Good news: You have a new client—and she needs tons of content. Bad news: She sells auto parts. Or prostate cancer services. Or neo-abstract expressionist paintings. Not that these products are bad. Far from it. But you know nothing—zero, zilch, nada—about them.
How are you going to do it? How are you going to write scads of strong, persuasive content—that engages and builds relationship, that converts and sells—when the product means nothing to you?
You have to fall in love. That’s right: You have to fall in love with auto parts.
Fall in love with a product??
Yes. The best way—for me, the only way—to write passionate product copy is to fall passionately in love with the product. I need to be besotted by the product’s features. Thrilled with all it does for me. Fascinated by its past. And enamored of its future—of our future. Together.
It’s easy with some products: What’s not to love about Sardinian vacation packages or Veuve Clicquot Champagne? But realistically? How often do you write sales copy for these product bonbons? More likely your copy sells hypertension medication, charge card services or Christmas ornaments. (I’ve written copy for all of these.)
How can you write hot copy for less-than-glam products? How can you fall in love with goods and services that don’t—at first—make your heart race?
How to feel the love for your product
Falling in love with a product is a lot like falling in love in real life. Once in a blue moon, it’s love at first sight. More often, love grows as you get to know your beloved. Like relationships, you get what you give: You have to make an effort to discover your product’s true beauty and goodness.
Warning: Don’t look for love in all the wrong places
Before I my share my romantic how-tos, a cautionary word about product passion: Please don’t fall into destructive relationships. If you’re asked to write copy for a product that’s unethical, illegal—or just plain doesn’t sit right with you—stop. I know, easier said than done. Those “bad” projects often come with temptingly “good” copy fees. But ask questions, get the lowdown—and do the right thing.
So, given you’ve agreed to write about genuinely good and useful—if unsexy—products, here’s how to move love along.
4 tips for writing your product love story
Keep an open mind. Kidney dialysis. Corporate management. Gardening equipment. They’re not sexy sells. At first. But the truth? These are critical products and services. Things clients and customers need. So don’t immediately turn up your nose because the product lacks glamour. Instead…
Get to know your darling. Do your research. Find out everything you can about the product. Search the company website, read its collateral, white papers and other literature. And while you’re collecting all this information, take notes and jot down ideas and questions. Then schedule some time with the product marketing manager, sales people or company owner to get answers and fill in the gaps.
Meet the family. In addition to chatting with company marketers and executives, try to speak to as many rank-and-file company employees as possible. If time and budget allow, spend a half-day onsite. When I’m writing healthcare copy, for example, some of my best USPs and marketing hooks come from checking out firsthand “customer experience” in the waiting room, or chatting up nurses.
Look for the human connection. Borrow an actor’s method to find humanity, love and motivation for your product. Study your product’s customers for emotional clues, query the business’ founder to uncover hidden passion and check out competitor products to see what gets them all fired up.
Do you fall in love when you write copy?
What about you? Do you have to fall for your product before you start writing marketing copy? Share your love story. Or, on the other hand, do you manage to keep a dispassionate distance while writing passionate copy? Tell us about that. You cad.
Lorraine Thompson is a New York copywriter who writes passionate copy for your products and services. Want to discuss your copy project or content strategy needs? Contact Lorraine today and follow her at WritersKitchen on Twitter.
Photo courtesy of Beesnest McClain