As a content marketer, one of the most important skills you can have is writing effective copy – copy that converts. Unfortunately, too many people don’t take the time to develop this skill.
I say “develop” because believe it or not, we all have a creative side within us – and, like almost everything else in life – we can improve it. The good news, however, is that it just needs to be ignited and this can be done by learning from the experts.
So, today I will share with you seven of the most important copywriting skills that you absolutely must have if you are going to turn prospects into customers with your copy.
So let’s jump right into it.
The art of listening
The first skill you should have as a copywriter is the skill of listening. You need to listen to what your audience is saying. The late Steven Covey said it well in his best selling work The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People when he stated that you should first seek to understand before being understood.
Do you really know what your audience wants? I mean do you really know what it is that your audience wants? Too many people assume that they know what it is their audience wants. Ok, enough of that…sorry!
Of course, the easiest way to find out what your customer wants is by asking right? You would be shocked to know that a lot of marketers do not only fail to ask for feedback from their audience, but they also don’t listen to what they are being told.
If you don’t listen, you can’t understand. And if you can’t understand your customers, how can you meet their needs? Usually, this results in the creation of weak copy which ultimately gives you no leads and no money.
So learn to listen and listen with the need to help not to gain. Do this and you gain the trust of your prospects and build relationships that will leave a positive impact on your bottom line.
Here is a list of tools you can use to survey and find out more about your customers!
Crazy Egg – this heatmap software will show you exactly where your customer/visitor clicks/scrolls on your site.
SurveyMonkey – this software allows you to send out surveys to your customers.
iPerception – this allows you to survey visitors as they land on or leave your site.
Ethnio – this pop up allows you to gather usability test users. This is super helpful when you are trying to fix a gap in your sales funnel.
Here is a link to a full list of awesome tools you can use to find out more about your customer!
How to say it well
Skill number two is the skill of “saying it well.” All successful marketers have a way with words that will literally get their prospects ready to buy in an instant – we could sell ice to an Eskimo, you know the term. This doesn’t only mean writing good copy but writing in way that is guaranteed to bring you results.
A good way to do this is by using the right language. Now, you can only learn this by expanding your knowledge – this is easily done by becoming a student of the top marketers and learning from them.
Remember, this is a skill that once you learn and continually develop, will be responsible for a large chunk of your income so it is necessary to be thorough with it. The book The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner will explain to you concepts that you can use to connect with your prospects without all the hype.
Say it quick
Be brief! Don’t beat around the bush. In short form copy, forget about the stories and deal with the facts. People are very impatient. Just look at how cranky people get when that traffic they ran into looks horrible but probably only lasts about 10 minutes.
So say it well, but also be brief. Moreover, being brief shows that you have done your research.
Note: There are different instances when long form copy is more successful. You can read more about long form copywriting in this blog post!
The difference between prospects who convert and those who don’t depends entirely on how creative you are. Again, as mentioned above, this is a talent that we all possess however; the problem lies in getting the creative impulses going.
For some a song does it, for others it could be a walk in the park and still for others it could be a chance encounter with someone or an experience that turns everything on.
That said, it does take time to develop this skill.
The good news is that once you learn, you can use it at will. In the meantime though, you might need to hire a pro and have him/her do it for you as you learn the ropes.
Christine Kane has a laundry list of ways that can help us all be creative. Some of them are a little crazy but I’m on board! Read her list here.
Note: Coffitivity is also could to test out when you need to be creative.
By the way…shouldn’t we all aspire to be as creative as this guy?
Sell, sell, sell
It’s easy to forget that the whole point of developing your copywriting skill is so that you can sell more stuff. To be honest, there is no right way to sell and wrong way to sell. There are a few principles that you should use, but there isn’t a specific method that you can follow that is guaranteed to make you tons of cash. Everyone is different and everyone’s style of selling is unique.
Here is where persistence comes into play. Unfortunately, too many people don’t understand this. You have to be willing to test to find out what works and what doesn’t. However, once you find that sweet spot, everything becomes easier. It’s almost like minting your own money. So take the time to learn effective selling strategies.
You need to understand SEO
So here is where things get a little technical but no need to worry, you don’t have to be a genius to understand this. SEO is one the most important skills you can develop not only as a copywriter, but also as an online marketer.
It would be pointless to write effective copy without understanding how your content will be indexed by the SERPs and found by your target niche right? SEO is the bridge between your content and prospective leads.
I would suggest checking out this article on SEO basics to learn how important SEO is in your marketing efforts.
Be real! Nowadays, it’s hard to find real people – especially on the internet. It’s almost like every other website on the internet is a scam.
Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. Sooner or later, people will know the truth and believe me, it won’t be a very nice experience. So avoid the hype, fake screen shots and bank details and focus on sharing your story.
Your story is more powerful than you think! Trust me.
There you have it. Use these seven skills and you will be on your way to becoming an unstoppable copywriter. Feel free to leave your comments below. I am looking forward to hearing what you have to say. One more thing – check out this awesome infographic on The Art of the Sales Letter: Words From Copywriting Masters.