In our line of work, there are no diplomas, certificates, or league tables to tell you when you’ve made the grade.
There’s no board of examiners to say when you’ve progressed from competent to craftsman.
Sure, praise from clients and conversion stats helps.
But if you want to feel confident you’ve got the chops to compete with the best, there are six key copywriter traits to embed in your playbook:
1. Confidence You Can Deliver Results
Confidence doesn’t come from posting your open rates in Facebook and waiting to be applauded with emojis.
Confidence means knowing you can get the job done.
It comes from knowing how to find the unmet desires in the marketplace…knowing how to research to dig up that golden USP that will bring in a rush of customers…and knowing how to drill for riches in niches where no one else is looking.
The bottom line is this: When you’re a great copywriter, going from discovery call to dominating a market is no longer a mystery. You’ve got the skills to dial in on what needs to be done, and you know what results clients can expect on launch day.
2. Knowing the Customer Like a Friend
Good copywriters know to turn features into red hot bullets.
Great copywriters know how to aim those bullets square between the prospect’s eyes.
It’s a glorious day in a copywriter’s career to ask a client for a customer bio and be rewarded with a buyer persona so detailed you wonder if they’ve been bugging a customer’s phone.
But back in the real world, it’s down to you to scour Amazon reviews…mine Facebook groups….infiltrate Reddit tribes…and run Ask method surveys to work out what will convince people to buy your client’s wares.
This is all good level research.
Great level research is plucking it from the horse’s mouth.
That means speaking to customers in real life.
Whether you do it in the flesh or over the phone (Whatsapp doesn’t count) a two way conversation with a living, breathing human is the best way of getting them to speak off the cuff, rather than in considered soundbites.
You want them to vent. To rage on their nagging pains…their frustration with all the shoddy products they’ve tried before….and how they’ll think twice before falling for clever marketing tricks again.
All you need to do is listen, ask the right questions, and take notes.
Then when you sit down to write, it will be like they’re sat across the table. All you then need to do is write what will convince them you offer the salvation they need. When you can do that, clever wordplay isn’t needed.
3. A Master of Big Ideas, Hooks, and Story
As you progress up the levels eventually you’re going to wade into a saturated market where you have to wrestle a “market sophistication level 5” problem (check out Great Leads by Michael Masterson for more on market sophistication).
This is a brutal place where the market has been plundered to death. A once fertile paradise ravaged with so many false promises that jaded customers have stopped believing any claims you can make.
It’s a place where copywriters become legends, or have their reputation tarnished.
Yet, level 5 problems can be conquered with the right approach.
Ways to do it include:
- Creating a new cause of their pain so you can present your product as a new solution
- Combining 2 or 3 market trends into a new overarching theme
- Being the first to reveal a breakthrough before it’s reached the mainstream
- Explaining how the product works at a deeper level (Joe Sugarman was a master at this)
- Using the power of storytelling, with multiple soap opera swings and sensory language, to take the reader on an emotionally interesting journey. A story that motivates them to stop praying for change but to stride towards a bold new future in which they become the person they want to be viewed as by others (and not just by themselves).
- Harnessing celebrities, Nobel prize winners, NASA, diabolical Nazi experiments, or an Amazonian tribe that diabetes forgot to present a pitch more compelling than the zaniest National Enquirer exposé.
It can take grizzled veterans 6 months or more to develop the big idea, hook, and mechanism with which to take down a level 5 problem.
The good news is that if you’re victorious it can mean having enough coins in the vault to take the rest of the year off. It can even mean retiring early to down piña coladas on a beach somewhere (but who wants that).
Want to Know More About Going from Good to Great? Subscribe to David Garfunkel’s Copywriter Podcast Immediately
Mr Garfunkel (I’m not worthy to call him David) is known as the world’s greatest copywriting coach. You’ll soon understand why when you listen to his podcast as he shares insights more valuable than you’ll find in many $5,000+ courses. Yet, bizarrely, you don’t have to pay a dime.