Seven things I won’t do as your new copywriter.

Copywriting is a great profession. Every day I get to learn and write about new companies, new industries, new products, and new services. And the ultimate goals? Make your company look good, differentiate what you’re marketing, and make your firm more competitive.

But, I have a stubborn side. Hire me as your new copywriter and there are some things I simply will NOT do. Period. Done. Over and out. Have a nice day.

For example, when creating your company’s offline or online marketing messages, I WILL NOT:

  1. Use the word “hero” to describe your product. Or service. Or company. Or employee. Heroes are rare. Heroes are special. Even the word itself is special.
  2. Tell your customers that your product or service will “give them their life back.”
  3. Tell customers that “It’s not your fault” when describing a problem that your product is designed to eliminate. (Many times it is their fault.)
  4. Generously use the words “I,” “we” and “our” in your marketing copy unless threatened with a pointed stick. Why? Because these words talk about your company when you should be talking about your customer.
  5. Use a fifty-cent word when a nickel word will do. Simple words are better (unless the message needs to be highly technical or sophisticated).
  6. Disrespect the reader by using wild superlatives, making claims that can’t be substantiated, or forcing the reader to plow through massive amounts of text.
  7. And finally, I will never write that your product will deliver an almost-sensual experience (even if your company does make really great chocolate).

About the author: Joe Starin heads up Hit by a Brick, a Midwest copywriting resource.

Written by Joe Starin

Advertising copywriter Joe Starin has successfully marketed some of America’s most-notable companies, including a high percentage of Fortune 500 firms. They include Avery Dennison, Diebold, Forest City Enterprises, Walmart, Sherwin Williams, STERIS, Dow Chemical, Krylon, Kaiser Permanente, and dozens of others. Career stops include senior copywriter positions at Cleveland’s Dix & Eaton (MarComm group), Poppe Tyson (formerly The Jayme Organization), and Akron, Ohio’s Malone Advertising. Companies call on Joe for his ability to: 1) generate interesting and powerful text, 2) provide hard-hitting creative concepts, 3) position products, services and companies, and 4) help create winning marketing programs. But he’s best known for combining original creative thought with just the right words to help companies and organizations become more visible and competitive. His writing is always intelligent, friendly, professional, and infused with creativity. And he’s equally comfortable writing online and offline.

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