Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Writing Advertisements for Myself

Does anyone remember Norman Mailer's "Advertisements for Myself"? Well, I'm sure Mailer was much better at advertising himself than I seem to be.

After receiving an invitation to join the New York German-American Chamber of Commerce, I started to research (smaller) German companies who just expanded into the U.S. or are in the process of doing so. It turns out there are a number of companies that fit this description, especially in the alternative energy sector. After beginning to compile a list of names and addresses, both at German headquarters and at the U.S. branch, I tried to write a letter I could send to them to introduce my services. Despite reading a few books about marketing per se, it quickly became apparent that I really don't know how to write my own sales letter.

So what does someone who works with words do when they have difficulty doing something? Find a book on the subject, of course. I am now reading Robert Bly's The Copywriter's Handbook, which is subtitled "A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells". It's mostly meant for people who are selling other people's products, but I'm hoping I'll be able to extract enough information (and then act on that information) to write sales copy for my own business. So far, I've it's given me a few ideas on the letter's subject line and research I need to do before writing the actual body text.

After writing that sales letter in English the next challenge will then be to do so in German, as well -- this time aimed at the headquarter's staff rather than the branch office. So where in New York would I find a book about copywriting in German for the German market?

1 comment:

  1. That's a real problem. I am not an expert in marketing myself. But I know that there are books about copy writing specifically designed for freelancers. And the internet knows no borders at all so you simply can order a German book about copy writing on the internet, can't you? Besides, I think, as you have done German translations you may know some people who you can ask about advertizing in Germany.


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