01 May Copywriting tip 11: Get passionate
I love breakfast. It’s often my only meal of the day.
I’m quite the connoisseur.
Fussy, you could say.
The way I judge a good breakfast? By the passion with which it’s cooked.
I can tell.
Some breakfasts look the part. But they have no soul.
All the elements are there. But placed on the plate with precision, not passion.
Others are scruffy, bread thick and warm, beans piled on, bacon buried in mushrooms.
Plates you need to dig down into. Not the prettiest-looking.
Yeah: that’s got passion.
It’s the same with copy.
You can tell when the writer’s going through the motions. Ticking the boxes.
Sure, doing a professional job.
But cold. Distant.
Great copy has soul. It moves you.
Reminds me of that wonderful Maya Angelou quote:
‘At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did,
they will remember how you made them feel.’
Last year, I had a breakfast with my mum, in the UK. At Shoreham airport, believe it or not.
Can’t remember what I ordered. A full English, knowing me.
But, even now, my mum and I judge every breakfast with:
‘Was it as good as Shoreham airport?’
I remember how that breakfast made me feel. And always will.
Good copy should do the same.
So, what does that mean?
Mad-man great, Leo Burnet:
‘When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get them,
but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.’
How often do we sit down to write a piece of copy, and reach for the mud.
‘Oh, it’s just the weekly newsletter. Any old stuff will do.’
As you sit down to write, get passionate. Think: ‘This is going to change someone’s life.’
Sure: it might not be particularly interesting to you. The topic may even bore you.
But find the passion.
You should find that through your homework.
Really walk in the audience’s shoes. Dig deep into the subject matter.
Another quote from Mr Burnett:
‘There is an inherent drama in every product
– our number one job is to dig for it and capitalize on it.
Steep yourself in your subject, work like hell,
and love, honour and obey your hunches.’
Find the drama. Get excited about what that drama will mean.
Pour that passion onto the page.
Your copy will burst like a perfectly poached egg.
And make the reader hungry for more.
This tip is based on my 30 Tips in 40 Minutes webinar.
Feel free to download a version of the slides and watch a video of the one-hour webinar.
Image source: Pixabay