It seems somehow apt that the first entry in the Pippin A-Z of Copywriting should be such an important one.
Knowing the type of people who’ll be reading what you’ve written is essential. It will mean you’ll be able to write copy that will appeal to them and make sense to them.
One of the best ways to understand your audience is to create an avatar – a virtual person who embodies a typical (or ideal) customer. You need to build up a picture of them in their working life and more generally.
In terms of their working life you should know:
- their job title
- the size of the company they work for
- the industry they’re in
- their responsibilities
- the challenges they face
- what motivates them
More generally you should know:
- their gender
- their age
- their location
- their education
- their shopping habits
- their interests
If you’re writing marketing copy, you’ll be able to create your avatar using what you know about your customers. If you’re writing an article for a magazine or journal, its media pack will have all sorts of useful insights you can use to create your avatar.
Once you’ve created your avatar, give him/her a name and write your copy as if you are writing directly to them. Doing this will give your copy much more personality and life (not to mention make the process easier) because you’ll be talking to an individual rather than broadcasting to thousands.
I delve into more depth about customer avatars in my How to write better copy e-course.
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