As a freelance copywriter, my sole business is to grab the interest of readers and turn them into your customers.

How do I do I accomplish this? Well there are obviously a lot of copywriter tools in my toolbox, but before I can even start tapping at my keyboard, I have to determine what need will influence those readers to buy and what appeal I will use to target that need.

People don’t buy just because a clever freelance copywriter wrote hypnotically, mouthwatering copy; they buy for their own reasons, which are based on their deepest needs. A few of these reasons (needs) might be:

  • to make more money,
  • to save money or get a bargain,
  • financial security,
  • better health,
  • professional advancement,
  • prestige and recognition,
  • to be in the “in” group,
  • fun and leisure,
  • protect/provide for loved ones,
  • popularity,
  • one upsmanship (ie to keep up with the Joneses or even get ahead of them),
  • make a job or chore easier,
  • improve appearance,
  • freedom from worry,
  • self esteem
  • love, sexual fulfillment and relationships,

The customer’s need (and the appeal you craft to fulfill that need) is the DNA that will run throughout your ad, from the headline through the final word. The fulfillment of this need is the reason you are going to give your readers for buying.

As you can see, some of these needs overlap. “Freedom from worry” may also be part of the need to “protect or provide for loved ones,” or also “financial security.” Any of these needs might be the DNA you incorporate throughout an ad for life insurance as, an example.

Usually, but not always, you should appeal to only one need per ad. Then you should test that ad against other ads that appeal to other needs to find out which need motivates buyers most when choosing to purchase what you are offering. For example, only through testing their ads have some freelance copywriters were surprised to learn that personal “financial security” is often a stronger motivator to buy life insurance than to “protect/provide for loved ones.”

But don’t regard this as a commandment written in stone. If you have the luxury of writing a long ad, you probably should appeal to more than one need.

Once you have identified the need you intend to appeal to, make sure your headline addresses that need with specific benefits that meet that need head on.

For example, suppose you are writing for a financial services firm that has a product designed to protect someone’s retirement income from market ups and downs, and you have determined that “financial security” is the dominant need for your potential clients. Your headline might read:

Retire On a Secure Income
Protect Your Retirement Nest Egg
Announcing: The Inflation-Proof Retirement Income
How I Guaranteed My Retirement Income Will Never Go Down
Why Settle for an Unstable Retirement Income?

As you can see, by first identifying your readers’ dominant need, you can then write headlines that appeal to that need like a laser beam.

Next, you use the same need to pinpoint the benefits your copy must address. In the ad that might follow the above headlines on a retirement income product, your readers will probably be interested in the following benefits:

  • A retirement income that does not fluctuate with the ups and downs of the financial markets,
  • An income that is inflation proof,
  • An income that is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury, or at least a giant company’s reserves,
  • An income that will allow retirees to live comfortably,
  • An income that will make sure a retiree will not have to depend on others,
  • An income that will not for a reduced standard of living.

As you can see, not only does determining the buyer’s need make a freelance copywriter’s job easier, it also helps create more compelling copy that appeals to what your buyer really wants. The right appeal is the reason your readers will buy your product.

freelance copywriter, copywriting tips, freelance commercial writer

COPYRIGHT © 2008, Charles Brown


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