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The Covid-19 crisis has drastically changed the world and our lifestyle. These days we're opening our Zoom app to talk to friends. We're on a Slack call to meet with the boss. We help our children navigate their virtual classrooms.
It was a big change for many, but the truth is we've been moving slowly online for a long time. Covid-19 simply clicked on the "Fast Forward" button when switching to cyberspace.
Still, the numbers are amazing. For example, Google searches increased from 3.5 billion in 2019 to 6 billion in 2020. More than ever, companies are turning to the internet to market their products and stay afloat in this unprecedented time.
If you have thought of learning copywriting, this is a great opportunity for you to advance your dream career. Companies need you. Nonprofits need you. The health industry needs you. You need life coaches, mental health specialists, and marketers.
But what skills do you need to be a top notch copywriter? Are you a talkative extrovert? Can sell well? Not quite.
Let's look at six top copywriting skills that are often overlooked.
Related: What Does a Copywriter Do? (Infographic)
1. Hard Skills: Conversational writing skills
The truth is that selling hard will put people off. We are shocked when we see blinking ads or being moved "down the funnel" by a grinning salesperson trying to shove a product down their throat.
On the other hand, we listen eagerly when a friend tells us about a product they love. There is something about your tone that attracts and interests us.
Tip: be talkative in your copy. Imagine telling a friend you care about a product that will really change their life.
2. Soft skill: empathy
The nice thing about high quality retail copies is that it's not about outsmarting people. It's not about shoving a product down your throat.
Instead, it's about helping. It's about making people's lives better.
To demonstrate this understanding and to come from a place of help, you need empathy as a copywriter. You need to be able to follow in your audience's footsteps and see the world through their eyes. Only then can you make a copy that speaks to their hearts.
Tip: Every time you sit down to write a copy, imagine you are in your audience's place. What keeps you up at night? What are your greatest goals and wishes? Once you feel what your audience is feeling, you can speak to them in compelling, compelling ways.
3. Hard Skill: SEO Know-how
Many people think that copywriting is bizarre television commercials selling random kitchen gadgets, but this time with the written word as the medium. And while copywriting is about sales, it's more than that.
For example, copywriters are often hired to create powerful SEO-optimized web copies. This is vital in a world where SEO generates 1000% more traffic than organic social media.
Tip: Learn how to write an SEO-optimized copy. Download this free SEO cheat sheet to get started.
4. Soft Skill: Creativity
Writing text is not about loading an email or landing page with jargon and endless statistics lists. Most of the time, it's about telling stories that readers can relate to.
To be an excellent copywriter, you need to learn how to take dry, old retail copies and turn them into something new. When your audience nods, laughs, and cries with you, create a connection with them that shows them that you are on their side.
Tip: Practice your storytelling skills. Imagine scenarios where people struggle with your audience's weaknesses and create engaging stories. For example, if you sell the book How to Make Friends and Influence People, tell a story about the time you checked your email for 20 minutes because you didn't know what to say at a party.
Related: 7 Steps to Become a Professional Copywriter
5. Hard Skill: Content Strategy
As mentioned above, powerful copywriting is like persuading a dear friend to buy something that will make their life better. The problem is, what if you don't know who that friend is, how they talk, or how to address them?
As you learn content strategy, you will learn to piece together the pieces of your content marketing puzzle. You will learn how to talk to audience figures with your audience, how to be consistent in your conversations with them, and how to be unique in a world where a lot of marketing messages are being released every day.
Tip: Learn the basics of content strategy even if you don't plan on becoming a content strategist.
6. Soft Skill: Curiosity
As a copywriter, you have to be a digger. In order to write an excellent copy, you need to answer questions like:
- How does this product work?
- Why is this product better than others?
Your curiosity will lead you to find all the answers.
Tip: Arouse curiosity by asking the five “WH” questions about each product you are copying for. An inquiring mind will help you come up with a long list of interesting facts to use as gold nuggets in your copy.