July 20, 2012I don’t give out free samples — here’s why.
Free samples are for supermarkets. When a client asks me for sample work before signing a contract, I have to decline. It’s lost me a couple of jobs recently, and I’m seeing the request pop up more and more, so I decided to blog about it and explain my reasons why.
I didn’t decide to become a freelance copywriter. I sort of lucked into it, after losing my job as a journalist in the recession five years ago. In five years, I’ve learned a lot — not just about technique, but also about pricing, handling tricky clients, and balancing the books.
July 10, 2012Brand evangelism is dead
Rookie copywriters often make the mistake of praising the brand, when really it’s the customer who’s the star. Creating an effective tone of voice for a brand isn’t about emphasising the brand’s values, it’s about portraying them in ways people empathise with.
June 27, 2012Are copywriters better off when they specialise?
The specialist is no ordinary gunslinger. He’s a lean, mean S.O.B. and he hits his target every time. He might specialise in one particular field of copywriting, or he might target just one sector, knowing his market inside out. Should all writers aspire to become him?
This isn’t a post about copywriting. It’s a post about seeing the big picture — the big picture on your homepage, to be precise. Sites that use portrait photography are increasingly important. But to get it right, choose an image that resonates with your audience.
May 10, 2012If you’re not part of the solution…
If a client is paying you to write for them, you have an obligation to give them the best you’ve got. If that means a line or an angle the client has supplied doesn’t work, you need to tell them why — and be able to suggest better alternatives.
April 27, 2012Are ad men as bad as the Nazis?
Many people see advertising as a bad thing — as nothing more than propaganda written on behalf of evil corporations. But let’s look at that accusation objectively. Do ad men use the same techniques as totalitarian societies? And if so, are the effects the same?
April 25, 2012Should you compete on price or quality?
There are two types of consumers in the world. There are those who want to minimize their cost no matter what. Then there are those who want to get the best possible service, for the best possible price. That’s where things get tricky.
April 15, 2012How to make your customers an offer they can’t refuse
If your conversion rate is 2% but an alternate call to action increases it to 4%, don’t you owe it to yourself to test all possible variations? But conversion science isn’t simply about design, flow, and, text. It’s about getting your offer right.
March 8, 2012What QR codes teach us about advertising
QR codes don’t work because they put a barrier between the customer and the call to action. In short, they’re bad conversion science. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them. We just have to find ways to maximise, not minimise, customer response rates.