The fine art of copywriting: look outward, not inward!


Great copy looks outward, addressing the needs, cares and desires of the reader (the customer).

There are two stages to achieving outward-looking copy.

Stage one

The first stage is to accept that people don’t care about companies, or products*.

People care about themselves. People love to hear about how your company can help them, or save them money, but they don’t really care about how you design software, or structure your company, or hire staff, or floss your teeth.

Stage two

Now we can get on with looking outward…

It’s important that copywriters know their clients. And most copywriters do this well. We sit down with our clients and interrogate them, finding out everything we need to know about the business.

But those copywriters are only doing half a job. The business is only one half of the picture. The most important thing to consider when writing copy is the customer – your client’s client.

So when you speak to your clients, be sure to ask about their clients. Find out as much as you can about the people who will read your copy. Who are they? What do they want? What do we know about them and their needs?

And be wary of your client’s draft copy (if they provide it) because it’s likely to be littered with boring details like company structure, procedures etc. You need to weed this stuff out. Replace it with interesting, benefit-led copy that appeals to your reader’s deepest desires.


*There are exceptions. There are always exceptions.


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