Taking Action On Getting Good Copy To Work For You
In my previous article I spent a great deal of time discussing what good advertising is…
And, I also revealed the chief component of all great advertising, copywriting.
In this article, I’m going to explain:
- Why you need good martial arts copywriting –
- How effective copywriting can help you grow your school –
- And, how to get hard-hitting, profit-pulling ads written for your school by hiring the right copywriter –
Let’s start by talking about why you need good ad copy today more than ever before.
Why Now, More Than Ever, You Need Good Martial Arts Copywriting
When digital technology first became cheap, practical, and available to the masses, many technology experts theorized that the written word would fall by the wayside. As it turns out, they couldn’t have been more wrong – quite the opposite has happened.
These days, the written word is everywhere, and people read and write now more than ever before. And guess what? The web is based on the written word, which means martial arts schools have to use the written word to market more today than in years past.
Whether it’s the copy and content for your website, content for your email newsletter, a headline and short copy for a Google pay-per-click ad, a blog post, a social media status update, the script for a website or YouTube video, or the content for a print ad… you need good copy.
But Should You Write Your Own Ads?
Very simply, there are two ways to get good ad copy written for your business:
- You can spend years studying, practicing, and testing to learn how to write good copy – that’s the long route.
- Or, you can hire an experienced and proven copywriter to write your copy.
So, should you write your own ad copy?
For your home page ad copy and for other direct marketing pieces like sales letters and direct mail postcards, probably not.
However, it would be impractical to hire someone to write all your marketing communications in this day and age. Considering the numerous situations in which you need to communicate to potential clients in the written word, you should learn something about writing ad copy.
In that regard, you’d do well to read Write Great Ads by Erica Klein. Although the book was published in 1990, the focus is on writing short ads, which is perfect for what you need to do in today’s digital environment. And, it’s a short read so it won’t take you a ton of time to learn a few ad writing basics. (Plus, you can pick up a new copy on Amazon for $3 plus shipping.)
In addition, I include a martial arts copywriting primer in my martial arts marketing course that many school owners have found to be helpful in learning how to write simple short-form sales copy.
When It Comes To Your Most Critical Copy, Hire It Out
Make no mistake though; skilled copywriting is both a talent and a learned skill. I discovered early on that I have a knack for it, but I’ve also had decades of practice, read dozens of books and have purchased numerous courses to learn how to write good solid ad copy.
And, I can tell you from my own experience that, just as with the martial arts, reading is not enough. It also takes practice to learn how to write effective ad copy. Like I said, it’s a learned skill.
Now, again I’m not saying that you shouldn’t write your own ads. However, I am saying that you should recognize when it’s wise to outsource a critical task in your business to a skilled professional. And, for most school owners, long-form copy (website home page copy, online sales letters, and so on) is exactly that sort of critical task.
Tips For Hiring A Martial Arts Ad Copywriter
Still, not everyone can hire me. I stay pretty booked up, and quite honestly some of you may not be able to afford my services. Nevertheless, at some point you’ll still need to get good ad copy written for your school.
So, here are a few tips on hiring a copywriter to help you with your marketing:
- Find someone who knows the industry. My first advice is to you is to choose a copywriter with some experience in the industry, either as a longtime student or as a school owner.
- Make sure they can produce results. You also need to consider the track record of a copywriter before you hire them. Try to find someone you can afford, but who also has a proven record of getting results for their clients.
- Rates can very widely, but good copywriters don’t come cheap. Top-shelf copywriters have been known to get $7,500 to $15,000 for a single sales letter, but that’s obviously well out of the budget of most school owners. I personally charge more for writing copy than for almost any other service I provide, and my clients will tell you that it’s worth every penny. Expect to pay .35 to .50 cents a word for an inexperienced copywriter, and upwards of $1.00 a word for an established copywriter’s services.
- Don’t gamble your money on an unproven copywriter. One thing you absolutely don’t want to do is hire someone with zero experience. If you’re approached by such a person and you want to give them a shot, you can always hire them on spec, meaning they write the copy and you only pay if you like it.
- Try to kill two birds with one stone. For example, if you’re hiring someone to write a sales letter for your website, make sure they know how to optimize the content for SEO. (Note: I always optimize my clients’ web copy. Always.) That way, you won’t have to pay more money later to have the page optimized for the search engines.
- You’re paying for an expert, so get your money’s worth and listen to them. Remember that if you really knew how to write great ad copy you’d already have all the business you can handle. You may not like the ad or sales letter your copywriter has written, but ultimately the only sure way to determine good ad writing is in the results. And remember, the standard rules of composition and grammar do not apply to most forms of direct response copywriting. So, test it before you throw it out the window, even if you think it’s junk.
To recap… if you hire a copywriter to write a sales letter or home page copy for your business, I advise that you hire someone who knows about our industry, and who has an established track record of getting results for their clients.
Questions? Comments? Feedback?
As always, I welcome your feedback. Feel free to post any martial arts copywriting questions you may have below.
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