Copywriters are hired guns. We usually don’t create the products we sell, we just get hired to sell them. So how, pray tell, are you supposed to write copy that sells a product that… well… stinks?

Here’s the simple answer: You don’t.

What to do if a good client brings you something mediocre to sell?

You have a choice. Either work with the client to make the bad product better (I’m doing that right now with a newsletter that’s decent but needs to “bump it up” another 10 percent before it meets customer needs)… or bag the project altogether… and let your client know why, albeit with diplomacy.

Never berate the client. But don’t be a pushover or a sucker either.

If you want to stay on the project you must suggest possible ways to sell even better, in a consultant’s even tones and with the understanding that re-working the product might involve re-working your deal… or offer to take a kill fee and maybe even to share your research with the next copywriter who comes along.

The bottom line is that half-finished products and ideas CAN be sold without compromising your own integrity, but only if you’re willing to work with the client to make them whole. This is especially true in the information industry, where products can often be improved on the fly.

[Ed. Note: To get more of copywriting expert John Forde’s wisdom and insights into marketing (and much more), sign up for his free e-letter, Copywriter’s Roundtable, at www.copywritersroundtable.com. Or send an e-mail to signup@jackforde.com. Get a free report about 15 deadly copy mistakes and how to avoid them when you sign up today.

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John Forde’s 15-year career as a top copywriter started as an understudy of Bill Bonner and Michael Masterson. Since then, John has written countless winning controls, has generated well over $30 million in sales, and has successfully launched dozens of products. He’s also worked three years as a financial journalist and has written books on wealth building and health, as well as more than 250 articles on copywriting for his popular ezine, The Copywriter’s Roundtable.
John has taught copywriting in private seminars and conferences in Paris, London, Bonn, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Baltimore, and Warsaw. He currently lives and works from Paris, France.