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. Sorry. Have a nice day.
For example, when creating your company’s offline or online marketing messages, I WILL NOT:
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.
Tell your customers that your product or service will “give them their life back.”
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.)
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.
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).
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.
And finally, I will never write that your product will deliver an almost-sensual experience (even if your company does make really great chocolate).
Author Joe Starin heads up Hit by a Brick, an independent copywriting resource.