The Power of ‘Why’January 22nd 2013 Sally Ormond askign why, getting a copywriting brief, interviewing clients, the power of why
If you have small children you’ll be pretty fed up with the word ‘why’. Almost every sentence uttered by your child with feature it. Their insatiable appetite for knowledge makes them repeat it again and again, until you reach breaking point.
But for a professional copywriter the word ‘why’ is one of the most important words in the English Language.
Well, when working as a copywriter you are:
- A superb sales person
- A magical wordsmith
- A persuasive orator
- A great writer
But the one thing you are not is an expert in every industry, so it’s essential your client know that from the outset.
People often shy away from hiring a copywriter because they believe its impossible for the writer to know more about their business than they do.
And they’d be right, but that’s why they do need a copywriter.
You see, you client is the expert in their field, whilst you as the copywriter are the expert writer and sales person – a winning combination (just so long as everyone respects that and doesn’t tread on anyone’s toes).
When you meet a client to take a brief for their project, the one word you should use constantly is ‘why’.
It’s your job to find out as much as possible about them, their business, their customers, their products or services, their unique selling position, the nature of their market place, their competitors…
If they answer your questions with a blurb of unfathomable jargon ask them to clarify – after all if you don’t understand how will you get others to understand? You have to convey the benefits of their products and services in layman’s terms that anyone can understand and the only way you’ll be able to do that is to ask:
- What does that mean?
- How does that benefit your customers
- How does it work?
If you think that’s a sure fire way to annoy your client, it’s not. It will show your interest in their business, the lengths you’ll go to to make sure you fully understand what they are trying to achieve and your determination to understand what it is their customers want so it can be incorporated in powerful and persuasive copy that will work.
So next time you’re with a client keep asking ‘why’.