- By Jimmy Cox
- Published 12/4/2009
As with any field, becoming a Sales Copywriter requires studying and practice. It is important that you dedicate enough time to practicing and mastering the skills to become an effective Sales Copywriter. The time you invest will be well worth it once you are well-known and making a living writing excellent sales copy. Of course the first thing you must do is get your hands on every book that deals with sales copywriting basics. It also helps to start reviewing writing styles, grammar and rules. There’s nothing worse than a brilliant press release with spelling mistakes all over it. There are several books that can help you get to know the different writing guidelines including The Chicago Manual of Style or The Associated Press Style Guide. Read up on recent trends in sales copywriting and advertising. It also helps to pay closer attention to what sells and doesn’t by watching television commercials, internet ads and comparing product brochures. Pay special attention to the ads that other people are talking about. Maybe you overhear a couple of teenagers laughing over the great new commercial a certain soft drink company just released. On the other hand, maybe you see your spouse change the channel every time a certain product’s commercial comes on.
You also need to study the different types of sales copywriting to find the field you are most interested in. Perhaps you are inspired to do local business ads or prefer sales copywriting for TV or radio. M
aybe you are drawn to web copywriting. The best way to find out is to read, watch and pay attention. Many advertising agencies will suggest you have a college degree in a copywriting-related field. A college education helps but isn’t mandatory. Degrees in English, Advertising, Journalism, Marketing and other related majors will make you a more appealing candidate for a steady job at a copywriting firm. It doesn’t have to be a Master’s Degree, or even a BA. Some extremely creative sales copywriters have an associate’s degree, or in some cases, a couple of community college courses. What is mandatory is previous work experience. How do you go about getting experience at something you’ve never done? The answer is simple: become an intern. Internships get you inside a real advertising agency and will help motivate you. Being an intern also gives you the chance to work on the most important thing you need to become a known sales copywriter: your portfolio or “book”. Like in many other fields, your portfolio is your first impression. As an intern, you won’t get paid to do any sales copywriting, but you will have the chance to start building your book. Interns that make a great portfolio and showcase their creativity are first in line for a permanent position at the agency when one opens up.
An exceptional portfolio will spark the interest of any experienced sales agency. So, once you have it ready, start knocking on some doors. If you plan to work as a sales copywriter, you have to be a great salesperson. And the first service you have to know how to sell is your own.