Look at these two scenarios;
Imagine you were a client needing to hire a copywriter, would you rather prefer to patronize a copywriter with tons of bad reviews, few good ones and low to medium customer ratings or a copywriter with excellent reviews and high customer ratings? I believe we both have the same answer.
Imagine you were a copywriter and the testimonials of your clients include plenty bad reviews and low to medium customer ratings for your projects, wouldn’t you likely feel discouraged and want to get the hell out of copywriting? Well, the answer depends on you.
This is to say, the goal here is not just to be a Copywriter but to be a successful one. Like every other career choice, there are must-have fundamental skills one has to possess in other to thrive in a copywriting career, these skills when rightly channelled can help minimize or avoid pitfalls that could mar your career and help build a successful copywriting career. Let’s take a look at some of these skills below;
- Know How to Research
Do I have to tell you that you need to know how to research to be a successful copywriter? Yes, you need superb research skills because you will be doing a lot of research as a copywriter.
These searches range from keywords researches to researches on the contents you will be creating. As a copywriter, you will be writing different topic for diverse industries and you do not have complete knowledge of all the information you need to have on these industries, so what do you do? You research.
You will need to make research on the target market you will be writing for and understand what appeals to them, their pain points, their attitude of buying, your competitions and your competitive advantage over them etc. You will need to research online or offline for references like journals, statistical data, etc. that you can use to add credibility to your copies and persuade your target audience to perform the action you want them to.
Having an abundance of resources at hand helps you create rich and compelling contents. It’s important to know how to research these resources, where to find them, what tools to utilize in researching them and how to use them to write rich, qualitative, and authoritative contents that will appeal to your target audience. There are diverse tools you can harness online to make your work easier starting from Google search, Moz, Buzzsumo for keyword researches, etc.
- Be Creative and Innovative
It’s true that there are tested and proven formulas you can or you should utilize when writing different categories of copies, but come on! You don’t have to be robotically doing that. You shouldn’t write like you are following a die-hard manual; strict, rigid, and with no flexibility, it could make your writings look common and boring.
I’m trying to say, be creative while writing, you can write compelling and unique copies yet following those formulas that even professors of psychology will be persuaded to buy your product or service after reading your copy, that’s how tough it can get.
To think of it, you are selling to smart and intelligent people out there and you want to craft copies that will sell into their psychology and let you have a competitive advantage over other competitors, that’s a lot of work to do and you definitely have to up your game to achieve your goals.
You have to brainstorm ideas, try new things, feel free to go wild with your imaginations, even if your ideas didn’t work the first time, you are better experienced, and you would have learned something which you could use to create a better idea the next time. Put yourself in the position of the target audience, see problems in a new and different way, turn them to your advantage and use them to create compelling copies that will drive your target audience to buy.
- Polished Writing Skills
Let me start from here, you have to enjoy writing to be a successful copywriter. In case you have awesome ideas about marketing but don’t enjoy writing, then take a bit of good advice, jump on other aspects of marketing and allow copywriting be because this is basically what you will be doing as a copywriter- writing.
Writing is where the gold mine lies for you as a copywriter. All the awesome marketing ideas you have up there crafted into writings called copy meant to reach and help a target audience, solve their problems, and in turn help businesses achieve specific goals. Beautiful, isn’t it? That’s copywriting, and you will be surely helping a lot of people and businesses out there as a copywriter.
I can’t over-stress on the need to sharpen your writing skills as a copywriter. I’m not saying you must be an over the board experienced writer to succeed as a copywriter, no! I’m only saying you should be able to communicate to your audience effectively by writing clear, comprehensive, engaging, and compelling copies that will drive them to take actions.
It is essential to master different writing styles as you will be writing different categories of copies for different clients and different industries. Make deliberate and conscious efforts to be a better writer every day. These will put you on edge and make you more valuable in the marketing industry.
- Personal Effectiveness and Time Management
These are both important skills to possess if you want to have a successful copywriting career. If you have to take online courses to teach you how to express these skills, do so. As a copywriter, you will be dealing with short deadlines, workload, criticism from clients, fierce competitions, distractions (especially if you are working from home) etc.
You have to stay productive, disciplined, focused and know how to manage stress and time. Learn how to plan your day, exercise conscious control of time for each project you are working with in other to meet deadlines. There are available time management metrics resources you can take advantage of.
Know when to say no to a project or refer another copywriter, don’t become a superman thinking you can do all and end up disappointing clients, don’t take projects you don’t understand or you are not capable of doing, to avoid pitfalls in your copywriting career.
Learn stress management, find a good time to rest, stay positive in the midst of criticism, don’t take it out on your clients, be professional and polite, show good customer working relationship, that’s when clients will come back to do business with you.
Be patient whenever there is a job stall, do a self-reflection from time to time, set achievable and measurable goals, be opened to learning, expand your horizon, the digital space is always evolving, you have to continually learn to stay relevant in the industry.
- Understand Digital Marketing
Having a basic knowledge of digital marketing is excellent for your copywriting career; there are free online courses that can help you grasp these concepts. Most of your writings will be for the web and online audiences.
It’s important to know how these things work and how the audience relates to your copies online because that is why you write – the audience. Good knowledge of digital marketing will help you optimize your copies for the web and enable you to lead your online audiences from the start of the buyer journey to the point of conversions.
Like I said earlier, expand your horizon, you can’t do that by learning from yourself, if you are a freelancer, you get to work alone most times thereby limiting the opportunity to network with other professionals.
Make a conscious effort to connect with other copywriters, and professionals in and outside the marketing industry, this will help you stay up to date with current trends and information in the industry, and in the society.
Networking does not only impact your copywriting career positively but will also give you opportunities to meet potential customers. Since it’s an online world, networking doesn’t always have to be face to face though it’s a good idea. You can always harness social media networks, virtual events and workshops.
Now, that you are aware of the skills needed to build a successful copywriting career, get to work and don’t stop developing yourself.