I can’t believe what I just read.
A guy who claims to be a professional copywriter (hereafter to be called Tony) offered a paper called “Master Copywriting in 1 Hour.” Now, I must say, good for Tony. He penned a fairly compelling title. And, as promised, he consumed only an hour of my time. He offered some reasonably valid tips too. If you were to read it, you might pick up a few pointers.
Please don’t. OMG! (OMG, did I just type “OMG?” Worse yet, did I complete the exclamation with an exclamation mark?) This is truly amateur hour.
Confession: I’m a professional copywriter too.
I’ve been working at mastering my craft for about 24 years now. What a fool I am. Apparently, the right mentor could have packed all those lessons into just 60 minutes. Live and learn.
Again, I’m kind of glad Tony put in the effort. He inspired me to write what I believe to be the truest statement of my career:
If you think you can master anything, of any value, in one hour you’re simply stoopid—with two Os.
Today, while the windows and doors of libraries are being boarded up, any quack with a QWERTY keyboard can type his way to the mythical zenith of authority. Authors of “how to” articles prey on the good people of IP Land with their delusional doo doo, and the winds blow stronger as self-appointed experts make a pastime out of plagiarizing poop in their blogs.
What I mean to be saying is, in the Internet age, you get fed some pretty bad advice. Though his aim may be true, Tony supplies an amazing litany of, er… it. Tony says the following (and I can’t help but respond in parentheses).
- What separates master copywriters from your run of the mill types is this: understanding your market.
(If this requires an additional hour, this course is starting to sound time-consuming.)
- The focus of writing effective copy is making the sale.
(Seriously? Please use the comment form below to tell me a bit about the last time you read effective copy and then whipped out the wallet.)
- Good copy is an art form.
(When in London, don’t miss your opportunity to visit the Museum of Good Copy.)
- Get inside your prospects head [Tony doesn’t like apostrophes] and allow them to think that they NEED to have what you’re selling.
(Tony, are you suggesting they don’t? Careful bud, you don’t want to make us advertising folks seem seedy.)
- Tell people what they need to do, It makes buyers buy.
(I’m bordering on speechless now.)
- Your call to action must be strong, like: “Fortunes aren’t made overnight… unless you buy now.” (Powerful stuff, Tony. It only takes an hour to master copywriting, but making a fortune takes an entire night? What a crappy career choice I made.)
- With software products the sales copy is in the video and it mostly sells itself.
(I’d have to understand this statement to take issue with it.)
- When you grasp and apply this [Tony’s “benefits” lesson], you will become a master copywriter in no time at all.
(Wait just a sec, or minute. No time? I thought it takes an hour!!!???!!!)
Speaking of time, I’ve taken enough of yours and have budgeted my next hour to read a free download called “Master Golf in 60 Minutes.” Look for me at The Masters.
Wow, so refreshing to hear an ad “professional” is actually professional. I studied sales for 20 years and rarely have I encountered a copywriter who truly understands clients don’t want pools (pools are expensive to maintain and costly to put in), they want to swim with their friends and families; they don’t want a lower mortgage rate (you can’t spend a rate), they want to be able to more easily afford their lives or have more disposable income for fun or peace of mind; they don’t want a new car (the one they have gets the job done), they want the feeling they get from driving the new car. Etc… Anyway, nice commentary on the above article. Thanks. Your comments are a refreshing read.
Thanks Todd. I take it you’re in the mortgage biz. How’s that going for you? I have some experience in that area if you want to rev it up.