Any freelance copy writers around?

I’ve agreed to do some copy writing for a friend. I’ve done some copy writing now and again, usually as a favor. This time I was presented with the assignment along the lines of – “Look at my competitor’s Web site. I need the same set of sections describing my product only not in their words.”

Anyone have any hints or strategies as to how to approach an assignment like that? Or anecdotes on how you tackled such a project?

Is there any chance you can actually get familiar with/use the product, then describe it in your own words?

Otherwise you’re going to have to fall back on all the old standbys for writing about commodity or parity products.

FAB (Features, Advantages, Benefits) – emphasize different ones than the competition.

USP (Unique Selling Point) – Play it up. If there isn’t one, invent one.

Cut and Paste – Use the thesaurus function to change words like “multi-function” into “all-in-one.” If possible, shuffle the sections around.

Graphics – Nothing like charts, graphs, product photos, etc. to make something look fresh and different. If you can manage to include a flow chart and bell curve, you win.

Embrace the challenge. I always look at writing pieces like this is the commercial equivalent of writing haiku or sonnets. You know what the rules are, and your task is to be brilliant within the extremely structured format.

Thanks, kunilou! Those are very helpful suggestions

I don’t think they have a working prototype yet, but I’ll ask.

As kunilou said, but I’d also add something about his “USP”.

Whether you have to devise one or one already exists, take it and play with it. Use your imagination, because this gives you a lot of room for branding, even subtly.