Seriously. It doesn’t really matter what a reviewer says about my books or my articles. But leadership should care.
The value question is: Have I communicated with my reader? Discovering this is more important (and easier) that it might seem.
Curiosity: Learn MORE About the Business
When I write copy for my clients the same idea holds true. Enticing the reader’s curiosity and not pleasing the client with my knowledge of their stuff—that is the business objective. Without the prospects’ action the work isn’t doing its job.
This focus on the prospect might seem contrary and argumentative. But understanding it is vital. Without focusing on the prospect, the client I may as well light his friend’s cigars with burning thousand dollar bills.
The copy is written to speak to a prospect’s need. Only if the need interrupts her concentration and gets her to stop—do we have the first engagement. Attention. A well-structured headline will do this.
Copy: Step 1
Copy for business is not first about the product and why it’s great. Business copy must first engage the prospect. It should connect with a prospect’s current and vital need.
Copy: Step 2
Now, in the second step, the copy should address a problem. It should make that problem so real the prospect is licking her lips, reliving the time she faced a situation like this. A substandard vendor. A key staff member who suddenly quit. Bad press which twisted a comment out of proportion. She recalled how key staff looked at her down the hallway—wondering if she was up to the job.
Copy: Step 3
Now the product comes in. It’s effective sure—but how can she be sure. How well/easily/cost-effectively will the product address that need? Here, the copy is angel and arbiter. It introduces the two parties. My client knows quite a bit about the prospect’s needs. It promises her the solution.
Here the research and thought start to show. She reads what worked in the past. She reads about industry trends—and how this leads as a solution. She relaxes, even smiles, reading an anecdote about another company that celebrate their win with first-ever staff bonuses.
Passing this test, the copy has a chance of getting to development Step 4.
What style will communicate the discovery? Try a few headlines. How do they sound? Does it meet the test we call the 4Us? You can tell. If a prospect heard this, or read it, how would they feel? Interested?
In consumer work, like writing for a diet or a new sports program, I might tell a story to encourage a feeling about someone or about a personal need.
In business the prospect’s problem and our clear purpose for reaching out to him are critical. Don’t misunderstand this: There can be emotion in a business presentation.
Crafting a clear and memorable idea is not as easy as it might sound.
Professional writing starts-up and supports conversations that may never end.
Here are five books about business & finance worth reading. Each of them is very well written, authoritative and full of usable content.
Each is a model for communicating a complex thought.
Some of them are controversial. But that is the nature of discovery. And discovery is part of doing business. In copywriting we are seeking people ready to do business. Business is interactive—not telling.
Mergers and acquisitions are the largest and least recognizable industry in the world. In 2017 M&A accounted for $3.4 Trillion.
The mindnumbing scale of the transactions calls attention to their nature. Large business depends on successful growth. M&A is one efficient means for growing. It is not a good idea to depend on a single strategy. So let’s consider other routes to growth.
What’s going on? Well, first, the nature of problems has changed. The digital linkage has obliterated privacy, separation, silence, and lack of access. For leadership new thought processes are required.
Preparation To Respond to Change
Here are several excellent examples and resources of intelligent approaches to the changes already here.
- Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Getting to Plan B, John Mullins and Randy Komisar
- Pitch Anything, Ryan Klaff
- Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, Edwin Lefevre
- Measure What Matters, John Doerr
These are excellent reads on their own. But they are vital for leaders who desire fast-growth. They are packed with clear and decisive steps based on experience. It is astounding that they don’t sell for thousands of dollars each. That is the value of the information inside.
Communicating complex ideas, after all, only matters if you’re talking to the right people. And the right people hearing the correct presentation will understand your value proposition.
Leaders close sales. A knowledgeable copywriter makes the right introduction. Working together, they are unstoppable forces of nature.
Enable a copywriting process and you will connect to new prospects and reap so many side benefits you will wonder why it took you so long to get started being super-smart.