The Art Of Writing Great Copy
May 25, 2017
The Art Of Writing Great Copy
The best copywriters collect the varied parts of their research and assemble those parts into a true story that resonates with the particular worldview of an audience.
Then that story is tested, tweaked, and deployed again. A story that enters the conversation an audience is already having can be a story that travels.
The assembly of these parts is key.
Though you’ll never know if a headline or a collection of bullet points, or a call to action will resonate with your audience — not until you let it out into the real world and test it — there is one commonly overlooked practice that’s turned out to be the best copywriting advice I’ve ever put to use …
Sut up and listen.
- Listen to the creator of the product you’re selling. Let her talk (for hours if necessary) about what makes it work, why she built it, what she hopes it will do for her customers. This practice alone can give you the bulk of your copy.
- Listen to your audience. What are they telling you — directly or indirectly — about what they really want and need? If social media has given us anything, it’s an unprecedented ability to hear the demands and desires of real people, in real time.
- Listen to your competitors. It’s wise to have a view of the entire field. What’s working in your market? What’s not working? What can you learn from others’ success and failure (and from the language that got them there)?
Everyone wants to be creative, yet many of us are too fearful to pursue our most creative ideas. Why? Our fearful reaction is not a matter of choice — it’s often a knee-jerk reaction that can be attributed to our biology.
So when you’re pursuing a creative path, this hurdle can feel insurmountable. How do you tackle and, ultimately, dismantle it?
Creativity vs. Fear of Failure
In my experience — and that of many creative professionals — the most familiar form of fear come is really that of failure. It’s a hesitancy to branch outside the norm and risk exposing yourself to the judgment of others. But that fear alone is not what inhibits your path to creativity. Not acknowledging is what’s truly damaging. Nelson Mandela summarized that notion quite well:
Why You Need Failure
Yes, there is a right way to fail. When you creatively experiment — just as Mozart and Darwin did — there are times that you will fail. But when you fail in this manner, you learn from it. For this reason, it is important to accept and even honor your creative failures. View them not as a hindrance to creative success, but as a powerful conduit that gets you closer to your goal next time around. Accept that a failure is an option and one that you are quite capable of recovering from, with the right perspective.
As you face creative challenges, I encourage you not to give into fear — in fact, give it a chance. Without fear, there is no bravery. And without bravery, no risks are taken. And you can’t improve if you aren’t taking risks. Learn from what doesn’t work, and use it to build something even better.