytelling. However, the type of storytelling here is quite unique.
Copywriters will often begin with a problem. They will then address how that problem is impacting the reader and the target audience. The text will highlight the solution to the issue.
In the style of a story, something like this can be compelling and push readers to make a decision or take action. You just need to make sure that your story is accurate, provides positive outcomes, and is appropriate for your target audience. Don’t forget, the audience is always going to change with each project you take on.
To be able to sell, you need to understand your audience completely but you should also have a firm grasp of your competitors too. You need to know what action they are taking and read the promotional materials that they have created.
To succeed with sales, it’s also worth developing an understanding of what makes people tick. For instance, you might want to explore the psychology of money and gain an insight into why people want to buy and why they have an urge to improve their life.
Every time you find a new client, you will be presented with a brand new set of challenges. One of the greatest challenges for any copywriter will be learning about the client and understanding, who they are, what they want, and what their target market is.
To sell a product, you must have a firm understanding of the key features and the benefits too.
As a copywriter, you might be interested in specializing in a particular topic or area. Perhaps, you want to focus on copywriting in the tourist industry.
While this is a good goal to keep in mind, when you are just getting started, you will be working with a diverse range of clients.
You could be writing a copy on everything from Zippo lighters to legal companies and family vacations.
Most copywriting jobs will require a vast level of research. You need to work efficiently to access the information you need. This won’t always be served up on a platter.
For instance, you could be writing for a holiday company. If that’s the case, you may need to research the areas, locations, and attractions relevant to their service.
You also need to write in a way that suggests profound knowledge of a topic. You can’t do this without the right research. The internet is packed full of information. It’s just a matter of finding the right websites or sources and doing so rapidly.
Copywriters must also be able to find the important details or facts in what may be a flood of information. They then need to break this down and frame the information in a way that is clear and accessible to the audience.
For more on research, see also: Copywriting Research Tips, Tricks and Secrets.
Ability To Write Conversationally
A great copywriter is always going to be able to master the conversational tone. Indeed, the work you complete should feel as though you are talking to the reader.
One of the ways to do this is to both ask and answer questions. Specifically, you should be asking the questions that your target audience is interested in.
You need to learn to write in an active voice. Active writing will give your work a sense of urgency and make readers think that they need to take action. It’s great if you want to trigger the feelings of FOMO.
It’s important not to forget that even though you are selling a product or sale, your work as a copywriter should never feel like a sales pitch.
You need to be more subtle than this. Instead, you should focus on delivering value to your reader and approaching every project from their point of view.
A mistake new copywriters make is writing to the business. Instead, you need to write to the target audience. You need to begin with their perspective and build from there.
You should be able to write with empathy as well. Think about how they are feeling whether it’s sad, happy, or if they are failing at a task. You also need to tap into their fears, goals, and beliefs.
This is going to help ensure that you reach the reader on their level. It will feel as though you are speaking to them directly because you will be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of who they are and what they want.
As David Ogilvy once said, copywriters must be able to use the language of their audience if they are to have any hope in convincing them to take action.
Where Can You Learn To Be A Copywriter?
As already mentioned, there are no set qualifications or academic achievements necessary to be hired as a copywriter.
However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t explore a place where you can hone your skills or even simply learn the basics.
The San Francisco School Of Copywriting provides you with an extensive range of resources. Courses here are taught by professionals in the industry with a wealth of experience and a number of years under their belts.
You can learn how to successfully and effectively write a variety of copy types. There are courses here perfect for beginners and ideal for those who want to improve or cement their position in the industry.
Many if not all the skills that we have mentioned in this article can be learned and developed. With the right experts on your side, you can ensure that you provide the copywriting services that clients will love and ensure that you become an essential hire.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key skills you will need to become an incredible copywriter. Remember, there are no limits on who can succeed here.
If you have the determination and a passion for writing, you can establish yourself with a fruitful copywriting career. Many if not all the skills that we have mentioned in this article can be learned and developed.
With the right experts on your side, you can ensure that you provide the copywriting services that clients will love and ensure that you become an essential hire.