The world's greatest copywriters aren't just writers. They've also mastered the art of sales, psychology, creative branding, marketing, and so much more.
If you're already a competent professional at your craft, you'll need to consider making yourself into a true epic copywriter by acquiring some new content marketing skills. If you're in the market to hire a staff copywriter or exceptional freelance writers, use this list as a guide for skills to look for.
Are you hoping to stick to mastering the basics and current best practices of copywriting before you level up to epic status? Check out our comprehensive guide here.
1. Investigative Research
By the time something hits Google, it may be old news. There's no question that the web is an incredibly real-time machine. That's why the leading copywriters take their research beyond the usual sources, like top industry blogs and websites. They engage in some investigative journalism, and see what the thought leaders are talking about before it's published. Make Quora, LinkedIn groups, and HARO a regular part of your research to stay ahead of everyone else.
2. Interviewing Experts
Copywriters need some competencies in public relations. Learning how to successfully pitch interviews to experts, ask the right questions, and publicize this content is crucial. Landing the right interviews can help you write the kind of content people seek out.
3. User Experience Optimization
While few copywriters will ever become full-fledged user experience designers, they need to understand how the science of optimizing web pages for people Your copy should be optimized for web readers; including short sentences and paragraphs, and plenty of images. Web design best practices and technology platforms can change both drastically and quickly, but the art of presenting information in a way that persuades will never go away.
4. Behavioral Psychology
All marketers are in the business of changing people's behavior. Copywriters are no exception, and it's definitely in your best interest to become something of a psychology nerd. Pay close attention to the latest research and findings in behavioral psychology, and integrate this continually into your practice.
5. Sales-Driven Conversion Copy
If a copywriter is scared to ask for a lead conversion or social share, their content won't drive much results. Your sales-driven skill set should include the ability to write a powerful call-to-action, social media posts, landing page copy, and SEO-optimized web pages.
Competent copywriters turn concepts into something engaging. Exceptional professionals can take a strategy or a business goal, and spin it into an actionable content calendar. Gaining demonstrated ability in the realm of content strategy can put a content marketer's career on the fast track. Content Marketing Institute recommends developing your abilities in analytics, planning, project management, and presentation.
7. Requirements Gathering
All copywriters are faced with the challenging task of getting business leaders to articulate their goals, vision, and content needs. It's often not easy. That's why you should become extraordinarily proficient at requirements gathering, a task project managers and business analysts use on a daily basis. Ask the right questions, document everything, and being adept at follow-up when needed.
8. Personal Branding
Michael Brenner, a leading content marketing expert, reports that personal branding is a must when he's considering adding new copywriters to his team. If you don't have a demonstrated track record of building a social following and creating engaging content for the web, you'll struggle to gain employment or clients.
9. Curation and User-Generated Content
Copywriters know their strengths and weaknesses as professionals, and what their content strategy needs. For this reason, the very best are experts when it comes to incorporating user-generated content and curated resources into their strategy. Remember, you can't take a "spray and pray" approach when it comes to posting curated content. Exceptional copywriters choose from available resources to find content that enhance their brand's story.
10. Business Acumen
Exceptional copywriters become trusted advisers to organizations. They translate abstract business goals into strategy, and convey their customer knowledge back to business decision makers. For this reason, your copywriting skill set should include knowledge of inbound and traditional marketing principles, analytics, and mapping strategy to business.
What skills, abilities, and competencies do you believe define truly epic copywriters? Share your thoughts in the comments!