Making A Targeting Mistake

I have a confession to make.

I broke a rule of Copywriting for Direct Marketing.

In fact I didn’t even realise I broke a rule until I got my copy back from my very first client!

But before all else I need to tell you about myself. I’m a junior copywriter meaning I’m just a beginner in this awesome world of Direct Marketing. One day I hope to sit at the table with the likes of the great old hands before me. Greats like David Garfinkel, Doug D’anna, Ben Settle, David Duetch, Gary Bencievega and good Ole Uncle John Carlton. I also hope to one day write for many of the top Direct Marketing companies in the world.

Yes my friends I’m ambitious.

So what exactly did I do wrong that got my copy rejected in the first place? Well, in my search to find clients I figured since Copy is advertsing I would “hit the pavement,” and sell my services business to business in hopes of landing a client or at least a prospect.

In my search of landing my first client I was met with rejection after rejection. No one needed any copywriting services but even worse not a single one of these business have never heard of copywriting or Direct Advertising.

Heading home defeated and tired I ran into an old friend who ran a small business mounting TVs. He confessed to me that business was slow and he needed more customers. Noticing his pain I offered my services, he accepted. I went home, put on my deerstalker and went to work. I researched his target customers to find out their biggest problems, worries, etc. I also went ahead and called the local newspapers to find out the pricing to get his ads going.

You name it, I probably did it.

After a week I finished his 1 page copy and I proudly called him to let him know. Then… rejection.

“This wasn’t what I was expecting,” he said.

I was annoyed, angry and hurt. He was expecting a more “traditional” form of advertising. During our argument I realized my grave mistake.

“I should have sold my services to my target market!”

Target market meaning those in Direct Marketing!

This was my fault and I should’ve told him what I specialised in. It would have saved us headaches.

When you write copy you write for your ideal customer in mind. You write about their pain, and how you had the same problem AND that you have a solution to their problem.

When I spoke with my friend I should have been clear on what copy was and how it was going to look.

Instead I jumped the gun and took the assignment.

The lesson?

Focus on your Target Market.