World-Class Research for World-Class Copy

I used to be too eager. I’d let the excitement drive me, thrust my pen to paper, and let the words fly. I’d have a basic idea about the message, the audience, the action we’d be after and how to go about generating it — and I’d allow that to fuel me

Sure, we saw some success — but it was short lived. Whenever a tweak needed to be made we had no well to go back to. It was simply back to the drawing board and all momentum was lost

Stop. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Start…

It was like learning to drive all over again and being very heavy on both the accelerator and the brake

Then a mentor, Austin Gillis, shared with me over a webinar that his perspective is that 80% of copywriting is research. What? But isn’t it all about writing!? It is, but you can only write effectively and efficiently when you know who it is you’re writing to, what it is they want to hear and how they want to hear it

So, we spent more time on our research and low and behold it worked. We saw the similar success at the beginning, but then it continued on for days, weeks and months at a time

Because we knew our stuff, the tweaks we made were powerful and we crafted the copy to become even more hyper-specific to our audience

What does research consist of?

  • Reading reviews and comments on similar products and services (look for 2, 3, and 4 star reviews)
  • Reading comments on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook
  • Quora & Reddit
  • Forums
  • Playing the Curiosity Game with ideal clients

This allows you to do 2 things:

  1. Gather data about your ideal clients and see inside their minds as to what stories they’re telling themselves, what problems they’re experiencing, what they love/hate about similar products and services and more
  2. You’ll be able to grasp their exact language and use it back to them — creating an even more powerful connection between them, your copy and your solution

Is there such a thing as too much research? Yes — if you allow it to stop you from shipping and you’re looking for the “perfect amount”. Remember, good enough is good enough at the beginning and you can tweak from there. Our recommended amount is a solid 3-5 hours of research, depending on how quickly you find information you can use

Try it out. Spend half your time researching first, then let your pen hit the paper and fingers hit the keys

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Abe knew what he was doing…

Nick Maier
@nickmaier__

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