Why this copywriter will never write an article about copywriting

There, did I say copywriting enough times that Google crawls it and thinks I am one? Great, now that that’s out of the way.

Here’s the deal. If you need a copywriter, you don’t need an article about 10 tips on copywriting. Like, if you need a heart surgeon, you don’t need an article about 10 ways to perform a vascular suture. You need someone who’ll get in there, assess the damage, fix it, and make you better than you were before.

Better. Stronger. Faster.

(For those of you who didn’t grow up in the 70s, that’s a Six Million Dollar Man reference. You know, back when $6 million was a lot of money and we built cyborgs with it.)

What you really want is someone who is a student of the human condition. Why? Because all the people reading these ones and zeroes are still people. They’ve only been around this whole Internet thing for the last decade or so. Not that long.

Measure that against emotions and instincts that have developed over billions of years. (Evolutionarily speaking, of course. If you follow the Bible literally, that’s 10,000 years or so. Still a lot longer than 10.)

You also want someone who is a student of marketing strategy.

Marketing strategy is a combination of rules, insight, attitude, application of said attitude and adjustment to results. Many of the best rules come from direct marketing, of which I’ve been a student for 20 years and counting.

This whole Internet and social media thing has more in common with direct marketing than anything else. It’s about making offers and getting them accepted. (Do I offer to follow you? Do you offer to follow me? What’s in it for each of us?) Brevity or length and knowing where to use which (Twitter vs. blogging, anyone?). Testing and measuring (try something, see if it works. Refine. Repeat.). Structuring arguments, engagement (still with me?).

All good direct marketing skills.

If you want 10 tips that include things like when to use subheads, or how to write a winning headline, there are lots of places to get that.

But that’s not what you need, is it?

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