What gets under your skin?

When it comes to copywriting skills, you can be your own's best source of inspiration.

Copywriting skills

Chances are your clients are people like you. And if they are not, if they live entirely different lives according to completely different values, I hope you know it. One of the most difficult copywriting skills is to speak directly to the ideal customer. Do your homework and learn about your customers before you write the first letter.

Still, chances are your clients are people. And people tend to get influenced by similar things. You can read all the psychological tricks of persuasion. They work. But maybe you can start with yourself.

Let me show you a practical exercise. I invite you to write down your answers. Seriously, writing down stuff works like magic. If you are serious about marketing, you can dedicate a notebook to your notes. I promise, more exercises will follow.

Why did you buy it?

Remember the last time you bought an item? Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers.

  1. Did I need it? If not, why exactly did I buy it?
  2. Why did I purchase from this seller? What did he offer that the others did not?
  3. Why did I buy it now?
  4. Do I regret it? Will I buy something from them later?

You can repeat this exercise anytime you feel like it. It aims at realizing your motivation behind buying stuff.

Because when you market your product, you must have the answers to these questions in your head. And find a way to place them in your text. Ideally, put them somewhere where your customer’s subconscious sees them before the conscious mind even starts to notice.

Why did you read this email?

I believe you receive tons of emails every day. Some come from your clients and employers, some from your mother and father. I guess you open those even if the subject line is not the greatest of them all. But then, some emails don’t have to be opened. Those struggle to get your attention. Hypnotize you to open and read them. So, turn your regular inbox inspection routine into a marketing exercise. Ask yourself:

  1. Why did I open this email and not that one?
  2. What emotions did I feel when I read the subject line? Or the sender’s name?
  3. Why did I keep reading after opening the email?
  4. Did I feel satisfied or disappointed after I had read the email? Did it deliver what the subject line promise?
  5. What made me unsubscribe?
  6. When (time of day, circumstances) did an email end up in the bin, although the subject line was tempting?
  7. What made me mark the email as “read later?” And did I read it in the end?

If you use email marketing, this exercise is a must-do for you. But having answers to these questions helps you to improve both your copywriting and your marketing skills.

Why did you like that status?

When it comes to social media, our decisions differ from those we do in offline life. Your brand, product, or person is probably active on at least one of the networks. Don’t just watch how others react. Watch how you react. Answer these questions:

  1. What made me click on “read more.”
  2. What made me share?
  3. What stopped me from sharing?
  4. What image am I building with my profile?
  5. What image are my friends building with their profiles? Does it agree with how I know them?
  6. What caught my eye first – the image or the caption?
  7. What made me comment?
  8. What made me delete that comment?

Social media are a world for themselves. But for now, let us stick with them as a means of inspiration.

Why did you keep on reading or watching?

Even our free time activities can be a means of inspiration. The books you read don’t have to be precisely Shakespeare. I guess your blog does not require a Shakespearean writer, either. You can get inspired by words, thoughts, sentences, and dialogues in books you read and movies you watch. But you can also train your copywriting skills.

  1. Why did I decide to watch this film tonight?
  2. Why did I switch the channel?
  3. Was that a cliffhanger that made me watch yet another episode? How was the cliffhanger built?
  4. What made me buy or borrow this book? Was it the title? The tagline?
  5. What made me read on? The first sentences in the book are the most important. You can learn a lot from skillful writers.
  6. What made me turn yet another page or open a new chapter?

You are improving your copywriting skills

As you probably noticed, we are not practicing polished metaphors but the psychology of persuasion. You are learning how to:

  1. Get attention
  2. Ignite genuine interest
  3. Build a desire to read, watch, buy
  4. Keep the attention long enough to…
  5. … make someone take action.

I always look for inspiration in unexpected sources.

See for yourselves…

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