March 6th, 2022

How to Become a Lifestyle Copywriter

Written by Anna Alger

Anna grew up in the bluegrass state, where she learned to love written and visual storytelling. She holds a BFA in painting from Indiana University and an MFA in creative writing from Hollins University. She currently resides in Louisville, KY with a cat named Louise.

It’s three a.m. Scattered around you on the floor are the ink-ridden pages of your hundredth piece on how to boil water and product descriptions for Marve’s Monkey Wrenches. It feels like every sentence that leaves your pen ends in some iteration of buy this now, or else. Outside, a lonely coyote raises its howl to the moon. A half-disintegrated tumbleweed drifts by your window. 

Despite trying your best to force some creativity into your work, you’re tired of selling cold, hard copy and wish your words had room for a little more meaning. 

In your head, at long last, a brave voice rises up to speak:

I want to write for brands that matter to people.

I want to tell their story.

I want to become… a lifestyle copywriter.

Do you take the bait? Do you listen to that voice and set out on a life-changing voyage to write for brands whose purpose is to sell not only a product, but also a lifestyle? 

Reader, we can’t tell you what to do—but we can tell you how it might happen. 

This is the story of how you become a lifestyle copywriter.

Step One: Learn the Way of the Lifestyle Copywriter

Your creative spark is thriving. Your plants are coming back to life. The clouds are clearing from the sky, and words have meaning once more.

All of this is hypothetical, of course. While we can’t promise your pilea peperomioides will unwilt itself or that the rain will evaporate, becoming a lifestyle copywriter is a fantastic way to put your imaginative brain to work. But first, you need to know how to get there.

Know the Goal

Before we go any farther down this road, let’s first understand the destination:

  • Copywriters produce words, or copy, with the purpose of inciting an action from the reader—whether that’s to purchase a product, investigate further, sign up for a newsletter, or become a volunteer. This messaging can take many shapes and forms, but the end goal is the same: to inspire action.

  • Lifestyle brands are brands whose core values center around a certain ethos. Consider a juice brand that sells fresh-squeezed, organic juice to yogis, or a clothing company that focuses on athletes. Each company needs messaging that shapes the readers perception of the brand and attracts a core audience—in this case, yogis or athletes.

In essence, the brands you’d be writing for as a lifestyle copywriter have a purpose built around something more abstract than the product itself. This may include:

  • An aesthetic
  • A mindset
  • A philosophy
  • A way of living

To become a good lifestyle copywriter, you don’t have to spend hours bent over a half-broken typewriter in a damp basement room. Unless, of course, that’s how you work best—in which case, go right ahead.

What you do need is knowledge of how to craft a compelling story. Whatever shape your copywriting takes—be it a three-sentence social media post or a 1500-word blog—it all starts with knowing who’s listening and how you can reach them most effectively.

Understand the Audience

Just as you’re the hero in this journey of becoming a lifestyle copywriter, a brand’s audience is the main character of the story they’re telling. 

To connect with that audience, you must empathize with them and understand their perspective and motivations. In doing so, it helps to ask questions about how the brand aligns with their life and aspirations. For example:

  • What lifestyle does the product fit into?
  • What kind of reader might want this lifestyle? What is their life like now?
  • What drives them to want a different lifestyle?
  • How will the reader’s life change by using this product?

The answers to these questions will depend on the brand’s core values and what solutions they offer. For some, pursuing the lifestyle the brand promises might mean:

  • Becoming part of a community
  • Attaining a certain look or aesthetic
  • Achieving better health and wellness
  • Fulfilling a personal ideal

Once you have a better grasp of who you’re writing for and what lifestyle the brand is selling to them, you can begin to craft that story—which brings us to the next part of your journey.

Tell the Story

Let’s say you’re writing for a company that sells sustainable running shoes for earth-loving athletes. Your messaging won’t be to simply buy a quality pair of shoes. Rather it will be to invite the audience to experience the sun on their skin and the wind in their hair. To feel the dappled shadows of trees as their branches pass overhead. To appreciate the world as it is—while wearing shoes whose production won’t require its destruction.

In crafting the brand’s story, you’re appealing to more than just the reader’s intention to buy new shoes. You’re helping them envision a new state of being, what it will look and feel like, and how the product can transport them to that lifestyle.

The tools you use to craft that message are the same you use to tell any convincing story:

  • An interesting narrative
  • Sensory details
  • Creative use of language
  • An appeal to emotions

That last bullet is especially important. When the audience feels an emotional connection, the lifestyle brand’s story becomes much more than just a sales pitch. It’s an invitation for the reader to step into a whole new world—one where the grass really is greener, where the life they want to live is within reach. 

The brand itself becomes the magical bridge they need to make change happen.

Step 2: Practice Your Dreamweaving Skills—aka, Build Your Portfolio 

The sun is shining brightly through your window, turning your desk golden and making your keyboard glow. You can envision it now: a world in which you, a lifestyle copywriter, spend your hours weaving enchanting narratives and persuading readers to pursue their highest aspirations.

The next step is to do it.

To find work as a lifestyle copywriter, you’ll likely need to show some evidence that you know how to write like one. That means building a portfolio you can show to prospective clients and employers when they’re deciding whether to hire you.

But what if your writing samples are all newsletters on how to crochet sweaters for cats?

Well, one could argue that’s a lifestyle, too. But if you’re trying to position yourself toward a particular lifestyle, industry, or type of product, or even just want to show a little breadth in your skill set, you may want to enhance your portfolio with a few practice pieces.

Lifestyle copywriting can include any form of copy a lifestyle brand uses to communicate with their audience, including: 

  • Blogs
  • Web copy
  • Emails
  • Social Media
  • Ads
  • Ebooks

Regardless of what you choose to fill your portfolio with, remember that the focus of effective lifestyle copywriting is to tell a story the audience can step into seamlessly. In doing so, they become a part of the brand’s community—and, hopefully, buy their products.

Be sure to check out our top 10 lifestyle copywriting tips to ensure your portfolio, and the content within it, shines.

Step 3: Start Your Journey by Deciding Where You Want to Work

You’ve studied the craft, assembled your portfolio, and dusted off your best pair of interview shoes. It’s time to hit the streets and shake some hands.

Okay, not really. We all know the world of jobs is changing, and your first interaction with prospective clients will probably happen online. Still, there are a number of ways you can work as a lifestyle copywriter. Some of these include: 

  • Applying to positions with lifestyle brands – If you feel particularly passionate about one lifestyle brand or industry, you might seek opportunities to write for them directly. These opportunities can be a bit harder to find, but could be ideal for someone who wants to become an expert in one specific voice and brand message.

  • Becoming a freelancer – If you’re just starting out as a copywriter, freelancing can be a marvelous way to build your portfolio and get experience writing for different brands. Even among experienced copywriters, some prefer to freelance because of the flexibility and ability to pick and choose their own projects.

  • Working for a copywriting agency – This option is an excellent choice if you’re hoping to put your writing skills to work for more than one lifestyle brand. If you excel at stretching your storytelling skills across multiple formats, adopting new voices, and speaking to different audiences, this option affords you the opportunity to do so a bit more consistently.

Let Copycat Copywriters Tell Your Story

If your aspiration as a copywriter is to weave compelling words for lifestyle brands, we know the journey ahead of you will be filled with wondrous dreamscapes and lands full of wishes. We wish you the very best.

But what if you’re the lifestyle brand, and your life’s aspiration is to not do all this work yourself? Sit back and find somewhere comfy to put up your feet. We have a solution for that, too.

At Copycat, we know that understanding an audience, making connections, and telling good stories are all key to communicating your brand’s core values. 

That’s because we live and breathe copywriting. You could even say it’s our lifestyle.

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