How I write copy (i.e. the Secret Life of a Copywriter.)
In a recent conversation I had with one of the moderators, Brian McLeod, he encouraged and inspired me to share a bit about what I know and how I do what I do.
He thought it might be helpful to folks.
As you may or may not know, I fly under-the-radar about 99% of the time. Bit of a hermit, a recluse, I am.
Today I am going to divulge here a bit on how I write copy. I hope it's useful to you...
In the upper echelons of NLP, there is a concept known as "going first."
Richard Bandler taught me this what seems like decades ago. (Like Gary Halbert with copywriting, Richard is like "the" god of NLP.)
Basically what "going first" means is that if you want someone to feel an emotion like "love," you have to "go first" and feel love--FIRST. And communicate from that "space."
From a copywriter's perspective, what this means is, not just thinking or writing about the emotion you want you reader to feel in some abstract, cerebral sort of way--but feeling it.
Like REALLY feeling it. Digging deep. Then recording somehow because what you come up with will be brilliant.
Most copywriters, and rightly so, research and wordsmith and labor over their work. I do that too.
But what's more valuable and far more fulfilling to me is writing "from the heart." Shutting off that analytical part of my brain just for a while and just relishing in the joy of an emotion I want to invoke or provoke and communicating from it.
You can do this too.
(By the way, I'll bet there's some great stuff on the web about the most important emotions which people use to buy. But that's a different topic.)
Here's what happens when you do.
You lose the "manipulative" element that so pervades most less-than-effective copywriting efforts. You know what I am talking about. Where it's obvious that someone is "selling" you. Readers for the most part push back on that type of copywriting these days.
Your work will be far more original. Because it will be YOU--not a swipe of a swipe of a swipe. You just have to trust yourself and your emotions. Your work will ooze with integrity.
When you "jump into the pool" of an emotion you want to instill and/or describe, you will be amazed how more effective your copywriting will be. You'll ratchet up your copywriting skills 10X at least.
Let me give you a couple of other related ideas:
1. Work only with one emotion at a time. Don't dilute. Don't hold back. Cut loose. "UNLEASH" as I say. You can always edit/cut the "heavy stuff" later.
2. It may help to think in terms of a story or experience in your past where that emotion was overwhelmingly present. Method actors do this. For instance, actors can cry almost on demand because they are able to instantly dredge up a memory they can cry about.
So THIS is how I write copy. I work with the raw, unfiltered emotions people have or they want to have, when it comes to products or services they want in their life.
I don't know if this post is helpful or not. But if it is, let me know and I'll share more in the future.
- Rick Duris
PS: There is only one downside to this strategy of "going first." It's fatiguing. At least to me. It drains me. Every day I "spill my guts."
But at the same time, I rest my head each night knowing I have done my best work.
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