freelance copywriter, copywriting tips, white papers, rainmaking tips

We copywriters sometimes get too caught up in our work and try too hard to make it an intellectual exercise. But we need to remind ourselves we are not writing literature, we are selling on paper.

To keep myself grounded, and to remind myself that I am a freelance copywriter not a poet, I will often tell myself, "you are really just selling aspirin.”

What do I mean? Simply this: every product, every service I write about is really a solution to a problem. And problems cause pain, and a person in pain reaches for what? That’s right, an aspirin.

In short, it is a way to remind myself that I am writing about a solution to a problem my reader has.

So regardless of what I am writing about, I am really writing about aspirin.

But what about those people who have become so used to their pain that they hardly notice it anymore? Can writing about a solution work if the person has come to accept their problem as just a part of life that they have to cope with?

You bet it can. Sometimes I have to bang the drums two inches away from the person with a splitting headache to remind her that she has a headache. I’m doing her a favor, really. Why should someone just learn to live with pain when I can give her a cure?

Take a look at these words taken from an actual life insurance ad:

What is going to happen to the wife and children you claim you love if you fail to provide for them after your death?

Will they remember you fondly as a wonderful father and husband? Or will they remember you as the guy who let them down when they needed you most?

Pretty strong stuff isn’t it? But I bet it sold life insurance.

But usually you won’t have to bang that drum to make them feel their own pain. More often than not, they are all too aware of their problems and pain. All you have to do is offer them the aspirin.

So next time you get all bogged down writing copy, just remember…all you’re really doing is selling aspirin.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown


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