My clients pay me to write. But I think I do a lot more for them than that. As a direct response copywriter, I have to call upon a number of very different skills and put them all to work on my clients' behalf . . .
The copywriter as bricklayer.
Did you ever see bricklayers build a wall?
They start with a strong, level foundation, then lay their bricks quickly and deftly. It's a pleasure to watch.
I think a direct response copywriter is a lot like the bricklayer. Fundamentally, she or he is an artisan -- a skilled worker who practices a trade or craft.
That's one of the ways I see myself. I'm the guy you call when you want results you can count on. Need something to work? Want something fixed? No problem. I show up on time with my toolbox of verbs, nouns, and adjectives and get to work. No fuss. No muss.
A craftsman doesn't have to scratch his head and figure out what to do. He knows what to do because he's served an apprenticeship and done the job a thousand times.
The copywriter as doctor.
So often, a new client calls me and asks how long an email should be or any of a hundred other questions.
My response is always the same. I have to hear the whole story. So, just like a physician, I take a history. I find out all about the objectives of the project and ask probing questions.
Only then can I make a diagnosis and figure out how I'm going to treat the problem. Okay. I wear a sweater instead of a white coat, but my approach is the same as a dedicated doctor's.
Empirical. Cautious. And always with the patient's interests at heart.
The copywriter as lawyer.
A company may have a great product or service to sell. But that doesn't mean that people will want to buy it.
My clients need a talented advocate to make their case for them. Someone who will stand up in front of the jury (prospective customers) and be so persuasive that the sale gets made.
I have the crucial responsibility of representing my clients before the marketplace and getting the right verdict every single time. No trivial responsibility.
I have often thought that no matter how big the organization that I work for is, when prospects are reading my copy, I am the most important person in that company.
This isn't ego. It's the simple truth. Think about it! The copywriter is the interface between the prospect and the entire company.
If I'm writing for Microsoft, when the reader opens my letter the CEO doesn't count at all. I'm the one who has to grab the reader's attention, explain the product's features and benefits, overcome objections, and close the sale.
Again, this is a big responsibility and one that I take very seriously.
The bottom line? Your copywriter, who is part bricklayer, doctor, lawyer, and a whole lot more, is a vitally important member of your team. Choose him or her well and watch your business thrive.