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Last week, I was a guest on Jane Atkinson’s teleclass series for professional speakers. The topic was copywriting, and Jane did a great job of picking my brain on how to craft effective web pages, emails, “one sheets”, and other marketing pieces speakers need.

For the most part, this was a group of non-copywriters. So, to prepare for the teleclass, I made a list of tips and techniques that would be easy for them to learn and use.

And that got me wondering…

What is the absolute easiest way for anyone to write great copy, quickly and painlessly?

And the answer was no surprise. At least to me.

Know your prospects.

The better you know your prospects – those people you’re trying to convince – the faster and easier it will be to write sales copy.

Here’s how I illustrate this point in my copywriting workshops:

I show the audience a picture of a man standing on what seems to be a large lawn. He’s looks 35ish. He’s wearing casual clothing. And that’s it. Besides the picture, the audience knows nothing else about this person.

Then I say to the group, “Imagine you’re writing an email to persuade this person to test drive the new Honda Odyssey mini-van. What would you say in that email?”

Usually there’s a long, long pause. The audience is obviously straining to come up with some decent ideas. It’s almost painful to watch. Then, eventually, someone shouts, “Ah, good gas mileage.” Another chimes in with, “Lots of room for friends and family.” Another person says, “Reliable and fuel efficient.”

Okay ideas, but not very exciting.

Then, I show them another picture. In fact, it’s the same man but this time he’s posed differently. He now has a golf club slung over his shoulder and it’s obvious that the “large lawn” he’s on is a golf course.

I ask the audience: “What would you say now to convince this guy to test drive the mini-van?”

Now that the audience knows a bit more about the prospect, there’s no hesitation. In fact, it’s difficult to hold them back. I immediately hear shouts of, “It’s roomy enough to drive all your golf buddies to the course.” “There’s plenty of room for your golf gear.” “It’s a mini-van, but it still looks sporty and cool.” “You can tell your wife it’s the family car, but it’s really your toy!”

It’s amazing to watch. The audience is actually writing copy (at least in their heads) – great copy, in fact – quickly and effortlessly, right before my eyes.

And it’s all because they know their prospects just a little bit better.

Think about that.

Do you struggle to write effective sales copy?

If so, perhaps learning a little more about your prospects will help you.

You see, when you can’t visualize your prospects clearly, then writing sales copy will be an agonizingly slow and painful process. And you probably won’t be happy with the results.

But when you know your prospects well – very well – then effective sales copy will just flow out of you.

Trust me. I’ve tried it both ways!