ICA Getting Started Part 1


Part 1 – The Premise – know your first steps – YOU ARE HERE

Part 2 – Audience – know who to serve

Part 3 – Clients – find your clients

Part 4 – Positioning – position yourself

Part 5 – Marketing – market your position

Part 6 – System – know the system

PART ONE – know your first steps

Welcome to the ICA Getting Started Series. I’ll be taking you through a process to help you understand what it takes to become a professional copywriter.

Before we go there, what is a professional copywriter?

In 3 words: You Get Paid (by adding value to your clients’ businesses).

The Premise

All good businesses start with a premise.

A premise is not a promise. It’s a preconception. An idea. But much more than that…

A premise tells us what to do next.

If you don’t have a premise, your business will be chaotic (and at worst, fail).

This is because whatever you do will be grounded on nothing.

To give you an example, a common marketing premise is that if you have a converting sales funnel (i.e., your copywriting is working), then all you need do is add traffic (the premise is that traffic drives sales).

If this premise did not exist, and we had no other premise to work with, all we’d be left with is a converting sales funnel with no idea how to improve it – or what to do if it starts failing.

Every premise also has a conclusion. In the above case, it’s this: “If we throw traffic at a sales funnel we’ll know if it works or not.”

If we get no sales, we refine the premise. Eg. “If we throw the right traffic at a sales funnel we’ll know if it works or not.”.

We now know the next step is to define ‘right traffic’.

What has this got to do with copywriting? Everything.

Copywriting is a SYSTEM. Life works because of systems.

Nature is the perfect example of a system. Mess up one part, and a whole bunch of other parts are affected. Everything relies in one way or another on everything else.

Nature “knows” this and compensates accordingly, because ultimately, it is nature doing all of it. Nature defines AND tests the system.

If our premise is that we need traffic, and we test it out, then we’re good if it works. If not, we find out why and test again.

If we have found the right traffic, but it’s still not producing a profit, maybe it’s the cost of the traffic. We keep refining until we get what we want. But it all starts with our first premise. Because…

A good premise tells us what to do next.

The First Premise

Every system has a start and an end.

With copywriting, we start with the AUDIENCE (it’s not the traffic, the ad, the copy, or the product).

And from that we have our first real premise: Copywriting only works if we start with an audience.

So that’s where we’re headed next in part two. Bookmark this page if you want to take this more slowly, or sign up for the ICA mailing list to keep in contact.

What do we know so far then? We know we need at least one premise to make a start. We know that without a premise, chaos ensues. We know that a premise is part of a system. And we know the system (how to become a professional copywriter) starts by finding an audience.

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International Copywriters Association

PS. If you’d rather jump straight into learning how to apply these principles to your own business, join the ICA and start with our premiere course ProCopyClub.