32 Copywriting (and Life) Lessons After 32 Years in Business

32 Copywriting Lessons After 32 Years in BusinessOn January 1, 1989 I opened my doors for business as a freelance direct response copywriter. It’s hard to believe that The Write Direction launched 32 years ago.

To celebrate and honor the occasion, here are 32 copywriting – and life – lessons that I hope help your business achieve long-lasting success . . .

1. Know your product/service/program. What problem does it solve? How will you touch people’s emotions and “knock their socks off?’
2. Understand your audience. What motivates them? What challenges do they face? What keeps them up at night?
3. Be aware of your market’s state of awareness. Do they know about your product and their need for the solution that it provides? Copy written to someone in one state of awareness will not work to someone in another state of awareness.
4. Know your magnetic marketing message. What’s the message you want to convey that helps strengthen your KLT Factor (know, like and trust)? How do you help people gain something they want or avoid losing something they have?
5. Benefits, benefits, benefits. Remember to differentiate features from benefits. A blouse made of silk is a feature vs. a silk blouse that makes a woman feel fantastic and attractive. People want to know “what’s in it for me?”
6. K.I.S.S. your prospects. Keep it simple sweetheart. Clarity is extremely important when writing copy.
7. Write as if you’re having a conversation across a table (or via Zoom), one-of-one with your prospect.
8. Use short, simple sentences. Long, lengthy paragraphs make it difficult for your reader(s) to find the salient points (i.e., benefits) that will touch their emotions and grab their attention. Make your copy inviting to the reader’s eyes.
9. Be personal. Use the word “you.” ‘You” is one of the strongest words in the marketing lexicon.
10. Use punctuation to make reading easier. Punctuation gets pauses down on paper and stresses important points. Use hyphens, dashes, and ellipses to achieve this effect.
11. Write from the core of your being. What matters is what’s in your heart and who you are as a person. Share your message from a caring, genuine place.
12. Think about your product and start from that place deep inside you that really wants to help others.
13. As you write, feel what you’re trying to convey – let emotions seep in. If you were telling a story face-to-face to a friend, you’d move your hands, change your inflection, etc. Put excitement into your writing.
14. Be confident about who you are, what you have to offer and how you help people.
15. It’s okay for the world to see who you truly are. Being transparent helps your prospects and customers feel close to you – an essential step in boosting sales with trust and integrity.
16. Perfectionists! Go easy on yourself. “Don’t let striving for perfection stand in the way of getting results.” ~ Joe Vitale
17. “Your headline has only one job – to stop your prospect and compel him or her to read the second sentence. . .” ~ Eugene Schwartz, Breakthrough Advertising
18. The secret to writing great copy is that it is all about people!
19. One of the best ways to improve your copywriting skills is to study the greats such as Eugene Schwartz, Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy, David Ogilvy and more.
20. People buy YOU as much as (if not more than) your services. Be yourself.
21. Believe in yourself. Remind yourself that you are good at what you do – good at helping people, making them feel really comfortable, or helping them move past feeling overwhelmed.
22. Be grateful every day. No matter what is going on, you have much to be thankful for. “Gratitude means paying attention to the offerings that have come your way – especially the little ones in everyday life.” ~ Dr. Rick Hanson
23. Remember the “old school” art of sending a handwritten note. In this day of social networking, private messages, texts and emails, when someone receives your handwritten note in the mail it’s a welcomed breath of fresh air.
24. Don’t expect others to get you results. You are responsible for your own success.
25. Give yourself permission to do what you love to do. In other words, say “yes” to yourself.
26. Don’t overthink things. Don’t look for problems where there aren’t any. Don’t create one when one doesn’t exist.
27. Ask for support when you need it.
28. Acknowledge your strengths and achievements. Remember your brilliance.
29. Be consistent and persistent. Don’t give up the ship. The highest level of success comes from conviction, commitment and persistence.
30. Don’t be afraid of change. If you’re changing direction in your life – on a new path – hold on, keep up the good work and you will achieve your goals.
31. Marketing, like life, is about building and nurturing relationships. “It is possible to build an ecosystem of positive relationships that will transform your career and the careers of those around you.” ~ Morag Barrett
32. When you nurture yourself, you nurture your business. Be kind to yourself and others. #kindnessmatters

How long have you been in business or are you just getting started? Either way, which one (or more) of these 32 lessons resonates with you? Do you have one you’d like to add to the list? If you do, reach out because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks a million.