John Carlton Copywriting Tips: How To Do Effective Research


In this copywriting hotseat John Carlton shows how to dig down and get the real story on why a product is selling. Not the company line.

It is easier to understand this when you are writing for other people, but also applies when you are writing for yourself. In the detective work you do, you must get past the “company line”. As a freelancer, I know that the company line is the guy that owns the business. He is so in love with it that he will say “this thing does this, this and this, and this is why people buy it”. Almost 100% of the time he will be 180 degrees dead wrong. He will not know why people buy it. He knows why he would buy it, why he got into it. That is what I call the “company line”. For you and your product…you have been eating the company line for a while, and you are in love with this product.

When I work with a client, I want to talk to the receptionist, I want to talk to the “feet in the streets” salesmen, I want to talk to the guy who invented it, I want to get the gossip, the rumors. I know that a lot of the time, the people who have to sell the thing will say: “Yeah, I know that Bob keeps saying it does this, but we never sell it that way. We sell it by telling people it will do this.” You need something completely different. That’s what I want to find, and that’s what you want to find, too. Sometimes you have to get out of your head, you have to get into other people’s about what is going on. You have to strip it down…get your ego out of it…and find out what really is happening. Why people are really buying this stuff, what is really going on.

That is the key to doing the research you need to find out the real reason people are buying the product, and will help you develop your hook.

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