“I just can’t get started writing!”
Let’s not kid ourselves. If writing was easy, everyone would do it and writing websites, promotional emails, sales letters, advertisements, social media posts, texts and chatbots that sell wouldn’t be considered a valuable skill commanding high fees.
There’s no excuse for being lazy. Writing is hard work.
Before starting to write, do your research. Learn everything you can about the product or service you are promoting. Learn everything you can about the customers who are likely to buy it. What is in the news that you can tie into? What promotions have been successful for these customers before? What promotions have been done for this product or service before? What promotions have been done for competitive products or services? What were the results? What ideas for promotions in unrelated industries can be used for the customers you are writing for?
(One resource is an archive of promotions at whosmailingwhat.com.)
What books can you find on Amazon.com, a bookstore or a library for this subject? What are their titles? Can they be adapted for headlines, subheadlines, or chapters? Can you use other information in those books for your promotion?
Is there a story for how the product or service was created?
Claude Hopkins, one of the greatest copywriters of all time, visited the brewing plant for Schlitz beer. He wrote ads telling the story of how the beer was made, including how the bottles were cleaned with “live steam” and how pure water to make the beer came from artesian wells. All beer is made the same way, but he was the first to tell the story and Schlitz became America’s best-selling beer for many years.
Interview the engineers, inventors or product developers and the business owners.
Advertising giant David Ogilvy interviewed the engineers at Rolls Royce. One of them said, “The loudest sound in a Rolls Royce traveling at 55 miles an hour is the electric clock.” (Digital clocks weren’t invented at that time.) That became the headline for a successful advertisement that is now revered as a classic.
Record the sales presentation(s) of the best saleperson(s) of the product or service. That might provide the language you are looking for.
What problems does the product or service solve? How can it make life better for the customer?
Eugene Schwartz, another great copywriter, would pore over a book that he was promoting and list questions with references to the pages in the book where you could find the answers. These became bullet-points or “fascinations” for his ads.
Once you have digested all of this information, you might want to sleep on it or take a walk or other break. Soon words should start pouring out of your brain like water pouring from a broken dam.
Then start writing — anything! Don’t worry about the order or editing as you write. Just write it down.
The initial paragraphs are probably just a warm-up to be discarded. They served their purpose — to get you started writing!
You can put the best paragraphs in a more logical sequence later when you edit the piece.
The next time you are having trouble writing promotional material, try this approach and I’m sure you will beat Writer’s Block.
Did you find this helpful? Do you have more suggestions to beat Writer’s Block? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.