Why won’t you let me read to you?

February 7th, 2011

Here’s a new post from our friend Conrad Winter who we feature on our blog every once in a while. He’s a terrific copywriter and always has great things to say. We felt this was very relevant to design presentations and marketing.

 

Why won’t you let me read my copy to you?

Written by Conrad Winter, Backpocket Copywriter (backpocketcopywriter.com)

Why it’s important for writers and designers to present their work in person (or over the phone anyway.)

I encounter almost universal resistance to presenting my work to clients. And just so you know, when I say, “present” I mean read my copy aloud to you over the phone as opposed to just emailing.

I think I understand why. Maybe you don’t want to be rushed or feel like you’re being “sold.” I get it. That’s why I don’t push it when you insist to just email it.

But I do believe that it is better to present, and here’s why:

• Ideas are fragile things. And it’s silly to risk an idea being killed just because of a misunderstanding that could easily be cleared up in person.

• The copy I’m presenting is almost always out of context. In other words, there are no pictures or sound effects (in the case of radio). I can help you visualize the concept if I’m there to explain it.

• My work can’t defend itself. “Ah-ha,” You’re thinking, “But it should stand alone.” Not really. It’s possible to nitpick any copy to death, no matter how good it is.

How I present my work in a best-case scenario.

• I set up a meeting in advance. I try to get somewhere between 20 minutes to a half hour to present a print ad or a landing page. For a website, I need about two hours. And for radio, video or TV, about an hour.

• I do email the copy fifteen minutes or so before our meeting so you can print it out – but no peeking. I know this seems infantile, but trust me, it leads to a much more productive meeting.

• I explain the reason for everything I’ve written, and then I read every word to you. Is this necessary? Yes. If the copy is important, which it always is (said the copywriter), then we should go through every detail.

• Afterwards, I take your comments. And that’s it. If you want to think things over and get back to me, that’s fine. At least now you have the context and the details to make good decisions.

Try it this way on your next project, and see what a difference it makes.

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One Response to “Why won’t you let me read to you?”

  1. This is a great post. I’m a student at FIU and i am always looking for new information on Marketing. Even though I’m a Biology major, I have found that everyone has to know marketing because that’s how we get places in your everyday living. If you know how to market by yourself, then you can pretty much get anything you want out of life. Making this why I always try to get a read or two about marketing. Thank you.

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