There are so many first class copywriters on this platform. I am not one of them. Yet in my role as a digital strategist I have learnt enough to realise they come in a variety of breeds:
📚 The storytellers. We all know that storytelling is a deeply embedded part of the human condition and those that inject humour, sadness, fear and hope into our otherwise predictable days enjoy a brief monopoly over our attention, no matter the competing noise.
🤓 Those that are technically immaculate (will have at some point in their lives owned an item of clothing referencing the Oxford comma). I’m not a huge fan of these people, chiefly because they make me feel rubbish about my own technical deficiencies.
💬 Those that excel with fast paced, conversational and ephemeral content. Their work may not always seem quite so polished, but that’s kind of the point. They’e like the person at the networking event that seems to know everyone and everything. Interesting stuff just follows them around. Needless to say these people are gold within social.
🧠 And those that possess deep subject matter expertise, not for their own business/product (although that’s pretty important) but for their target audience. In B2B this is becoming so valuable. Not merely to have their finger on the pulse, but to be a recognised authority.
In all of these areas the volume and variety of talent seems to be growing by the day.
But there is an exception – an area of copywriting that is at least as important as anything above, and yet seems to be getting less attention than ever before.
Writing copy that actually sells stuff.
This is a discipline entirely in its own right, and has remarkably little correlation with the skills above. In fact, the guy who introduced me to sales copy could barely spell his own name, I’m not sure he knew what a full stop was, let alone a comma, and had a particular gift for inventing his own phrases.
But despite all that he had an astonishing talent for writing sales copy. He understood how the human brain processed information and made decisions, and how to create messaging (invariably festooned with spelling and grammatical cock ups) that gently but relentlessly nudged the audience towards his desired goal.
(I should add it’s not a coincidence that he’s now the most commercially successful person I know. By several zeros).
I don’t pretend to have his gift. Not by a long stretch. But I do have enough experience of working with geniuses like him to understand the principles they follow. You can find them in the attached slides.
Hope they help. And happy selling.