How to Write Sales Copy for a Product You Don't Personally Love
Whether you're an entrepreneur or a writer (or both!), you are where you are because you love what you do. It gives you a sense of purpose. You want to do it well. But just like everything in life, there are parts of it that must be done that don't thrill you.
To me, being handed a writing project I find less than exciting is always a universal assignment. If it were homework, question one would read: "Just how badly do you want to continue to prosper as a writer?".
I know that answer. And I love challenges.
So when a current client asked me to write an Amazon Listing to sell a certain major political figure's signature pen engraved with 24 karat gold, I said yes first... and gulped a little to myself as I read the specifications of the assignment later. Three days after that, I turned in copy that made me proud. The project got the green light on the first draft.
Political case closed.
So how did I push past the desire to drop the pen like it was hot and turn in a piece of copy I was sure would help sell this pen? Here are the steps that helped me and that I highly recommend:
1) Break past your own objections.
Ask yourself one important question, and that is this:
"Will writing this project break an ethical or deeply held personal principle that will keep me up at night?"
I'm not talking about minor annoyances or even disagreements with the message or the product. I mean, on a fundamental level, is this not what you are about? And do you care enough about this topic that it will truly bother you to your core to write about it?
For me, the answers to the above were an obvious no. Sure, it wasn't a first choice (understatement!), but I don't care deeply enough about politics to make this assignment a strong personal objection. Plus, I found it amusing to put my own spin on the copy. Asking myself that question made it less heavy for me.
I wasn't going against something that makes up who I am, I was simply selling something I wouldn't buy myself, which leads me to the next step I took.
2) Figure out who your target customer is and take on their point of view.
Temporarily putting yourself in someone else's shoes is empathetic, sure, but how do you make yourself do it when their point of view is so apparently different?
Find things about them you can relate to easily, then go from there.
I read the description of the potential buyers for this pen and I GOT it. I saw business men and women who were fans of a political figure they admired. They were busy, motivated, over-scheduled and dedicated to high personal achievement. I could relate to very big parts of that lifestyle. Take the parts you can relate to and write to them. Suddenly I wasn't writing about a pen I wouldn't buy, but for people who NEEDED this pen. People with habits I understood. The copy became much easier to write from that perspective.
3) Make it FUN.
Remember that at the end of the day, you are writing copy for this product because you are good at what you do. You know you can add something to this copy that no one else can. Make it a personal challenge. Can you outdo YOU? What can you do differently in this piece that will set it apart? Competition against your previously thought to be 'best' efforts will keep you on your toes.
So what are you waiting for? Go sell, write now!