Every freelance copywriter will know that every new project brings with it a whole new set of challenges.

Which is why it is vital that, before you start anything, you clearly understand the goals of your project. If you know where you need to end up, it will be a lot easier to get there.

One of the first questions you should ask your client is what is the purpose of the project?

For example, if you are writing a sales letter it is important to remember that what you are writing is going to replace a personal visit or face to face conversation.

Whereas face to face a salesman can make eye contact, gain clues from the customer’s body language and counter objections as they arise, your letter can’t do that so the copy within it has to satisfy any potential objections, engage with the reader, and convince them to buy. A salesman can run after a customer who’s about to walk and have another go – your sales letter can’t, so you have to get it right first time.

Therefore setting out your goals before you begin is vital. They could be anything, including:

  • Making a sale
  • Getting opt-ins for your email list
  • Getting someone to open an account with you
  • Increase a customer’s spending with you
  • Renewing a contract
  • Agreeing to a meeting

Whatever it is, make sure it is the goal that drives your writing and not your creativity.

Copywriters, like all writers, are creatives at heart so it can be very easy to allow your alter ego get the better of you.

How do you know if you’ve gone over the top? Simple, if you read it and it makes you smile; if you want to show it to everyone with a big grin on your face shouting from the roof tops ‘look how clever I am’, ditch it because you’ve most probably over done it.

Copy is there to sell – pure and simple. The writing should be almost invisible. I don’t mean so they are looking at a blank page but rather that when they’ve read it they think “Wow, what a great product I must buy it” rather than “that’s a great bit of writing, now where’s the bin.”

Staying focused is the key – never lose sight of your goals.