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Better Copy: The Interview is the Key

By Neroli Lacey
Posted Saturday, January 1, 2005

Most of us spend our days persuading others to buy our service, product or idea. Here is how to create powerful marketing copy to make your job easier: INTERVIEW YOURSELF.

If you hired a writer to create the copy for you, he/she would likely start by interviewing you. He would ask every question he could think of about your subject and keep probing until he found illuminating answers. You could find a colleague to help in this endeavor. Or, if you are feisty, you can interview yourself.

Write out a series of questions about your subject. (I’ll suggest what kinds of questions below). Then ask your colleague to pose these questions to you and record your answers. Or you can write your own answers down.

The key to interviewing is to keep probing. If an answer doesn’t make sense,say so. “I understand that your clients need to create strategy at the corporate level, but I don’t understand how your software is going to help them do this.” If you don’t believe an answer, say so too. Keep asking for further and better particulars until you get answers that interest you and which you believe in.

Here are some high-level questions to ask yourself.

What is the business problem?
Can you describe the problem in plain English?
How did the problem arise?
Is it a new problem?
Why is it hard to solve?
Why hasn’t anyone found a solution to it yet?
Does your client know he has this problem?
Is he willing to pay the price in time or money to solve his problem?
What is his key concern?

What is your solution?
What services / products do you offer to solve his problem?
What benefits will these produce? (This is the hardest question to answer. It means going beyond the features we offer and really understanding the solution from the clients’ viewpoint.) If you are going to work on producing only one answer, this is the one to work on.
Which benefit is the most important? (This will be your core message).

Why should your client trust you to solve their problem?
Who are you?
How long have you been in business?
What can you say about the stability and creativity of your organization?
Who are your clients?
Is your service unique? If not, why is it better than others’?

Do you have a robust marketing plan to execute against? How clear
and persuasive is your website, brochure copy or direct mail?
Call Neroli Lacey NOW to win more business TODAY.
CALL ++ 612. 215. 3826 NOW
or email:

I’ve been helping executives transform their businesses and their lives with outstanding marketing materials since 1995. I have worked with clients in Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Minneapolis, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Delhi. I used to be one of the top journalists in Britain writing for The Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, and more.
Please visit my website:


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