I was thinking about this the other day whilst waiting for my wife to emerge from Marks & Spencer (so I had a while…)
And then I was reminded to add a portfolio to my website to show interested peeps examples of my extensive back catalogue…
Whilst I was compiling that portfolio, trawling through my hard drive and Google drive looking for stuff I’d done, it occurred to me how much I love writing words that engage and inform and/or words that compel people to hand over their name and email address or their credit card details.
But first of all – for those of you who may not know me – I’m a freelance copywriter, usually I stick to writing emails and email newsletters for various clients. But if those clients ask me, I get involved with other projects including website copy & sales letters for example.
I’m also writing a book, part of a planned series. (More on that in future posts)
So now you know what I do, why do I do it?
Because I’m still fascinated by the fact that you can start with a blank page and write words on it that will persuade/influence/compel your intended reader/client/prospect to take a specified action.
Even if that action is just to ‘like’ your page or follow your social media feed.
It doesn’t matter. It’s how powerful words can be when chosen and crafted effectively, the emotion those words can bring out in the person(s) who reads them.
That last sentence really sums up why I chose to specialise in email copywriting. You all know that you should identify exactly who your ideal client is. Create an Ideal Client Avatar or several, one for each product or service or price band maybe.
But make sure you create one. Be like an actor who studies the character/persona they are going to play.
“I’m curious about other people. That’s the essence of my acting. I’m interested in what it would be like to be you“
That quote was from the one and only Meryl Streep.
Study your ideal client, know as much as you can about them, just shy of stalking them.
Then, when you know who that person is, write to them, 1-1.
Emails are perfect for this. They are personal, not on your social media feed or website for all to see, just your ideal client.
You can build a relationship with them, almost like we used to do with a penpal, remember them? (showing my age now)
That’s why I love writing emails. Personal, 1-1 dialogue, sharing tips, stories, case studies, links to resources they might find useful, recommending other services etc etc..
And, If I’m honest, I like the fact they’re usually no more than 350 words, tops. (in contrast, some sales letters can be 10lk words+, eek!)
Those 350 words though, are chosen very carefully, as in the example of that blank page I mentioned earlier. I write in a conversational style, pretty much like this post and all my others.
I write as if you and I were chatting together over a coffee somewhere.
I use emotion, feeling, a personal touch without being too invasive or familiar. I write those emails in colloquial language your clients and prospects will understand and engage with.
Emails are definitely my ‘thing’ – highly effective, whether you sell products or services or a combination of both.
And of course, I’m freelance. Which means I can work to my own schedule to a large extent, I work when I like, where I like. I don’t answer to anyone but my wife and my clients.
I can use my skills to write books as I’m doing right now, and write scripts for podcasts and videos which I want to do in the near future.
I can knock off early if I feel like it as long as I’m on or ahead of schedule, I don’t have to ask any ‘line manager’ for permission, nor do I have to contend with any insecurities or prejudices they may have, that alone is worth everything to me.
And finally, I get to see my ‘work’ in print, doing its thing.
So now you know why I do what I do.
What’s your ‘why?
I’d love to read a few in the comments…