High-powered business folk are busy people. They’re movers and shakers whose livelihoods depend on their ability to build productive relationships. I get that. They make the economy tick.
Yet it’s both a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand, this mindset gets things done quickly and efficiently – both watchwords for enterprise. On the other, those same attitudes leak into the everyday discourse of business.
Important sounding buzzwords might feel impressive in the boardroom, making you look knowledgable – the kind of person who has everything under control. But when you want to build truly trusting, meaningful relationships and persuade people to change their minds – I believe there’s no place for corporate bullshit.
That’s when straight-talking, honest, plain words are the order of the day.
Here’s a neat copywriting example
My client wanted to promote their ‘dynamic communication tools’. These are shiny new tools and techniques they’re rightfully proud of, and their results (almost) speak for themselves.
So in my client’s eyes, that was enough to sell them.
The problem is that ‘dynamic communication tools’ sounds a bit vacuous and generic, doesn’t it? Worse, it sounds just like what everyone else says – something 99% of my clients come to me for help with:
“We’ve tried writing our sales and marketing copy ourselves, but it comes out like something our rivals would say, every time. It’s dull and average. We want to stand out.”
So, as ever, my initial response is to go back to basics: the what, why and how.
In this case, what do we actually mean by ‘dynamic communication tools’? You can’t assume everyone knows what you’re talking about so let’s make the basics clearer. It turns out we mean:
‘Tools like virtual reality and live drama.’
Great. What do they actually do? Well, a bit more digging around with my client reveals that they’re:
‘Immersive tools like virtual reality and live drama connect deeply with people. They bring problems to life.’
What does that actually mean for me, the reader, though? What outcomes can I expect if I buy these special tools?
‘Immersive tools like virtual reality and live drama connect deeply with people. They bring problems to life, so people feel inspired and ready to tackle issues together’
Now we’re talking. These tools will help people solve their own problems? They bring people together too? Sounds like a winner to me. Everyone knows the best fixes happen that way.
You could even explore all the above in your copy. Expand on the ‘why you’re even selling these things in the first place’ – what do you stand for? To continue our example; perhaps you get off on that warm and fuzzy feeling when people have better quality conversations?
It’s a bit longer my way, granted, but it results in copy that’s far more compelling and friendly than ‘leverage full ROI by investing in our dynamic communication tools’.
There’s a time and a place for bullshit (but not in your copywriting)
It’s no wonder your average suit falls into the habit of using vague, often pseudo-scientific terms when it comes to expressing complicated ideas quickly. After all, modern life tends to be quite complex in general, whereas considered communication takes time, effort and the delicate art of simplification.
I say put what little time and effort you do have into copy where it counts. Like in the friendly sales and marketing copywriting example above.
To begin, try getting back to basics with your copywriting.
Write enthusiastically, and do bother getting your readers interested. Don’t be afraid to spell things out for people either. Write something that’s fresh sounding, considered and interesting, and they’ll stick around for longer (or buy, book or enquire) because they want to know more.
If you’re still struggling to write decent copy, drop me a line.