Headhunters in the crosshairs

Last week I mentioned how I like to ask my copywriting clients about the enemies in their industry.

I got a question from a subscriber who got the basic concept but was a little fuzzy on the implementation.

After a little back and forth, I realized his confusion boiled down to:

WHOSE enemies to write about?

Which is an excellent question.

The “enemies” you want to focus on are the bad guys from the buyer's perspective.

Here's a quick example:

Last week I interviewed a new copywriting client about their ideal customer, in this case a VP of human resources at a mid-sized company.

A major villain for these VPs are mercenary “headhunters.”

These recruiters view HR as an obstacle to be overcome by any means necessary.

They have a whole bag of sneaky tricks to do end-runs around HR, creating legal and logistical nightmares and driving the veeps nuts.

OK, bad guys = recruiters.

Great insight. So how to use it?

Well off the top of my head I might use a subject line like, “Heads up—sneaky recruiter ploy” and tell a story about a headhunter who hid a one-liner in his contract that stuck HR with a huge mess to clean up.

Then I can transition into how my client has a different business model than traditional recruiters, and because of that he works with the VP as a partner rather than an obstacle to go around.

See how this focuses on the enemies in the customer's world?

Often the business owner will have his own set of enemies, some that overlap with the customer, and some that don't.

You want to stay focused on the shared enemies.

That shows the customer how you as the business owner are on their team, fighting a common battle.

Done ethically and effectively this is a massive trust-builder.