As some of you may know, I also have a small Copywriting business that I run in addition to LadyErynn.com. I had already been proofreading and editing, and Copywriting seemed like the next viable step, so Critter Copywriting was born. Before I could do that, though, I had to learn what Copywriting was. Copywriting is the art of strategically delivering words that make people take action. It is mostly used for advertising purposes but can be applied to many other areas as well. For example, getting a Copywriter to update your resume might be the best way to make sure you get hired. Or, you could have a Copywriter create a personalized note to someone special and let their talent for words say what you cannot. Both of these are great, out-of-the-box ways to utilize a Copywriter's abilities, but advertising will always be a Copywriter's number one duty. Copywriting is a useful tool because it uses several techniques to create a personalized ad (or resume, letter, etc.) that will promote action. Those factors include: Let's tackle them in order. Spoken English vs. Written English: One of the first rules you learn in Copywriting is to do away with Written English and start writing everything in Spoken English. The reason for that is because Written English often fails to connect with the consumer. Spoken English, on the other hand, is more relaxed and inviting. A good example of the difference between the two would be: A card in the mail from a big-budget company that says "Big Company is now celebrating 40 years in business," next to a card from a local shop that reads "We want to thank you for helping us reach 20 years in business!" Which of these cards are you going to read? My guess would be the one from the local store. The card from the big budget store is using Written English, which is why the card is flat and cold. The smaller store, however, is using English. Its card is relaxed, personal, and makes you feel like you're a part of something bigger. Even if you don't take the offer on the card, you can still feel like they thought of you personally. That feeling is why Spoken English will always be better than Written English when it comes to Copywriting. Needs vs. Wants: "Needs" and "Wants" are everywhere, and it's the duty of a good Copywriter to know the difference between them. It's even better if the Copywriter can turn a "Need" into a "Want." Wants are things that we buy to feel good, and we often justify them as "Needs" so we feel better about purchasing them. For example: "My purse/shoes aren't in style anymore. I NEED a new set." "This TV is only two years old, but I NEED a bigger one so the guys can come watch the same on Sunday." Sound familiar? I'm sure it does since we've all used these excuses before. But, no matter how badly you NEED something, it's still just classified as a "Want." "Needs" are things we buy to survive. Food, water, and toilet paper are all classified as "Needs" because we couldn't get along without them, but they're harder to sell than “Wants.” Buying a "Need" doesn't give you that same sense of satisfaction because it is routine and boring. Who wants to shop for milk when you could be shopping for a new TV? That's where turning your "Needs" into "Wants" come into play. "Needs" are things we buy to survive. Food, water, and toilet paper are all classified as "Needs" because we couldn't get along without them, but they're harder to sell than “Wants.” Buying a "Need" doesn't give you that same sense of satisfaction because it is routine and boring. Who wants to shop for milk when you could be shopping for a new TV? Pretend you're a company that sells Toilet Paper. You are one in a million, and you need a way to get people excited about your product. So, you start advertising that your new line of double-quilted toilet paper has "Twice the comfort of Scott with the strength of Charmin!" A bored shopper will then see it and think "Well, I usually buy Charmin, but I want something softer. This new brand looks like it'll do fine." Congratulations! You've just turned a "Need" into a "Want."
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This article ended up being longer than I expected, so I'll leave this first part here. You now know the first two tricks of Copywriting, and I'll explain the next two when the second part of this article comes out next month. If you'd like to know more about what I do, or you'd like an appointment, check out my Services page or send an email to Crittercopy@gmail.com. You can also like Critter Copywriting on Facebook. The first photo is my own. The second was found on Pinterest.