Don’t Be Too Clever

Let’s face it. Even copywriters (who know the sole purpose of the copy is to sell stuff) have a tendency to try to get clever with their words.

An interesting metaphor… maybe a clever turn-of-phrase.

But the purpose of a copywriter is to write so the product sells.

Clever Kills Cash

Being too clever with your writing detracts from the product or service which you’re selling. Yet many copywriters, or worse, the client, want to see fancy words which look and sound pretty.

Yes, it may sound nice and be a great piece of prose… but does it get the prospect to pull out their credit card and plunk down some cash?

A famous copywriter named Gary Bencivenga once said, “Effective copywriting is salesmanship in print, not clever wordsmithing.

Make no mistake — as a copywriter, you’re selling! You’re a salesman. Your job is to convey information to the prospect which shows the benefits of your solution to his or her problem.

You aren’t doing it door-to-door. You aren’t doing it in a mall kiosk.

You’re doing in print. And when you talk to someone… trying to convince them to hand over their hard earned money, you don’t talk in fancy prose.

You convey information succinctly and smartly.

So next time you’ve got a sales piece to write for a client, turn off your inner-Hemingway. Just pretend you’re trying to sell the solution to a prospect in person. Then type.