- Online Marketing
By Chas. McNamara
I started taking drum lessons in seventh grade. We were taught “rudiments” which are like scales for other instruments. Learning these rolls and triplets prepared me for band and orchestral music but not for jazz and not for improvisation. I didn’t realize I needed a different perspective, one with rhythm and passion. A friend who was a jazz musician gave me The Drums of Passion by Michael Olatunji. He thought it would give me that new perspective. I have never lost this rhythm. Listen and you’ll understand.
Passion and experience
Many a night have I tossed and turned with words scrolling through my mind trying to find the right headline or a different arrangement for a sentence. Obsessive? No, exacting. This is the kind of passion I’m talking about.
Expressing the right idea, touching someone else’s heart, creating interest and value for the reader, that is writing with passion – regardless of whether I am working on a TV commercial, a video script, a website or a brochure.
A good copywriter can climb right inside the mind of the reader and that takes experience. A huge part of copywriting (and Internet marketing especially) is being able to strike a cord with a particular audience. What motivates my audience? What makes them angry, frustrated, happy or hopeful? That is always in the forefront of a good copywriter’s mind. How can I move them to action?
I am more inquisitive than most people I know. I am called on to write about photovoltaics, free-range chicken and cubicle furniture. I am challenged endlessly to come up with new angles on the same products and services. Without a genuine lust for learning, and a healthy tolerance for research, I would not be able to understand the mechanics of everyday objects (the crux of copywriting). Good copywriters crave knowledge, are tickled by trivia and love knowing the inside story.
To write marketing literature that really connects with people and drives them to action, I need to understand, and more importantly the reader needs to understand, the values your business holds dear. All of this information forms the foundation of your business branding but rarely can you articulate those details, with passion. I need lots of details and I need to hear you express why you are in business.
This appreciation for what you offer is fundamental to transforming routine promotional language into a heartfelt brand identity. If done well, the copy in a sales letter or a newsletter or a speech will take the prospect on a small journey. The story will help the customer know exactly what they are buying and why they are buying from you. This is the voice of your brand which lingers in the subconscious of your audience because it speaks their language. A good copywriter will breathe life into your brand, creating a personality that your audience will value. Before you tell them what’s in it for them, you have to explain what’s in it for you.
So I am an editor, headline writer, technical translator, researcher and improviser — all of which require passion and experience. The first is inbred; the second is only gained over time. It takes a lot of practice to get it right and hours of rehearsal to make it blend together.
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