When I first learned this lesson it turned my entire world upside down. Because up until that point I was taught to be a great copywriter, we needed to be creative.
In fact, a few self proclaimed copywriting gurus even went so far as to say creativity is what separates A-list copywriters (aka "wealthy copywriters") from all the rest (aka "struggling copywriters).
And for years I believed it.
Like most copywriters, when I sat down to work I deliberately tried to be creative. I tried hard to be clever, and often struggled and struggled to "dream up" an offer that would make people buy.
But then I learned the truth...
And once I started looking at it from a different point of view, my copy got better and my conversion rates shot straight through the roof. And I never looked back.
Would you like to know what really separates a world class copywriter from the rest of the pack?
It's nothing mysterious. In fact, it's really quite simple. And once you hear it you may kick yourself for not realizing it sooner. Because it really is that obvious...
You see, when it comes to copywriting (or any type of selling), what really separates the pros from the shmos is one simple ingredient. And this simple Ingredient Is...
The Willingness To Become Intimately Involved With Your Market!
If you'll spend the time to intimately understand your customers (most people won't), you'll learn more about how to sell to your customers than 1,000 "creative" guys sitting around trying to dream up the next Giecko Lizard or Eveready Bunny.
Look, you can't learn what's going on in the hearts and minds of your customers by sitting around trying to be clever.
What you must do, if you really want to learn how to sell through the written word (or sell in general), is you must go out and live amongst your prospects in their world.
You need to walk with them, talk with them, laugh and cry with them, and in general do whatever you can do to get to know your customers and what they're going through in their day-to-day lives.
This next soundbite Gary gave me only makes sense after you understand the above concept. Simply put...
"More Answers Will Be Found Through Movement Than Will Ever Be Found Through Meditation"
(Disclaimer: We're talking about selling here. If you're on a spiritual quest then meditation might be the better move)
Is getting to know your customers really worth the time and trouble?
The answer of course is a resounding "YES".
Because when it comes to writing great sales copy, it's not a matter of knowing how to write, it's a matter of knowing what to write.
And understanding what your customers want, how they feel, and the words they use in their daily lives will tell you exactly what to write.
Here's a real world example of why it's so important to understand your customers...
Many years ago (back in the 1950's), the Betty Crocker brand was a household name selling recipe books and baked goods to the American housewife (this was long before people took offense to the term "housewife")
Anyway, the company came out with an instant cake mix. All you had to do was add water, stir it up a bit, and pop it in the oven.
The advertising slogan was: "We Do It All For You!"
The campaign bombed and sales were practically non existent.
Can you guess why?
The people at the Betty Crocker company had no clue, so they called in a marketing psychologist to help figure it out.
What the psychologist discovered (by actually talking with customers) was that even though women wanted the convenience of an easy recipe, when a woman bakes a cake it was an act of creation, and they took a great deal of pride in serving home baked goods to friends and family.
So the women were actually turned off by the idea that the "creative process" of baking a cake would no longer require any effort.
After they discovered this little nugget of insight, Betty Crocker changed the recipe.
They removed the powdered egg so women had to add an egg, then add water, stir it up and pop it in the oven.
They also changed the tagline from "We do it for you" to "We do it together".
BOOM! Hundreds of millions of dollars in instant cake mix sales!
Can you see the powerful difference between telling people what you think they want to hear, and finding out what they actually do want?
It's like flipping a switch and turning on a light. One minute you can't see, and the next minute everything is crystal clear.
So if you really want to be a great copywriter, go to where your customers live.
It could be facebook groups or chat rooms or niche forums, and when this whole COVID thing is finally over you can even go find them out in the real (physical) world.
Hang out with them. Talk with them. Laugh and cry with them. And in general do whatever you can do to get to know your customers.
Or, if you'd rather be a struggling copywriter, you can always spend your time trying to dream up clever ways to sell your products.
It's your choice.
Here's to connecting with more customers, for bigger winners, more often...
All the best,