What was the last piece of copy or content you wrote?
Do you remember?
Was it an email? A blog post? A social media post? A sales page?
Then ask yourself… “Did the message in that copy mean something to me? Did I really mean the words I wrote? Or did I just write them to get something onto the page?”
I’m asking because… just before I sat down to write this to you, I read an email from a hot-shot marketing mentor who’s splashing her cute self all over Facebook these days. If I were to evaluate this email from a copywriting perspective, it was good! Snappy opening. Clear, one-pointed message. Casual, conversational style. One call to action. Distinct personality and voice.
But… it fell flat. Something was missing. It came off as all-formula, no soul. All pre-fab, no inspiration.
All sugary-sweet icing, but no cake.
Last week in my Facebook Group, Copy Confidence, we dissected a social media post I’d found while scrolling through my Facebook feed (which is overstuffed with sponsored posts from marketers, sales experts, and (sadly) online dating sites for people over 50 ?).
This particular post had caught my overly tired eyes because the instant I read the headline, I was skeptical. And slightly annoyed. It read like this:
? NOW HEAR THIS! ? ANYONE can grow a super-successful business online!
Master these 5 things and you’ll be crushing it in no time, even if your tech-y skills are…
Here’s why it bugged me. I didn’t believe this headline. It felt hypey and trite and untrue.
But what really, really bugged me was… I don’t believe the woman who wrote this post believes her headline either.
My hit was she wrote her headline and her entire post without any true inner conviction about what she was saying. She was just writing something she thought (or hoped) would convince people to click her link and watch her videos.
Her intention was clear. But her conviction… mmmm, not so much.
Write Like You Mean It
If you want your peeps to pay attention and buy into what you write, you have to mean what you write and write what you mean. (Oh, this reminds me of a writing prompt I love. I’ll share it below.)
Your ideal peeps are way to savvyto fall for fluff, fakery, or falseness of any kind. Any message that stinks of manufactured enthusiasm, overblown promises, or sugary seduction is simply not going to work.
Not any more.
We’ve all been so over-saturated with that superficial (and slightly shady) folderol that it has zero impact. Yawn! Click. What’s next?
Equally, we’re becoming immune to perfectly crafted copy that checks all the boxes when it comes to form, style, and text-book technique but lacks that certain human something. That personal passion, conviction, and honesty that makes a message believable, relatable, and alive.
So, write like you mean it!
Pour your truth, passion and honesty excitement into your copy. Let your energy, ideas, and inspiration lead the way and be willing to share what’s real and true and meaningful to you.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself after you’re pretty clear on what you want to write about but before you actually put pen to paper. Ask yourself…
1. Why am I writing this? Why is this important to me or my peeps?
2. How do I feel about this subject? Does it light me up, drag me down, make me pissed, or set my heart on fire?
3. Am I writing this because I feel called to? Or because I think I should?
4. Am I, in this moment, fully connected to and aligned with this message?
Your answers to these questions will make clear whether the copy you’re about to write will have the energy, inspiration, and raw honesty to ring true and resonate at a deep level with your peeps.
“I Can’t Care About This Today!”
Okay, sure… you’re going to have days where it’s just not happening. Days when you have zero inspiration, zero passion and zero energy for anything other than watching DIY shows on TV and shoveling chocolate cheesecake into your mouth.
On those days, cut yourself some slack (and another piece of cheesecake) and just do the best you can.
We all have times when we have to write and finish something when we don’t want to. So, if find yourself writing with a whole lot of resentment and very little focus, ask yourself… “What do I care about right now, and can I write about that? Can I make chocolate cheesecake relevant to this piece somehow?”
If the answer is, “No,” then ask yourself, “What do I need to do right now to feel ever more slightly aligned and into what I’m writing right now? And be open and receptive to an answer.
Bonus! Here’s a prompt I give to my clients when they’re about to free-write their first drafts. First, I give them a 4-point prep that gets them primed and pumped up to write. Then, I tell them, “If you’re writing and you suddenly get stuck or feel you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere, just write, ‘What I really mean to say is….’ and then write whatever comes to you.”
This prompt will help you dig down and get reconnected to the message you truly want to deliver. Try it the next time you’re free writing a first draft of something.
Keep coming back to what you really mean to say. And then write like you mean it!