Updated: Mar 8
Whether you are a seasoned marketer or a budding entrepreneur, there are times when you need to write that proposal, business plan, marketing copy...the list goes on.
Even for bright-eyed creative people like you and me, our creativity muscle gets tired, and our words can start to drag their feet and feel boring every now and then.
We get bored of the work in front of us, and whatever we write. When you realize your writing starts to feel “meh”, you put up a good fight and wrestle with this boredom. After 20 re-writes, your copy still sounds “meh”.
"OMG, what’s wrong with me? I can’t do this. I’m a fraud. This sucks. I suck…..Oh god…"
But don’t panic and spiral into imposter syndrome. Because writing boredom is actually a thing! Sometimes it’s also known as writer’s block.
In fact, writer’s block doesn’t just happen when you don’t know what to write. You can be struggling with writing copy that just doesn’t sound right. The words just aren’t flowing out of your brain. Whatever you’re writing right now doesn’t sing to you!
Stay calm. Because I got you. If you scroll down a little further, I’ve got a simple way to help you go from writing boring copy to writing awesome copy in no time.
But before you skip scroll any further, take a few minutes for some deep breaths first. Because this recommendation requires your imagination.
Ok. Ready? Here we go.
The trick to writing awesome and engaging copy is to tell stories.
Traditionally, copywriting is all about advertising and sales (think Don Draper and his team of writers from Mad Men). And these days, copywriting is all about storytelling.
Yup, it’s like your favourite childhood fairy tales and stories. Our customers want to be inspired and carried along a journey of discovery.
That’s why storytelling is such an important technique for any marketing writing.
But, to be honest with you, I find the word “storytelling” an overused buzzword in the marketing world these days.
Yeah, I hear you. At one point I also felt just as confused, thinking “How the $%^& do I write a story for my business? Where do I start???”
So, I devised a little imaginative exercise on my own to get my storytelling juices flowing.
Here it is.
Imagine your target audience isn’t your target audience, but it’s your Tinder date (or whatever dating platform you fancy). Because work is boring, and going out on a date on Friday night is more fun.
Your date will ask you “So…what do you do?”
You start with telling your story (not reciting every word on your work bio).
You gently keep eye contact with each other as you tell your story with a relaxed smile and demeanour.
It’s conversational and friendly. It creates moments for your date to “ooh” and “aah” and “that’s so cool, tell me more”.
That’s when you know you’ve established a connection with your date, and it encourages you to go on and reveal more about your story.
Ok, now let’s jump back to reality.
What does this mean for copywriting?
I’d like to think of copywriting, not as writing, but as having a friendly conversation with my target audience. Like a date. Someone you really want to meet and form a meaningful connection with.
Dating, like copywriting, takes time to establish a connection, and build trust and confidence over time. You don’t jump straight into the deep end right away. You start the conversation, unhurried, and warm up to each other and keep it conversational and friendly throughout.
So, give your date a name and “write” like how you would talk with your date. I call my imaginary date John – it’s my boyfriend’s middle name and it helps me keep the chemistry going (tee-hee).
And if you find typing in front of your laptop boring (because it is), tap your copy out on a notes app on your phone. Like you’re chatting with your date on WhatsApp. Or sit in your favourite café, even if it’s just for 10 minutes during your break, to get the words out.
Give this exercise a go. I promise it will be fun.
Then compare your new copy with the boring ones you’ve written. This is the difference you’re gonna see…
...from boring copy like…
“XYZ brand strives to provide high-quality and innovative products and services for its customers. For more information, please contact us at…”
“Hey John, we know that quality and innovation are things you care about. That’s why, at XYZ brand, our products are carefully crafted with people like you in mind. Care to learn more? Here’s our number. Call us, maybe?”
I just made that up on the spot.
But you can see how, with a little imagination injected into your copywriting process, you can transform boring copy into engaging and conversational words that make your target audience want to engage with you.
So…the moral of the story?
Yes, your writing will get boring from time to time. But with a little imagination, you can take yourself out of “work mode” and immerse into a fun situation like dating to come up with better words that your business truly deserves.
Remember, it’s not really writing we're doing here. We’re not writing novels or academic essays.
Instead, we’re putting specific words together and publishing them out there to make meaningful connections with people that we care about.
And people, regardless of their age or background, are not keen on boring script-like boilerplate words. But they love to hear a good story.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio / pexel.com