Wanna hear my new definition of good copywriting?
I have to warn you…
It might screw with your current perception.
So you can say “no.”
I won’t be offended.
You asked for it.
Here we go.
Good copywriting is…
A Two-Way Conversation Driven By One Side
You feel me?
Is that resonating?
Now, I know you may be wondering about all the formulas and frameworks sitting on your harddrive right now.
The ones that show you how to agitate, and propagate, and educate, and motivate…
Am I saying those are wrong?
I’m saying those things are fundamental.
Which means two things…
1) They are necessary. And…
2) They are available to everyone.
See the problem?
If you’re relying solely on formulas to guide your copy, you are a human robot.
And, you and I both know how that’s about to end.
Take another look at my definition: Good copywriting is a two-way conversation driven by one side.
What would you say is the key word there?
(If we were live right now I’d offer a cash prize for the first correct answer, because it’s important.)
Yes, very good…
A quick definition search gives us:
- a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.
“… ideas are exchanged”
I like that.
A conversation is an exchange.
However, unlike in-person conversations, our job as copywriters is to make the reader feel as if they are involved in the conversation – even though they are only receiving it.
This is true… no matter which type of conversation you’re choosing to have.
For instance, for these Sunday Series emails, I usually choose to have an intimate conversation.
So, while I’m deciding what to share, how to describe it, which parts to keep or delete… it’s all through the lens of your experience.
Every choice around tone, pace, timing, is made with the hope that it flows in such a way that things are revealed in real-time.
So you feel like you’re here with me inside the moment.
Those conversations are the most meaningful to me, but we need to have different types of conversations at different times for different reasons.
Today, because my goal is to teach something, I’m using a different tone.
A lecture tone.
Every choice I’m making right now is through the lens of giving a talk, not having a talk.
(If you can imagine my voice echoing through a room as you read this, I’m nailing it.)
Point is, there are no set rules on how to have a conversation, so long as it feels like a conversation.
For instance, memes are a conversation.
No rules other than what you say, and the way you say it, resonates with the reader.
And gets the reaction you intended.
That’s the definition of good writing in general.
But, it is absolutely essential to good copywriting.
All the formulas are useful, but only as a checklist to make sure you get the important bits in.
If you want to be really good, and “AI proof” your career, don’t just give information…drive conversations.
No, please sit.
Oh, you’re too kind.