Why A Writer, English Major, Technical Writer, Editor And Other Writers Should NEVER Be Allowed To Critique Your Copywriting!
I never thought of myself as a copywriter. When I started my first store online I just wrote what I would say to people in a store, if I owned a brick and mortar business. It was natural for me. I didn't try or work hard to come up with my big idea or my four legged stool. My passion drove me and I'd just talk honestly about it. Sales came in like crazy!
It was 2006 and I was sitting in a class conducted by one of the best copywriters of our generation, Herschell Gordon Lewis. At the time he was in his late seventies. At first I wondered if I could relate to him. Yes, it was a stupid judgement from my guarded ego that I'd later repent for. When he started talking I was glued to every word. It was a lecture on the art of persuasion. He began to talk about the 'real business' we copywriters are in. "Human psychology is your specialty, not the craft of the english language. You are not a scribe, you're a counselor, therapist, coach and motivator."
His stories captured my heart. I could relate to all of them! He began to tell a story of a 'bean counter' he had to work with. The word he used was 'tolerate'. The bean counter he had to tolerate on a big project he had many years ago. I nearly died laughing when he said, "There is a reason that bean counters count the beans we copywriters create! Don't ever let them touch your work." He would later give a list of others we should NEVER let critique our work: english majors, librarians, editors, technical writers, and the like. Then he made a statement that would forever change my life. "Your work will drive english majors and educated professionals crazy! But let them stay crazy and write words that sell."
To write words that sell we must be master story tellers, and we must master the art of persuasion.
One mistake I see in small business owners, especially the people who are in the list that Herschell gave, is they confuse persuasion with manipuation. I've taught classes where some students 'go off' on me. They start talking to me in a 'teacher's tone' and correcting my work. Mind you, they're in my class because they're broke and they're words are not selling. I've made millions of dollars for myself and my clients, but they want to 'educate' me. And my class. It's important to them to correct my grammar, fix my puncutuation or lack therof and before we know it, they're the loudest voice in the class, irritating everyone.
To be a copywriter we must be human psychologists.
We must know what motivates people, drives them and steers their thoughts. It's imperative that we get into their head, hear the thoughts they have, and bring that into our writing. I call this, 'reading their mind'. You, as the copywriter, must know your client and customers better than they even know themselves. You can predict their next move, their next thought and while they might argue with you, you can probably predict their struggles, challenges and even their next words.
I've trained scientists, practioners, writers, people who barely finished high school and people who don't even have their GED. The best copywriters I've ever worked with are the people who can write just like they talk, naturally and with emotion. They create pictures in our head, dreams in our hearts and cause us to TAKE ACTION. That's why we call it DIRECT response marketing.
This article is in no way an attack on writers, english majors, technical writers or the list that Herschell gave. We need these people! God created them beautifully, powerfully and wonderfully! HOWEVER, they should never edit your work. This is a warning. If you want to be very successful in business and you are going to write your own sales pages, social media posts, emails, mail campaigns and more, you will need to get THICK SKIN.
Shift your focus. Become so customer centric that the customer is always your obsession. Stop worrying about what they might do, might say or might feel. Leave might out the door and know them so well that you KNOW what they WILL say, will feel and will do. This will give you confidence in your writing, your work and more importantly, your ability to write words that sell.
Words that sell flow naturally, like a journal entry and a pouring out of the heart. It's like a wonderful chat across a table with the best latte's and the sun shining in and a baked scone from heaven. It flows beautifully and the warmth is felt with every word. The story is natural, not hypey. The flow is easy, and conversational.
My passion and my 'core copentency' as career coaches call it is to teach people how to write words that sell. If your words don't sell, you're in big trouble in business! You have only two choices: hire someone who can write words that sell or learn how to do it yourself.
In the next week I'm going to open up a 12 month mentorship for 250 people only who will work with Jeremy Krakowski and me every single month in a mastery mentorship on the art of persusasion, writing words that sell and becoming masterful at copywriting. Are you ready to the go to the next level? We are ready to take you there! Keep your ears opened! We'll have a free Q & A call where we can answer all of your questions. I'll post this call in the next few days.
Class starts in late November!
YOU CAN learn to write words that sell!
P.S. If you are a writer, english major, technical writer, editor or any of the things Herschell listed, there is hope, but I will warn you, it will be hard. You will have to unlearn everything you've been taught. Most of you will want to HIRE someone to do your writing for you. Most likely, you're exceptional in other skills like graphics, design, programming and the like. But know this, words that sell speak to the heart, not to systems of writing that make sense in a text book. Walk in the brilliance God gave you and please, stop correcting us copywriters who know how to write words that sell.