by Tom Ruwitch
I worked recently with a business owner who wanted to create emails, write a blog, and post to social media to promote her business…
...But she couldn’t do it.
She was stuck. She had a chronic case of writers’ block.
She described it: Sitting there in front of her computer. A blank screen before her. The cursor, blinking at her, taunting her. Her fingers curled above the keyboard, frozen in place.
Sound familiar? Yeah, I know. Been there, done that.
But I discovered a cure for writers’ block, thanks to a guy named Eugene Schwartz, one of the most prolific and successful copywriters ever.
Schwartz said he never suffered from writers’ block. Never. Ever.
How is that possible?
His answer: He didn’t write copy. He assembled it.
Here’s what he meant: Before he sat in front of his computer and stared at that cursor and curled his fingers over that keyboard, he conducted research. Lots of research.
He learned everything he could about his target market. What keeps them up at night? What problems are they trying to solve? What do they crave and covet? What’s their greatest desire?
He researched the solution. If he was promoting a certain product, he gathered every detail about it. He sampled it. He interviewed the product creators. He learned the back-story. Why was the product created? What problems was it meant to solve? He compared it to the competition. How does it differ?
Through all of this research, he filled a treasure chest with gold blocks -- building blocks he could use to assemble his copy. When it came time to write, he was not staring at a blank screen wondering what to do. He was sifting through his treasure chest deciding how to organize and assemble those blocks.
Research takes time and effort. But it’s doable. Think of it like a treasure hunt. There are a million tools and tactics to do this well. You can learn those tools and tactics. Then it’s just a matter of putting in the work.
Have you ever heard of researchers’ block? Me neither.
Give it a try. Start by putting yourself in your prospects’ worlds. Ask those questions: What’s bugging them. What’s frightening them. What’s exciting them? What dream is driving them?
If you’re having trouble, think of a client success story. What was going on with that client before they came to you? What need did they have? How did you fill it?
I practice what I’m preaching. Several weeks ago, as I conducted research and worked on my content calendar, I thought about a client.
What was going on with my client before they came to me? Writers’ block.
What did she need? A way to produce effective content without feeling frustrated and stuck.
How did I fill that need? I told her about Eugene Schwartz and then I helped her fill her treasure chest with content building blocks.
I put that story into my treasure chest. And when the time came to produce this column, I assembled it. No writers’ block. No problem.
Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing, which helps businesses create and deliver powerful stories to attract leads, keep them tuned in, and inspire them to act. To discover more valuable lessons from the Rosetta Stone “Farm Boy” ad, visit MasterpieceAd.com