Seasoned copywriters agree. One of the top traits you need to have as a copywriter is insatiable curiosity.
Because curious people are always learning.
And if you want to write copy that resonates with your target market, you’ve got to always be learning about them.
It’s easy to focus on other areas of marketing such as investigating the newest marketing automation tool or developing a content marketing strategy.
But knowing your customer is the absolute rock-bottom foundation of every successful business.
You’re not going to learn about your customer unless you cultivate curiosity. You need to be curious about what makes them tick. What excites them, terrifies them, motivates them, etc.
You must know your customer inside and out.
Only then will you be able to write copy that will speak to your prospect’s heart. That’s where you’ve got to grab ‘em.
Not in the head.
In the heart.
10 Questions to Get You Started
The way curiosity is satisfied is by having your questions answered. Dan Kennedy, one of the top copywriters in the country, asks ten questions:
- What keeps your prospect awake at night, indigestion boiling up their esophagus, eyes open, staring at the ceiling?
- What are they afraid of?
- What are they angry about? Who are they angry at?
- What are their top three daily frustrations?
- What trends are occurring and will occur in their businesses or lives?
- What do they secretly, ardently desire most?
- Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions? (Example: engineers = exceptionally analytical)
- Do they have their own language?
- Who else is selling something similar to their product, and how?
- Who else has tried selling them something similar, and how has that effort failed?
Reading Is The Key
As I mentioned in this blog post, successful leaders are readers. And successful copywriters are readers.
Clayton Makepeace, another A-list copywriter, explains how he researches his prospect (emphasis mine):
“I read. I jump on the Internet and “Google” everything. I search for the client’s, the editor’s or the author’s name and the name of the product. I read what competitors say about their product. I visit Amazon.com and see what other authors have written on the subject. I “Look Inside” their books and read their tables of content. And if I see something that might help me, I order it.”
Then he heads down to his local bookstore and loads up on books and periodicals that he suspects his prospects are reading.
Other Reading Sources
Books aren’t the only source for learning about your prospect. Here are a few others:
- Visit online communities where you’re prospect would hang out and read the discussion boards
- Check out your local library and read the trade journals and periodicals that your prospect would read
- Sign up for industry email lists and read carefully their emails and eNewsletters
There are mountains of information out there about your prospect. You only need to search for it. Soon you’ll accumulate the information you need that will help you understand your prospect.
Why Should You Do This?
The short answer: because your competitors aren’t.
The longer answer: in order to persuade someone or successfully sell to them, you first need to understand them.
Too many businesses put themselves as a priority, not their prospect. They want to talk about themselves first and tell a prospect how great they are. Yet the prospect doesn’t care. What they care about is their own life, their own problems and their own desires.
The more you make an effort to understand them, the more you’ll be able create copy that speaks to them.
All the top copywriters know this secret. It’s why research is extensive and part of most project fees. It’s why you need to give your copywriter time to accumulate this information (if you outsource your writing).
And it’s why you’ll eventually have prospects who will fall in love with you because you took the time to “get them.”
I’m going to give you some homework.
Today, take a sheet of paper and write down between 1 – 3 types of prospects you want to reach.
Then start searching for reading material.
Easily, the best investment you will make in your business.