Too often, copywriters, business owners, and just about anyone else for that matter, try to impress people with their vocabulary when writing.
But when it comes to marketing and sales copywriting… $10 words have NO place at the table.
Simply Write Like You Talk
One of the absolute best pieces of advice I ever received when starting out in copywriting was to simply write like you talk.
More specifically, write like you talk… if you could edit yourself.
Obviously, you’re not going to write all the “ums” and “uhhs” we’re all guilty of from time to time. And sometimes we can’t quite think of the word we’re looking for, so we throw in a substitute.
The other day, I could not remember the word “calendar” when I was talking to someone. So I simply called it “that stupid thing”. Luckily, he knew what I meant.
Now, if I wrote a piece of sales copy, I would take a little time and look up the correct word for that stupid thing.
You get my point.
But You Don’t Have to Dumb it Down Too Much
If you write something which is very technical, sometimes jargon and complexity are required. That’s OK.
You can still make your message clear and concise so your readers understand the features and benefits as quickly as possible.
Eugene Schwartz was a famous copywriter in the 50’s and 60’s. He used to say, “Write to the chimpanzee brain – simply and directly.”
No matter how complex the subject matter is, if you truly understand the subject matter, you should be able to write it in such a way just about anyone can understand.
Napoleon was famous for using this concept. While his Officers briefed battle plans to him, his Corporal hung around, feeding horses, and taking care of Napoleon’s uniform.
Then after the briefing was over, Napoleon would ask his Corporal, just a young Soldier with little education, whether he understood the plan or not.
If the Corporal said he understood, Napoleon knew it was a good plan. If the Corporal did not get it… Napoleon would have his Officers come up with a new battle plan — one which was more direct, succinct, and more thought out.
In closing, to write a really great marketing piece which resonates with your intended audience, simply write like you talk.
Pretend you’re sitting at a restaurant with them, talking about this great new product or service you’ve discovered.
Your message will be tighter, more easily understood, and you’ll keep your prospect engaged.
If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you tighten up your messaging and get your cash register ringing, you can check out some of my examples at: