So glad you asked!
Over the years, I’ve had enough awkward conversations explaining I don’t do copyright law but instead write copy that I now simply describe myself as a writer.
But there is a very important difference between those who write copy and those who write novels or poetry or journalism etc.
Copywriting is simply writing designed to sell something.
If you remember writing essays in high school, this would probably be most closely associated with those persuasive essays to convince someone your idea is best.
So that persuasive essay you had to write? You’d get an A if you had two things — a really strong grasp of the benefits of your argument, and a solid understanding of who you were trying to convince.
Good copywriting is like that. It requires:
- Empathy. Lots and lots of empathy for your reader and potential buyer.
- Clear grasp on the benefits of what you’re selling or writing about.
And then as a copywriter, it’s our job to build a strong bridge of connection and emotional understanding between the reader and the product.
Sometimes that bridge is short and impactful with slogans, taglines, and headers. Sometimes it’s longer and more in-depth with blog posts, promotional emails, and about pages on websites.
But whatever it is, it’s about connection, understanding, and convincing.
If it’s done well, sales are made, but if it’s done really well, long-term relationships are built. The big brands like Nike, Ford, Apple, have done this so well, they have customers who are so devoted to the brand, they’ll only purchase their products, even if a different option may be a better fit for them.
Sounds crazy, but that’s the power and difference of good copywriting.