As copywriters and web marketers, I think it's time we asked ourselves this question:
Why do so many of us shy away from using powerful, emotionally-charged words to describe what we can offer the world?
A while back I was skimming an old blog entry written by another copywriter, and nodding along in agreement with her frustration. Apparently she had been dealing with a few clients who wanted to water down the copy and take away the weighty punch that makes her so good at what she does (that's my own translation of the blog post; I can't remember her exact words). At the time, I felt the exact pain of what this copywriter was trying to convey. And then I experienced it all over again!
Exceptional copywriters know that good, solid copy shakes up the reader with an emotionally-charged message. If you're a writer, you may find as I do that folks feel the magnetic pull of your website copy and articles. They see what you've done for yourself, and they crave the same for their businesses. So you bring them to life for their own audiences with copy that makes the reader sit bolt upright and drink them in; and they love it. “Thanks Dina, you make me look GOOD!" they say.
But then you visit their site a few months later to find that someone replaced your perfectly worded persuasive pitch with a mealy-mouthed, watered-down version that's turned them into a carbon-copy of every other guy selling the same exact thing. Apparently the power copy was too much for them to handle.
So now I must ask the question: WHY?
Why, when you show people the truth of their beauty in plain English, does it make them feel uncomfortable?
"You make me look GOOD. "
Well, yeah, I may have said it in just the right way, but it was the truth, wasn't it? You ARE good. And the world deserves to know about it.
People spend their entires lives trying to prove themselves, yet when you hand them accolades on a platter they send it back and ask for a cracker instead.
Describing something in a colorful way. Adding a little extra zing to an ordinary sentence. Telling the same old story but putting a heartful human interest spin on it. This is the stuff that great copy is made of! The object is to stand out in the crowd. And yet, nobody wants to take that bold step.
Why? It's just words. Why are people afraid of words, when those words make them sound beautiful?
Is it that they fear they'll have to live up to the expectations?
Is it the white sheep syndrome? “I'll only do it if everyone else is doing the same thing"?
Oh, wait. But if you do the same thing as everyone else, then no one will notice you. And you wanted to be noticed which is why you paid over 2,000 dollars to have your image changed.
I guess a copywriter shouldn't care what happens to the copy after it leaves our computers and we get paid for our time and effort.
But if you're a really good copywriter you probably do care.
As a business owner who pays advertising professionals to dress up your image, are you hiding behind a sterile message? I really hope not.
If you're not afraid to tell the web how truly fantastic you are, then visit my URL below and let's talk about your next web copywriting project.
Copyright 2006 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.
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