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A Short List of "Don'ts"
For Do-it-yourself Advertisers and beginning copywriters

1. Don't focus on YOU. Don't go on about how many years you've been in business or your beautiful new office or your thirteen degrees. They don't care.

The only time to mention experience, etc. is on your "about me" page or when you need to lend credibility, as in: "In 12 years as an Idaho landscaper, I've discovered which plants are most hardy for our climate."

2. Don't tell them you NEED their business. Tell them you want it, tell them you'd enjoy helping them, but don't admit that you need it. People want to do business with successful people. If you aren't there yet - pretend.

3. Don't tell them the advantage to YOU if they buy your product or service. A good example is a sign I saw last summer that said: "Car Wash - help send us to the Finals." There would have been more cars lined up if they'd said: "Car Wash today! We'll make your car sparkle."

4. Don't bad mouth the competition. Don't even mention the competition by name. If you do, you run the risk of your readers remembering THEM instead of YOU. Besides, it makes you look small.

5. Don't promise anything you can't deliver. Don't even promise everything you will deliver. Give your buyers a nice surprise by giving more than promised.

6. Don't try to be a comedian unless comedy is what you're selling. You'll detract from your message and might offend a potential buyer.

7. Don't be bashful about the benefits you offer. We've all been taught to "Be modest - don't brag!" This is one of the hardest aspects of writing your own ads and the reason that most people need a copywriter. It's easy for me to brag about you.

8. Don't wait until the last minute and try to write your ad in a hurry. Effective promotions require time, thought, and plenty of editing.

9. Don't put off getting acquainted with a copywriter if you think you're going to need one! Getting acquainted is free and will save you hours of worry when you need copy in a hurry.


Call or e-mail to discuss a marketing plan that works for you!

Marte Cliff, Freelance Copywriter