Copywriting Masterclass Part I: Why words matter (and the 3 things you need before you write any)

Simon Elliott avatar

Simon Elliott

By Ellie Piovesana

Words matter. Good ones connect and inform. Great ones make you feel something too.

But before you type a single character, there are things you need to know.

Who do you think you’re talking to?

First and foremost, you must know your audience.

Are they male or female? How old are they? What kind of work do they do? What are their interests?

Dive into all the data you can. Create a persona. Because the more you know about who you’re trying to connect with, the better you’ll write for them.

Adapting to an audience is something a good copywriter does easily. But then so do you – unless you’re addressing important clients the same way you WhatsApp your mum.

Copywriting Masterclass

Know your channel

Words are used across an endless number of platforms, but never in quite the same way.

How a copywriter delights consumers in an e-newsletter for example, looks very different to a written policy on a corporate intranet or an engaging post on social media.

Style and language – as well as wordcount – must be adapted to suit both the audience and how they expect to receive information on the platform you’re using.

Yes, sometimes the same message must be reworked several times so it’s fit for purpose in all the spaces you’re landing it.

If you can get one, a good copywriter who understands your audience, your message and your channels, is key to effective delivery.

Think of them like hairdressers. Sure, we can all blow dry our own hair. But when a professional does it, we notice.

Copywriting Masterclass

Speak how you would like to be spoken to

A trap many people fall into is adopting the copywriter equivalent of a telephone voice.

Avoid jargon like the plague. And before you sign off your copy, read it out loud. Does it sound like something you would say IRL?

Because here’s what it all boils down to: your audience will respond best to a message that is clear and concise, in a style that speaks to them not at them.

If you can sprinkle some personality in there too, they might even look forward to what you have to say next.

NEXT WEEK: Copywriting masterclass part II – How to write marketing copy that pops

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