Use MacGyver-like Knowledge to Solve Your Clients’ Problems

All this week, I’ve been talking to you about secret agent MacGyver, the popular TV character of the 80s and early 90s who’s become synonymous with resourcefulness … and how you should have your own MacGyver-like tools in your copywriting toolkit.

So far, we’ve got our copywriting Swiss Army knife (contact list) and our copywriting duct tape (swipe file). Today, I want to give you one more resourceful tool to have in your arsenal …

We all know MacGyver had a vast knowledge of physics, chemistry and technology. And it was his ability to apply that knowledge to seemingly impossible situations time after time that made the show such a big hit.

In the same way, copywriters who know their stuff and confidently provide services that solve their clients’ problems are always in high demand.

But, when you’re a new copywriter, or you’re trying out a new niche, how do you gain the knowledge you need to give your clients the results they expect?

I’ve found that a great deal depends on your resourcefulness as a researcher. You need to find the golden nuggets of information that will not only impress your clients but will prove your value to them.

Let me give you an example …

Over the years, I’ve had to become creative when writing about topics that were out of my realm of experience – like the time I was hired to write about the benefits of Oracle versus MySQL.

Although this topic seemed pretty foreign to me, I was excited to see what gems I could uncover. So, I started digging. I did a Google search to discover blog posts, articles, YouTube videos, forums and reviews that addressed my topic. I even found a couple of experts that I interviewed.

The result? I came up with a “golden nugget” … a benefit the 33-year-old organization had never heard of. And my client was quite impressed. Was I feeling resourceful? Yup!

If you’ve chosen to write in a particular niche, you’ll want to keep your knowledge base up-to-date by:

  • Subscribing to e-newsletters by industry experts
  • Setting up Google alerts for niche-related keywords
  • Joining forums and Facebook/LinkedIn groups
  • Connecting with influencers via Twitter
  • Interviewing Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • Watching free webinars and YouTube videos

And, don’t forget … while you’re keeping a close watch on your niche, you should never stop learning about copywriting and mastering new skills along the way.

When I made the switch to web copywriting, I knew I needed to learn new skills in order to be successful. So, I took Nick Usborne’s courses Web Copywriting 2.0, and Social Media Marketing. I also took Jay White’s course Email Copy Made Easy and Heather Lloyd-Martin’s SEO Copywriting Certification program.

I also attended AWAI’s Web Intensive, which I believe is one of the best business investments I’ve ever made. It’s at AWAI’s live events, including the B2B Copywriting Intensive and their annual FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair that copywriters can not only gain new skills but have opportunities to learn from the masters and network with marketers and other copywriters.

It’s amazing how quickly you can build your skills when you aren’t afraid to say, “Sure, I can do that” … and then dig like crazy to find out how. It’s exhilarating to make discoveries, develop new skills and give your clients the solutions they’re looking for.

To become a more knowledgeable and resourceful copywriter today, try this exercise:

  1. Create a table with four columns, and in the first column make a list of the services you offer.
  2. In the second column, write the resources you use to help you provide your services (e.g. books, online courses, copywriting groups and forums, etc.).
  3. Do a Google search for each of those services and discover new resources (e.g., YouTube videos, webinars, blogs) to help you with anticipated challenges, and add those resources to the third column.
  4. Search for Facebook and LinkedIn groups that address challenges in your niche, and record these groups in the fourth column. Then join the groups you think will be the most helpful.

Let me know how it’s going in the comments. Then be sure to join me tomorrow for one last MacGyver-like resource that will put you ahead of the competition.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: August 28, 2014

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