ICA

The International Copywriters Association

ICA Getting Started Part 2

If you stumbled on this page by accident, start with part 1, and continue from there. Here's the link:

So far, we know about a PREMISE, and how that tells us what to do next. We also know everything that ever worked well, did so because it used a SYSTEM. It had a start, an end, a purpose, and a methodology to make it flow (taking people on the journey they wanted to be on, and delivering them to the destination they desired).

But that can only happen if we know who these people are. That's why they're called an AUDIENCE (I use capitals to point out reMINDers of words that play a huge part in successful copywriting - no matter how obvious they seem).

The Audience

Every AUDIENCE represents a CULTURE. The definition of a culture is "people like us do things like this." (with thanks to Seth Godin for this definition).

That's why it's hard to sell whiskey to teetotallers or coal to coal miners ("people like us don't buy things like that!").

When marketers and copywriters talk about AVATARS, that's what they really mean (although few of them realise it).

Single Person vs Crowd

Writing to a single person will always outperform writing to a crowd. Why? Because it's personal. It follows, therefore, that the more personal you can make your copy, the better the results (this is another important premise).

So how do you write in a personal way? You do it using DIALOGUE (or DIALOG if you're from the USA).

[By pointing out both ways to spell dialogue, I am handling a possible objection. If you're from the USA, you'll wonder why I can't spell, and that breaks the flow, so I handle it as it happens and the reader still feels the trust - objections are gold to copywriters - we need to know every one of them so we can build trust]

Face to Face Writing

Dialogue doesn't mean wrapping everything in "quote marks" (I often use quotes for emphasis rather than speech). It means writing as though you were having a face to face meeting with your prospect.

It's the exact same thing with stand-up comics. They get very personal when talking to an audience. It's as though they were talking to a single person, yet everyone in the audience feels it's them they're talking to.

Share Your Culture

We want to make our audiences (the people we are writing for) feel special, and the only way to do that is if we all share the same culture ("people like us listen to people like this").

This is why reading what you write out loud helps you gauge PERSONALITY. You'll know immediately if your writing sounds sucky or preachy or any of a hundred other issues, and you correct it by listening very carefully to your feelings exactly at the point they crop up (mark the text immediately to remind you where it failed).

What's Next?

So what have we learned about audiences? We know we need to make it personal. We know we must be aligned with our audience's culture. We know it's possible to talk to a crowd of people as though they were a single person (that's what every successful speechwriter and copywriter does).

And we know that if we don't do this, our copy will fail (because successful copywriters share this one thing in common, and failed copywriters don't).

It's no different when trying to find your first client either. And that's what part 3 is about.

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International Copywriters Association

PS. The ICA exists to promote copywriting and copywriters to businesses across the world. To ensure all our members get the best possible training, when you join, you'll also be given access to our premier course ProCopyClub.