Sometimes, you just can’t say it any better than the masters…

In this case, the great copywriter, Eugene M. Schwarz, in his landmark book Breakthrough Advertising:

“Let’s get right down to the heart of the matter.

The power, the force, the overwhelming urge to own that makes advertising work, comes from the market itself, and not from the copy.

Copy cannot create desire for a product. It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product.

This is the copywriter’s task: Not to create this mass desire – but to channel and direct it.”

There it is, the heart and soul of all great copy.

Do you really know your prospect’s desire?

The Copywriter’s Task Starts Here

Here are four ways to ferret out the secrets that will help you know your prospect well enough to channel that desire:

  1. Let’s say you’re selling annuities to men 55 and up. Take out out to lunch, or coffee, or a ball game… whatever. Forget sales and marketing. Just get to know him as a person. His fears, frustrations and what he really wants in life. Later, you can connect the dots on how all that relates to your product.
  2. Check out online forums and groups like Quora, Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Google something like “forums:annuities”. You’ll find a wealth of ideas there.
  3. Run a quiz survey on Facebook or other social channels. You could advertise, “What’s Your Retirement Readiness Score? Take This 10-Second Quiz And Find Out!”
  4. Read what he reads, watch what he watches, listen to his favorite radio stations and podcasts… The Wall Street Journal, his local paper, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Robb Report, CNN, Bloomberg Television. You get the idea. What’s being said there that gives you a sense of what he’s worried about, what he believes, what change he’d like to see in his world?

Knowing your prospect’s most secret — or not so secret — desires is where it all begins. It’s the starting point on your Yellow Brick Road to his heart and mind.

This is where the copywriter’s task begins.

To paraphrase American Express… “Don’t start writing without it.”

Mike Connolly
Mike Connolly

Dan Kennedy Certified Copywriter for Info-Marketers and Infusionsoft Certified Partner, Mike Connolly lives in Boulder, Colorado, builds marketing funnels that rock, and loves cycling (almost) all year round.