October 15

Action Seminar Copy Panel: Target Your Copywriting Services


AS1 Copy Panel

Most copywriters try to be all things to all people.  The most successful, though, are specialists.  They spend a lot of time in one niche, and have a leg up on everyone else because they know the market better than the competition.  In the Action Seminar, Harlan Kilstein discusses the benefits of specialization for copywriters.

Harlan Kilstein’s comments:

How many of the people who are writing, who are here today, how many have a USP as a copywriter? OK, most people do not. If you go from one copywriting site to another, they are more or less plain vanilla.

Now, in Simple Writing System I think that we found, as faculty, that people have the greatest difficulty in the USP section. That’s where people struggle. Well, if you’re struggling there when you are doing a sample letter, imaging, just as John indicated there, how much more difficult it is when it is about yourself.

YouTube player

But, if you don’t find something unique to say about yourself, you are just another cookie on the shelf in an aisle full of cookies. You’ve got to find something unique about what you do, OK? And people are afraid to go into a particular niche…one of my students is only financial copy, and specifically forex copy. And he has become the king of forex copy. Because that’s it.

How many people are going after the women’s market? And focusing… “that’s what I want to…I want to go after women marketing information products.” Nobody’s doing this stuff. You’re just saying “I’m a copywriter”. And you can’t be all things to all men. You’ve got to find out who you are, what your strengths are. What are you doing to pick your market? OK? You can’t just be a copywriter. It’s not going to work. There are a zillion of you out there.

How many people are there…Mary Ellen’s going into the women’s market. Mary Ellen, if you found a copywriter who had written for the women’s market successfully, spent all their time marketing to the women’s market, how much decision time would you make if they were good, and they said “that’s all I do”?

That’s it exactly. I mean, that’s the point I was going to make Harlan. Exactly. That copywriters come up to me all the time, and they say “I can write anything. I can write health. I can write financial, I can write biz-op.” And I say… “I bet you can’t”.

You know, and even in the financial newsletter world. I was in there for 10 years. This may sound sexist, but I rarely hired a female copywriter for that. Because the voice, you know, you don’t want copy to say “you know, I’m so excited about this new program”. You want copy that says “I’m stoked, you’re going to make this”. You know, so with that you have to know the audience. And the best possible thing is if you are a part of that audience.

So, for me to start a working mom’s community…you know, that’s my community for the last 11 years. John loves golf. He can write about golf. If you’re not passionate about what you are writing about, it’s going to come through. And you can’t know everything about alternative health, and forex, and ETF’s, and, you know, biz-op. You can’t. You’re not going to be able to immerse yourself in all of those categories.

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