One of the most underrated skills for a writer – especially a marketing copywriter, content creator or PR specialist – is listening.
Marketing copywriter, how can you help sell a business, organization, product, service or cause if don’t fully understand it? You can’t.
Business or organization owner, manager or leader, how can you effectively sell your product, service or cause if your copywriter, content creator or PR specialist doesn’t understand what you have to offer your target markets? You can’t, either.
You need to get down to answers to these questions, and I mean Get Down!
- What are the benefits of working with you?
- What pain points will your product or service solve?
- How much time and/or money will members of your target market save or earn with your product or service?
- Above all, how will they ever be able to answer the Golden Question of Marketing (GQM) – What’s in it for me?
To craft answers to these questions and create a messaging strategy that compels your target markets to action, your copywriter, content creator or PR specialist first needs to listen. They need to do it:
As for you marketing copywriters, here are 10 things you should do when gathering information:
- Clear your mind.
- Maintain eye contact with the speaker, whether it’s a one-on-one session with the CEO or a group dialogue with the leadership and sales teams.
- Focus, focus, focus on what is being said.
- Ask follow-up questions. (Coincidentally, this is where you’re most likely to find the gold for the GQM.)
- Request clarification. Never be afraid to say, “I don’t understand.”
- Rephrase what you hear and say it back to the speaker so you’re sure you fully understand, e.g., “So what you’re saying is…. Is that correct?
- Think about the implications of what someone says about one aspect of the business to other aspects, and ask about it.
- Ask the speaker to repeat something if you missed it.
- Never, ever spend the time while your subject is speaking thinking about what you’re going to ask next.
- Close with a question like, “Is there anything I haven’t I asked you but should have?” or “Is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to?”
Copywriter, content creator or PR specialist, if you aren’t doing these things, start. Business owner or organization leader, if the person crafting your messages isn’t interacting with you and your staff this way, find someone new.