I don’t talk about myself much, but I do believe in basic transparency with those I work with and those who wish to know me more. Before embarking on my journey as a freelance copywriter, I held a position as an assistant teacher at a special needs school in my community. I became an assistant teacher because I felt it was the right thing, the “next step” on my path in my personal development. And I did just that. I ran lesson plans… adjusted lesson plans… created lesson plans… graded papers… and analyzed data. Teachers wear many hats in addition to teaching- teachers are mentors, counselors, therapists, and nurses, and parents when they are at the school. Serving these roles ignited my own fuse to get me started on my personal development journey where I wanted to do more than teach in the classroom.
I wanted to serve more people than the eight hours a day in the classroom- I wanted to leave my “mark” on the world. I had always enjoyed writing and serving others. Copywriting allowed me to do just that- craft clear, concise, and clever messages that helped small businesses and entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and aspirations. In a way, Copywriting was the “secret sauce” to a business, just as the process of teaching was to transform the lives of my own students. Here are the ways teaching experience molded me into a copywriter.
1.Teachers Are Planners
Teachers follow a rigid schedule with deadlines to meet by the end of each grading period. Teachers are familiar with the last minute race to the finish to make it through these periods.
To combat this, teachers are used to creating daily, weeky, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals to track student progress and make the most of the limited time available.
Not to mention, teachers are writers!
After all, education is based on the written word and the ability to break down and communicate vast concepts into bite-sized pieces.
Teachers also know the art of presentation, often learned the hard way. The teacher walks into the room, and is greeted by about 20 students, and each student has their own personality. Is is up to YOU, the teacher, to sell yourself and your ideas and get your students to take action.
You never know what you are going to get in the classroom. Everyone may love you, some may strongly dislike you, some may not care, but most important, you could be that adult that lights up that child’s world by planting seeds of wisdom in them. You are seen as a hero and motivational figure to that student who aspires to be more than they ever knew.
2.Teachers Analyze Data Trends
Now this may sound a little out of the field of copywriting, but copywriting is closely related to digital marketing, which is based on data. Marketing departments have limited budgets for marketing, but their must be proof of ROI (Return on Investment) before launching a new campaign. You may think copywriting falls into the creative profession, and it does, but calculated copywriting and digital strategy is the key to predicting whether the next project will yield good results. Afterall, people pay money to hire copywriters and digital strategists- the creativity comes in how they are going to craft the message to bring the money in.
Just as teachers analyze student progress through grades, parent feedback, and classroom discussions, copywriters gather all input from comments and data after a piece has been released. The data copywriters use obviously differs from that of a copywriter, but the concept remains the same: copywriters are creatives (and so are teachers) and all progress must be measured to achieve the greatest possible results.
3.There is More than One Approach
Teaching is not a one-size fits all process. There are many different personalities, and teachers have their own approach as well. THink about all the formulas used in copywriting- AIDA, PAS, the 4 C’s and the 4 U’s- there is so much you can do and it ultimately comes down to how you can best interact with your students (audience). There is no wrong formula, and just as a new teacher may follow a senior teacher’s style, a new copywriter may follow another copywriter’s formula to get them off the ground.
There are also many different audiences, just as there are many different subjects in school. Your audience will vary in age, gender, location, beliefs, and even social class. Think about al the niches as well- travel, hospitality, medical, personal development, relationships. education, and health. There are so many more, and these are just the big ones. This may all seem overwhelming at first, but just as a teacher navigated and eventually finds their own unique approach, the copywriter eventually finds their own target market and develops their way of interacting with them for the best possible results.
Selling insurance is different than selling online courses, so each audience will be greeted with a different approach. High school students are taught different than elementary school students, and the teaching style of a history course is different than that of T.V. production course. It’s just the way it is. This is where developing your voice comes in- bored people won’t listen; happy people can’t be persuaded. There must be some substance to your voice to get your target audience to take action. Don’t be boring 🙂
Energy, empathy, enthusiasm, creativity, understanding, and a direct conversational style should be used to connect with your audience.
Teachers are Relationship Builders
Business and marketing rely on relationships to continue the cycle, and no one knows this better than (good) teachers). The teacher’s duty is to plant the seed of knowledge in the student’s mind, and make them want to grow to become the best they can be. You remember your favorite teachers because they made you feel a certain way. They made you feel like you can do anything that you set your mind to. As an adult, you come to know this more because hard times can get you discouraged. But…. you’ll always remember that teacher who changed your life.
The same goes for marketing goods and services… you don’t really just buy all the time. You consume content on a daily basis in the form of ads, YouTube videos, tutorials, blogs, and visiting websites. You can’t run away from consuming content- you make the most of it and form relationships with those you resonate with. The same goes for the classroom as well. Everyone has that one teacher that changes their life and inspired them to beat the odds. Teachers have the power to do that, and copywriters have the power to do that as well, with their words.
It’s not evil or manipulative- this power can be used for good. What about ads for blood drives? ads for life insurance? ads for higher education? Whether you want to admit it or not, these are needed things in society and do not get enough attention. It’s our job to make an impact with our words and use them for good, to become that person no one wants to let go.