Get Inside Your Reader’s Mind with this Powerful Visualization Exercise

February 12, 2010

One of the biggest challenges in writing good, effective copy is finding out what your readers want.

What exactly motivates them towards responding to a call to action? What are their pains, fears, doubts that we, as solution providers, have to address and resolve?

By understanding your reader, it makes the selling process a lot easier. Think of it as a relationship with your loved one. It’s always a wonderful feeling to be understood and treated the way we want, don’t you agree? In fact, most relationships sour as a result of conflicts that arise from not understanding each other’s needs. It’s the same with copywriting – you have to know what makes your readers tick in order for them to respond to your offer.

While there are many ways to collect information about your readers such as drudging over marketing research, studying endless business reports or talking to salespeople for several hours long, there is one special technique that can help you get inside your reader’s mind within minutes. And you don’t even have to leave your seat!

Here’s what you should do:

1. Take a few deep breaths and relax.

2. Now imagine (you may choose to close your eyes if you want to) your reader sitting in front of you.

3.  Open up a conversation by asking questions about what they feel about your product or service. Imagine your reader responding to you and listen attentively for answers.  How does he or she sound? Does your reader sound happy, or frustrated or angry?

4. As you recall this imaginary conversation after the exercise, make a list of what was “discussed”

QuickStart Copywriter’s Tip: It helps to create a list of questions before you start this exercise so you have a mental guide of the things you should ask


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Creative Thinking Technique #4 – Reframe Your Perspective of a Product by Turning Negatives into Positives

January 19, 2010

The term “reframing” is a technique that originates from therapy and the work of renowned psychotherapist Virginia Satir.  More specifically, reframing is a technique that dramatically changes the meaning of something you’ve seen or believed in and thereby changing your perspectives.

One example of reframing is to turn something that appears to be negative into a positive and you can apply it even in your approach to creative thinking! Let’s take your product for example. As you study it from every possible angle, make a detailed list of its negative characteristics that skeptics might point out to you or things that your client would never want anyone to know.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Why might customers decide not to buy it?
  • What are its obvious disadvantages and flaws?
  • What negative reputation has it received in the past?
  • What could go wrong if it were used in a non-standard, particular way?
  • What criticisms would people out of your target group tell you?

From your findings, take each negative answer and ask yourself how could it be turned into a positive. If your product is overly expensive, what could be good about that? Could it be made from superior quality materials that last longer than your competitor’s? What advantage can your product offer if it’s designed in an unusual way? Could it save you more space in your warehouse?

Try swapping disadvantages for advantages and you will discover a whole new variety of positive selling points.


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