Does copywriting require research or expertise for the products you are going to promote?

19 replies
Do you have to be an expert on the niche you will work or the clients provide all the info you need for the product you will write for?
#copywriting #expertise #products #promote #require #research
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  • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
    Originally Posted by Shanks88 View Post

    Do you have to be an expert on the niche you will work or the clients provide all the info you need for the product you will write for?

    You should know a great deal about the products or services your selling, yes. You don't necessarily need to know everything. If you're selling a software for example, you don't need to know how to program it. But you do need to know anything that'll be relevant to your audience's purchasing decision.
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  • Profile picture of the author ThePromotionalGuy
    Hellor Shanks88,
    Originally Posted by Shanks88 View Post

    Do you have to be an expert on the niche you will work or the clients provide all the info you need for the product you will write for?
    A year ago if you told me I would be writing for the IT and MSP market I would have laughed my ass off at you.

    Today...no laughter. Just constant research and writing. I'm no technician but I know how to decipher a 48-port 500W Switch & Rack with 6CATa. Didn't a year ago.

    Chinchilla
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    Force-Communication - "It is the noble art of causing a client, a customer, or a prospect to perform a positive act as the direct result of reading your words." - Herschell Gordon Lewis
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by Shanks88 View Post

    Do you have to be an expert on the niche you will work or the clients provide all the info you need for the product you will write for?
    In an ideal world, you would have a great deal of expertise in the niche you work in. In addition, the client should be able to provide you with all the product-related information you'll need to get the details right.

    In addition, I try to get any previous promotional materials, along with the results if they are available. Very embarrassing to pitch a "brilliant" concept, only to be told the client tried it last year and it flopped.

    Being a niche expert also means that you can charge more because the client doesn't have to spend time bringing you up to speed. Also, as you learn more about the niche, you'll be able to turn out better copy more quickly. Which means your internal hourly rate goes up -- you make more money for less work.
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  • Profile picture of the author ctrlaltdelete
    Ideally, yes. It would be great to be very knowledgeable on your niche of choice. Even so, copywriters still need to study the product before they start working. It's important on our part as clients to provide them with all the information they need so they can write great copy. Whenever I have to hire a copywriter from Freelancer, Onlinejobsph, etc., I give a reasonable deadline, enough time for them to be familiar with the business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shanks88
    I was reading 3 copywrite courses yesterday, all of them focused on sales and promotion, i can now understand better the copies i see, all of them use the same concepts, but i have one question, do copywriters write only sales/promotional copy? some emails i see are not promotional at all.
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    • Profile picture of the author ThePromotionalGuy
      Hellor Shanks88,
      Originally Posted by Shanks88 View Post

      I was reading 3 copywrite courses yesterday, all of them focused on sales and promotion, i can now understand better the copies i see, all of them use the same concepts, but i have one question, do copywriters write only sales/promotional copy? some emails i see are not promotional at all.
      It was that way mostly back in the day. When the Internet came on board the game changed. There are some men and women copy writers, still today, that's all they write.

      For 25 years I have been a Generalist Copy Writer and have written copy for 43 different industries and I get paid very well. I own a Freelance Commercial Writing Service business.

      In my business if you accept my fee - I will write it. This is a short list of what I'm writing these days:

      " Blogs
      " Emails
      " Articles
      " Content
      " Brochures
      " Sales Letters
      " Advertisements
      " Direct Mail Pieces

      But let me say this; "Who cares what you decide to write. It's your career. Your future. Your Choice. Just be the best at it!"

      Chinchilla
      Signature
      Force-Communication - "It is the noble art of causing a client, a customer, or a prospect to perform a positive act as the direct result of reading your words." - Herschell Gordon Lewis
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  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    My experience is that it's best to come at a new project totally ignorant, then do a ton of research...

    A lot of times, experts will assume what people should know about a subject--this is called the curse of knowledge--so something extremely basic to an expert might be fascinating to a novice (i.e. potential customer).

    So I've been writing copy for over 10 years. Putting a guarantee in a close is obvious to me. It's one of the easiest ways to boost response. I might assume everyone knows that. But to a novice, they might not know that... so you can take a guarantee as a copywriter and present it to a prospect as "The surest, easiest way to boost response that most small business owners know nothing about!" or whatever.

    If that makes sense...
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  • Profile picture of the author salsym
    Originally Posted by Shanks88 View Post

    Do you have to be an expert on the niche you will work or the clients provide all the info you need for the product you will write for?
    I think rather than being an expert in that niche, you should be able to visualize the product from a customer / prospect's perspective.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by salsym View Post

      I think rather than being an expert in that niche, you should be able to visualize the product from a customer / prospect's perspective.
      The two are not mutually exclusive.

      Empathy with the prospect is absolutely necessary to crafting a sales story that resonates. In order to make that story really ring true, you have to know the product inside and out, sometimes better than the seller.

      No one is saying that you have to be the expert in a niche, but knowing the niche is a huge plus when seeking clients, as they don't have to train you in their business.
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    I think rather than being an expert in that niche, you should be able to visualize the product from a customer / prospect's perspective.
    No one is saying that you have to be the expert in a niche, but knowing the niche is a huge plus when seeking clients, as they don't have to train you in their business.
    It depends on who your audience is. If the client is highly technical and the customers are also highly technical, you will definitely need to know the niche ahead of time to do a decent job in a decent amount of time.

    However, if the client is highly technical and the customers are average people, it could be an advantage not to know the field so you can better frame it and explain the product so that the customers get it.

    Marcia Yudkin
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    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Princess Balestra
    I am in two minds -- prayin' for a cerebellular conflux unites both tangents beyond all practicality.


    One Princess braino says niche expertise rocks the locks.


    You got specific keys to anyplace ... u invited on in.


    Other Princess braino rewards intelectyool polygamy an' says ... hey I been around the block a few times on this -- frankly -- supermutable planet, an' I seen real general kinda people shit might fluxya sweet outta yr momentary hidey-hole.


    tbh you gotta lockdown on product specifics an' level with what is possible.


    *anywan callin' a spade a fork is a ditz*


    From here, jus' gotta drop that on the people mebbe want in, layerin' alla the glory toppa the intrinsic trooth so it maxes out on Wanna Wanna Power.
    Signature

    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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  • Profile picture of the author Vygintas Varnas
    I would say you don't need to know nothing if you can sell.

    Nobody cares how you sell as long as you sell.

    Simple copywriting in store's ad: banana: 1€ and a picture. Easy as that.
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    • Profile picture of the author AlanCarr
      Originally Posted by Vygintas Varnas View Post


      Simple copywriting in store's ad: banana: 1€ and a picture. Easy as that.
      Why would you need a picture in the store?

      And researching the product is one of the most important parts of copy, right after researching the intended buyer.
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      www.copywriter-ac.com

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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by Vygintas Varnas View Post

      I would say you don't need to know nothing if you can sell.

      Nobody cares how you sell as long as you sell.

      Simple copywriting in store's ad: banana: 1€ and a picture. Easy as that.

      Really? So tell me... why would I want to come to your store and buy that banana?

      There's 3 other stores about the same distance from my house, and two of them sell bananas for a lower price.

      Are yours better quality...? From a fair trade country...? Organic...?

      Is there anything at all that makes your bananas worth buying, over someone else's?



      Hmm, I have lots of questions that haven't been answered.

      Perhaps you need to work on your sales copy a bit more?
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      "It all boils down to psychology, and numbers"
      SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Advertising and Marketing Aficionado
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      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
        Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

        Really? So tell me... why would I want to come to your store and buy that banana?
        He better... At 1 Euro the banana, that's some expensive banana.
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Not if your focus is on what the outcome
    the buyer is wanting.

    2 examples to demonstrate what I mean.

    I was called in at the last moment,
    on 2 occasions, by the sales guy at a
    London ad agency.

    The creative team could not come up
    with an ad that their client's approved.

    The next day the client would cancel the agreement
    if they couldn't deliver an ad that would be acceptable.

    Loss of contract would mean the sales guy would loss a lot of money.

    So without knowing anything about helicopters
    or jet lag pills, I had to produce an ad overnight
    or else.

    For the helicopters it was targeted to big company executives.,
    that I did know.

    So the theme was being able to travel to a far away city, named them,
    and be back home for
    the evening meal with the wife and kids.

    APPROVED.
    Jet Lag pills.

    The imagery was a man in a suit and briefcase
    stretched out at an empty airport with a cleaner.
    He missed his connecting flight and his big deal.

    APPROVED.

    A student of my 3 step method, ATM,
    used it to sell car parts.

    Knew nothing about them.
    Never written an ad before.

    He determined taxi drivers were the biggest user of the parts,
    without getting the info from the dealer.

    I newspaper ad sold out of parts without the usual parts talk.

    I need to make a disclaimer here, attempting to create an ad that sells
    without doing product research is dangerous,
    if you dont't use the ATM framework.

    Best,
    Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Akruti Manjrekar
    As a copywriter, you definitely have to research on your own but it is not important to be an expert. You will have to search for the USP of the product and differentiate it accordingly.
    The client will always give you info about the product but there are chances of biases. Researching will help you to write a more precise and creative copy.

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  • Profile picture of the author poweredspeaker
    Of course yes you should research a lot in order to be copywrite expert.
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  • Profile picture of the author jessicamorgan
    Ideally, you should be an expert or must have sufficient knowledge of the domain or niche you're going to write about. Even if client provide all the required information but if you don't have any know-how of the industry you can't draft good content. Like writing on robotics, Forex trading and other technical topics isn't easier for the writer. In such scenarios, professional content writing agencies can be of great help. They have team of writers and each content is assigned to the writer of relevant knowledge or academic background. Like I hired Content Development Pros once for a technical blog on how Ubuntu is better than other OS and their writer has drafted pretty well content followed by technical referencing.
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