October 3, 2018 by Razvan Rogoz
Want To Write Better Copy? Become A Better Communicator!
I strongly believe if you want to become a better copywriter, you need not become a better writer.
You need to become a better communicator.
This is a different skill because writing is mostly a function of rhetorics. You learn how to express your ideas in a better manner. Communication, on the other side, has everything to do with empathy and seeing the world through the eyes of another person than with impressing them with your ideas.
And this is something that took me a long time to understand in copywriting. Good copy is not measured by the quality of your ideas and writing although these matter. Good copy is copy that enters a dialogue that already exists in the mind of the prospect.
The closer you are to his thoughts, ideas and paradigms, the more persuasive you can be. You can bring brilliant ideas on the table and fall flat because it’s not what he’s thinking. Good copy is not kung-fu.
It is judo.
On a one-to-one level, communication is about listening and about letting you express yourself. Almost all forms of communication are based on shutting your mouth and encouraging the other person to talk, from the basic rules illustrated by Dale Carnegie in “How to Win Friends and Influence People” to sophisticated negotiation manuals where the more the other party reveals, the better.
But you can’t listen in writing.
What you can do though is make him feel understood, name thoughts, ideas, stories that resonate and make him say “me too, me too”.
This is your goal.
You’re not going after the “wow”.
You’re not going after the “that’s impressive”.
You’re not going after “I love this”.
You want the person in front of you to feel understood and lacking the ability to actively listen, you can do this just by naming his thoughts, feelings, emotions and inner world.
Let me take a step back here.
Most of us believe we understand people. Most of us believe we get across to those around us. Believe me, we’re not.
Most people suck at listening, talk too much, are emotionally aggressive, are interested in being right all the time and can’t see through the eyes of the other party even if their life depends on it.
I know this because I’m one.
And after studying this field for the last three months, my life changed completely. I’m getting across to people. My writing connects a lot better. I’m more persuasive. And all of this comes to putting the spotlight on the other person, on making others feel important, as opposed.
And maybe this is the most important element in a sales copy too.
You either get to choose between your ego and your customer. You either get to pick to feel important or you get paid. But you don’t get both.
It’s like the old joke…
If you want to make money fast in advertising, go to someone’s office and offer to put them on a huge billboard. Offer to make them look good and put their company name in huge letters.
This will get you customers but it won’t get them customers.
This will bring you cash, as a copywriter, but it won’t bring them cash, as your customers.
What sells is talking about their customers. It is talking about their needs and fears and wants. It’s focusing 99% on making them feel understood (the people who will pay your customers) and 1% on the customer itself. Best sales letters are like a letter to a narcissistic friend, 100% focus on the person in front of them.
You know, I consider myself a smart and interesting person.
I read a lot and I cool shit in my life.
But when I talk with someone, almost nobody is interested in this. Sure, I see myself cool but they see themselves cooler. If I’m talking with someone, her evening in, watching TV, may be more interesting than me doing bungee jumping.
We’re all self-centered.
We all believe the universe centers on us.
And I’ve noticed an interesting trend. If I let people talk and I’m genuinely interested in what they have to say, not just waiting my turn to talk, they become close. And soon they reciprocate and are interested in me.
I make people interested in me by showing a real and serious interest in them, like they’re the most important person in the world because in their world – THEY ARE.
And if you understand this point, you understand how to write good copy and make friends and have a good life. It’s about suspending your ego and your emotional needs for importance to put the other person first. This is how you win hearts and mind.
You don’t make people come to you by being smarter or more interesting. You make people come to you by making them feel smarter and more interesting when they’re with you.
This is my biggest realization since I’ve first discovered copywriting, about a decade ago. Apply it and it will change your life.