Copywriting myths part 1
Myth 1: Copywriting is about intellectual property laws and the © sign at the bottom of a great (or otherwise) work of art
Well, if you’ve never seen the word spelt in print, you could get away with thinking that people like me are legal experts. ‘Copyrighting’ and ‘copywriting’- same-sounding words.
But that’s where the similarities start and end. Aside from lawyers-turned-copywriters (if there are any) and copywriters who work with lawyers, we don’t know much about the legal profession.
Ok. So what is copywriting? What does a copywriter do?
Think of some of the marketing material you come across:
Websites with wording (or ‘copy’) that engaged you.
Witty lines on bus stop ads that stick in your head all day.
Helpful blog posts that you find when you google a question.
Emails with a subject line that actually get you to open them.
Why did they get you when so many other marketing messages had the opposite effect?
Because they were all written by experienced copywriters.
So what do we copywriters do all day?
We write messages that connect companies with their ideal potential customers; Messages that resonate with them and convince them that you have a perfect solution to the problem that’s currently keeping them up at night.
Myth 2: If I can read this, I can write copy in my sleep
Sure, you know all about your fantastic product. How hard is it to slap on a few words about how outstanding your work is?
Umm, not that hard at all.
Not if you want the right people to start reading it, continue till the end and come back for more.
To achieve that, you’ll need to go beyond throwing words onto a page; You’ll have to engage your readers.
- Understanding what your customer’s pain points are.
- Limiting the ‘I’s and the ‘we’s in your copy, and be generous with the ‘you’s.
- Explaining what the benefits are; how they can have their problem solved by your service or product.
- Ensuring that your copy is a joy to the eye, without long paragraphs or sentences.
- Keeping it jargon-free. Keep in mind that terms that seem as fundamental as ABC to you might be Chinese to someone outside your industry.
- Oh, and I can’t forget about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the art of making your site easier to find in a google search. That’s a whole separate topic!
So yes, anyone can write about their service or product.
But writing copy that brings people in and gets them to say ‘yes’- as you can see, that’s not quite as easy as it looks. Because much like any skill, it takes years to master. And if copywriting isn’t a skill that you’ve taken time to learn and practice, it’s probably best to find someone who has.
Myth 3: The fancier the words, the better you look
Most prevalent misconception. The fancier the words, the better you look.
But there’s one problem: your customers have no idea what the heck you’re talking about. And very likely, those posh words will lead them to suspect that, truthfully, you have no idea what you’re on about either!
In the marketing world, we like to use an acronym: KISS- Keep It Short and Simple, or Keep It Simple, Stupid (depending on whom you ask).
Your potential customers want nothing more than a clear, simple explanation of the solution you are offering and how it can help them. The simpler the language, the easier it is for them to understand your offering. When they are crystal-clear about how you can help them, they have more reason to put their trust in you.
The best way to make sure your copy is clear as day to your audience is to have it written by a professional copywriter. But whether or not you choose that route, keeping your copy clear and simple will make a difference.