I hear this a lot:
“I’m interested in copywriting, but I don’t want to trick people or force people into buying anything.”
And I definitely get that: I know that a lot of people are put off by the idea of capital-S selling and pushing things on people. No one wants to feel disingenuous or pushy.
Well, good news:
First, that’s really not what copywriting is. Copywriting is about connecting people who have a need with the best solution to that need, and doing it by writing in a way that connects with that audience. That kind of push-push-push selling isn’t effective and isn’t what copywriting is about.
Sometimes the “need” will be a big, important one. For example, parents with a diabetic child may need to find a specialty hospital for that child and the copy on a hospital’s diabetes center webpage helps that family understand that it’s the exact right hospital for them.
And, of course, sometimes it’s a lot less “significant,” but still important to the person with the need. A person who needs a quick, healthy snack in the middle of the day but is allergic to nuts finds the answer to her needs when she sees an ad for a low-sugar, no-nut energy bar. She was connected to the answer to her problems via good copywriting.
Some people have kind of a narrow idea of what “advertising” is—that it’s the crummy direct mail pieces that get immediately thrown away or “BIG BLOWOUT” newspaper ads.
And yes, all of those are copywriting (albeit often bad copywriting) but copywriting is so much more. On a daily basis, pretty much anything you read that isn’t a book, an article, or a blog is generally copywriting. It’s the web pages of a company, it’s the emails you get from a company, it’s the good direct mail pieces that get you interested in the product, it’s the useful ads that make you think, “Oh wow, that’s exactly what I need! It’s like they read my mind!”
Copywriting is about creating genuine connections by writing in a way that connects with the exact right target audience for a product/service and helps them understand that it *is* right for them and solving their needs. It sounds simple and straightforward, but not that many people can do it well. That’s part of why copywriters are so valued and paid so well. 🙂