Start with the prospect, not the product

So where did Mr. Ian Smith go wrong?

There’s an old saying in direct marketing circles … start with the prospect, not the product.

In other words, what does your market want? And related to that, can you reach that market and is it big enough to be worth your time?

Ian went wrong because his idea was something he thought every small business owner should embrace. But it wasn’t something they wanted to embrace.

It’s like trying to sell broccoli to kids because it’s good for them. If you’re competing against the jingle of the ice cream truck down the street, you’re probably not going to get the results you want.

And here’s a tip for you freelance copywriters. The key to becoming a superstar in your field is to never take on a dog project like this (no matter how much you need the money).

Only stake your reputation on products and services that satisfy some sort of existing market desire, and you’ll look like a genius and never be short of work.