When you sit down to start writing a new marketing piece, are you intimidated by the blank page on the screen?
Maybe that's why people often ask me for the best way to get started. They think my copywriter's bag of tricks might hold the key to jumpstarting that project, so they ask: Is an outline best? A rough draft? A brain dump?
The answer is "none of the above." In fact, the best way to start writing has nothing to do with writing at all.
The best way to start is by getting into your customer's head.
In my copywriting business, the message that most resonates with potential clients is how customer-focused we are: Not on our clients as customers, but on our clients' customers.
We want first to know about the client's customers, their pain points, what they're really buying and their worldview. We want to know whether those customers are even aware whether they need out client's product or service. We want to know who actually buys the product vs. who gets the marketing message. Not until we understand the customer do we ask our clients to tell us how they help those customers with whatever it is that they're selling.
It sounds simple, right? But, in reality, when we talk to our clients about this approach, they inevitably have an "ah-ha" moment.
Sharon Ernst is marketing maven for We Know Words, a Seattle-area agency focused on customer-centric copywriting.