The evolution of the copywriter: the stages through which the specialist goes from beginner to pro

The evolution of the copywriter

Hello, everybody! Do you ever get in a bad mood, and even pictures of cute kittens cause a lot of aggression? At the very least, because millions of people like them, even though they have absolutely no value in themselves. It’s an empty space. And why kittens and not puppies? Or koalas? Or pandas? I mean, they’re cute, too. But no, it’s cats that have become an international Internet meme and make everyone and everything piss (emphasis in your discretion) boil.

What is it? Envy of cats? No, not really. After all, on normal days, you do not attach importance to such small things. But in moments of critical aggravation you can’t help it. You easily find faults in everything, and try to restrain yourself in order not to say mean things that you would regret. Or break anything that comes in the “hot” hand. For example, a phone or a bumper of the car, which not only became crooked, but also bumped you in the parking lot.

Psychologists say that this state can be caused by electromagnetic fields (after all, all our psychosomatic reactions are the result of the work of the brain – the electrical impulses), fatigue and lack of endorphins. And fatigue is not physical or mental, but spiritual. For example, if you have to overwork yourself for a long time, doing routine work that makes absolutely no sense at all. Or when you have to give up your plans or beliefs, so as not to offend someone, or simply to go along with the norms of society. In short, there are many reasons, but that is not the point.

I have found how such a condition can be used in a very cool way for inner growth. If you pay attention, the rate of critical thinking in such situations is off the charts. If you are shown a text or marketing concept of a competitor – you will find so many flaws in it, which in an adequate state never would have found.

But if you look at yourself, you will see not flaws, but opportunities to do your job better. The fact is that aggression is usually directed toward the external environment, but when you direct it toward yourself, the minus turns into a plus. You see your weaknesses and you can address them.

And then one day, “sitting on your horses…”

The other day, while in the state described above, I decided to dive into my text archive. Honestly, for my earlier works, I would have beaten my hands off. Myself. Well, how could I write so! You don’t have to go far. Take at least the early posts on this blog. I even wanted to take the time to edit them, but then I realized that this is history, and it’s better to leave it alone. As is. After all, everything comes with experience. And everyone starts out at some point.

Levels of copywriter evolution
There are eight levels in total. If you can add to them – write in the comments, we’ll discuss. As I said before, evolution can be non-linear. I know people who, right after writing, became trainers or started out as marketers and mastered sales techniques through text. But these are more like individual cases. Most go on increasing.

The last two stages, “Coach” and “Entrepreneur” stand apart. There are entrepreneurs who develop their business without knowing how to create sales texts. I included them in the evolutionary chain for completeness.

Beginner

The beginner’s stage every copywriter goes through. I am no exception. I’ve had a pretty good knack for it since childhood, but I didn’t learn how to write commercial texts right away. I remember that when I was a student my brother and I were making our first online store and I wrote all texts in it intuitively, as I felt. Curiously enough, these texts worked well.

Then my brother told me that texts for sales are written on the AIDA model, and I gradually delved into this niche. Probably from that moment my transformation from a “newcomer” to a “salesman” began.

Everyone started out at some point. We were inexperienced and learned from our mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with that. Another question is how long it takes to get to the next level. I really want to believe that, thanks to my blog, your promotion will go faster than mine. For reference, it took me 6 years.

The vast majority of writers on the stock exchanges – beginners. They can write texts, but do not know how to solve problems. The works of beginners are chaotic, contain a lot of water, so they are very cheap.

Writer

Reiter – a pumped up beginner who either started his own blog, or worked for some time on the stock exchange or advertising (digital) agency. He knows the basics of SEO and HTML, knows how to write articles for search queries and understands how to structure text so that it ranks better.

I officially became a writer on October 11, 2010, when I released my first post, “What is Copywriting?” on this blog. I remember being terribly nervous as I uploaded Wordress to the hosting site, edited the material, and clicked “Publish.” By the way, the blog in those days looked nothing like it does now: the design was simpler, and there were no readers at all.

In the works of most writers there is still a lot of water, which is primarily due to the requirements of the terms of reference. For example, if you need a 10,000-character text about binary options trading, you’re on your own.

Writers are able to write structured texts, but are not able to build systems. Therefore their work is valued not much higher than that of beginners and rarely exceeds 5$ for 1000 characters. Advanced writers understand that working for pennies is not an option. They also understand that if you write texts for yourself (for example, to earn money on contextual advertising), you can earn much more. In this case, the text you need to create only once, and the traffic and income this text will generate constantly. By the way, 95% of writers do not have enough strength and patience to develop their content project, and they come back to exchangers (which I personally do not recommend).

Writers who become webmasters eventually develop an entrepreneurial streak and hire other writers to build a content network. I know people who earn 100-200 thousand rubles a month on such networks and feel great.

Caller

A caller-upper is a transitional stage between a salesperson and a writer. A key feature: the caller offers the service of creating sales texts, although he has no experience in sales. He knows what the characteristics are, how to make benefits out of them, but he has absolutely no understanding of the buyer and no sense of his motives. Most texts come out formulaic, like a copy.

Sadly, it is this stage in the evolution of copywriting that causes frustration for most customers. They are the ones who rivet the texts for the webpages according to the templates of Business Youth, without even diving into the niche. After all, why bother when the output is a text written according to all the rules?

There are a lot of shouty, pathological phrases and a lot of falsehoods in the call-out texts. Such texts do not make emotional connections and do not inspire confidence. As a result – not really sell well.

Although, there are exceptions. If there is a good offer. When I was a “caller,” I wrote a sales text for one SEO company. The text was built on the Socratic method and from the doorstep hit screaming provocative questions a la, “Do you want to bring the site to the top? Do you want to increase sales? Do you want to leave your competitors with a nosedive?” etc. The conversion rate of this text into bids was just over 15%. But there was a strong offer – promotion for one query for free, as well as transparent conditions for further work.

At the stage of “enticement” copywriters, as a rule, still put the price per thousand characters, without guaranteeing the useful effect of the service.

Salesman

This is a classic copywriter in the truest sense of the word. He studies in detail what he sells and to whom he sells, analyzes the market, develops a selling concept and creates a selling text or a commercial proposal based on the concept.

Typically, the work of the “salesman” is as follows: first, the analysis, then the draft text, then editing. Most of the time is spent on the first and third stages. Salespeople choose words very carefully, and often get rid of entire pages of the original version (for more on how to edit texts, click here).

Salespeople are excellent at psychological triggers and know how to persuade. This is why a person who has worked successfully in sales for a long time can easily become a good copywriter. A salesperson always knows what the audience needs and how to give it to them.

Unlike salespeople, salespeople work for results and guarantee a useful effect from their service. If there is no effect, the text is reworked to a different concept.

Marketer

A marketer is a marketer-practitioner. Unlike a marketer, he doesn’t just develop selling concepts and texts, but creates or oversees the development of entire selling systems based on the sales funnel.

The marketer is well versed in web analytics, SEO, contextual and teaser advertising. He is competent in basic programming, design, web development and usability. The marketer works with the conversion rates of all the functional units of the system. He also works with customers throughout their “life cycle” (from first contact to termination of interaction). The marketer is often the one who fuels the loyalty of existing customers, so he is well versed in email systems and Email marketing.

In essence, a marketer is a versatile generalist who can both solve problems himself and set them for others. That’s why he is very valuable as a project manager (often on a partnership basis, not for a fixed fee).

Advisor


I discovered this class about six months ago. This is when your authority is bought for use in promotional materials. The advisor does the work himself very rarely. Most often, it advises on how to solve this or that problem. And to make sure that the advisor is always available and can be used in promotional materials (for example, commercial offers or marketing kits), he is paid a fixed fee per month. This is a win-win situation: the advisor gets a good salary, and the client gets his authority and advice to earn more. The win-win scheme!

To become an advisor, you need to meet two very important conditions:

Build credibility and become a recognized expert in your industry.
Be able to establish contacts with the right people.
The second point dominates. Especially in the former Soviet Union. And the more I work with medium-sized businesses, the more I am convinced of this. Connections and personal recommendations are crucial.

Coach

Many specialists, having reached a certain level, begin to transfer their knowledge and skills to others. Someone combines practice and teaching, and someone becomes a 100% trainer and coach. But regardless of whether a specialist practices or not, coaching solves two important problems:

Opens up an additional source of income
It opens up opportunities for further growth
I started my coaching career three years ago when I was the head of copywriting at a major agency. And I’ll tell you this. Students are an inexhaustible source of new challenges and an opportunity to look at many things from a different angle. It’s true what they say: If you want to raise your level, start teaching others. I have seen people of all levels among copywriting coaches-beginners, writers, callers, salespeople, marketers, and advisors.

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