Forget Trying to be Creative, Clever, Or Ingenious. Your Job Is to Sell.

Perfection is merely a word and it means good

One of the best advice I always try to put at the tip of my pen when creating sales copy is this:

Forget trying to be creative.

Forget trying to be clever.

Forget trying to be a badass.

Just sell the damn thing.

Gary Halbert gave this advice in one of his newsletters, and in my opinion, it’s one of the best pieces of advice for getting things done quickly.

Here’s why:

If you are a copywriter or a direct response marketer, or say, someone who does any task intended to get people to buy something. 9 out of 10 times, when you create copies, you’d be apprehended by the common thought of creating a masterpiece.

A masterpiece so good, so compelling, so persuasive and convincing no mortal would be able to resist. 

So, you wear your creative cap, carry every known tool, and get down to work. To labor.

But that’s garbage. You know it. The thought of creating a masterpiece almost always wrecks our ability to create anything at all.

Trying to get creative destroys our ability to hear the conversations between our hearts and us. Yet, much of what we create is merely a product of those conversations.

Our thoughts and experiences play a powerful role in the things we create. What comes out from us at the moment is a mix of what we feel and think at the moment. Forcing in on creativity and ingenuity destroys the natural flow of language inside us.

It makes us less good and less confident. It puts fear into our reasoning and instead of sitting down to enjoy the process, we battle for hours over a perfect first sentence that doesn’t exist.

Sometimes we can’t help it. The temptation is always there to create at a certain level of perfection. But nothing is perfect and imperfect. What is, and what is not is only a matter of what we think and how we think about it.

Perfection cannot be achieved by laboring over a piece for infinity or by being creative. It can however be achieved by putting ourselves at peace and hearing our own silence while we do our job.

Perfection can be thought of as merely a word. And it means good. Though, good has variations in context and content. But that’s fair enough.

Sometimes we ask when is it good enough? 

It’s a tough question whose answer lies within the consciousness of the creator. 

Good enough varies with experience, context, and taste. Our taste and meaning of good enough change as we grow. But we must find a way to remember that good enough is not forever. 

That’s where the trap is.

Here’s one thing that’s parallel for every artist and every trader:

You don’t get off being good.

Getting good is a process. One which must be acknowledged and respected by every creator. That’s the summary.

So when I sit to write copies, I say to myself:

Forget trying to be creative. Forget trying to be clever. Forget trying to be a badass. Just sell the damn thing.

Putting this advice at the front helps me shift my focus from trying to create a masterpiece to simply creating. It helps me relax and see the job for what it is. And that is to create. Nothing more.

Focus on the most important thing.

The most important thing is to sell. Or to write to sell. So everything you do should be routed on that note. But it’s very easy to go off track. It’s easy to begin to consider things that are unimportant to the sales process. And it’s not hard to tell why.

First, there are quite a number of lessons in copywriting and advertising. 

Perhaps too many. 

Different strategies, different formulas, different methods, and different tricks. All designed to disarm prospects. 

Which will you employ in your work?

Secondly, there’s this general belief that humans are hard to convince. And it’s true. So, to do a fairly good job, you must use different psychological tricks to anesthetize their brains. 

And as a copywriter, you don’t know which of your strategies would hit the hardest. So you ram several strategies into your work to increase the number of blows. Who knows what?

The result of all these strategies, all these psychological tricks, all these properties, and methods is we become overwhelmed. 

They make our ads longer, and more complex than required. They force us to say things we don’t intend to say and make us think all has been said good.

But nothing has been said. 

What we have is a compound of disconnected thoughts.

To cure all these jams, and have a copy that is both persuasive and compelling, you don’t have to discard all the lessons and strategies. What you do is you find a rhythm between them all. You plug them all into one single purpose. So that when you come to use them, they advance that purpose.

Here’s what I mean:

When I write copies, I have only one job, and that job, amidst everything, is to find and supply irresistible reasons why my prospect should buy.

To me, that’s the entirety of marketing and copywriting. To find and supply irresistible reasons and motives that will start my prospects’ voluntary actions.

That is my lead. It supplies the shape and colors for everything I do.

So when I study my product and market in painful details, it’s because I’m trying to gather reasons and motives why my prospects should buy.

When I collect testimonials of satisfied customers, it’s still because I’m trying to give my prospect hot reasons to buy.

When I tell stories in my copies, I do because the story has the potential of changing their perspective and giving them reasons to buy.

The entire prose, the figures, and charts, the proofs, everything is routed to provide reasons why people should buy.

And that’s it.

It makes the entire process make sense, less terrifying and powerful. And above all, it forces a pattern of organization into my work. A pattern where everything works for a purpose. A useful one at that.

Supplying reasons why people should buy your product may not be everything about copywriting and advertising. But it’s a good place to start and finish. It’s a place to find a reasonable balance between all the thousands of techniques and strategies that may not make as much sense.  

It’s a place to focus, where you cannot lose focus.

In the end, The Keyword is simplicity

Good writing, they say is clear writing. So is good copy. It is clear message. Sometimes the process and tools we put in place complicate the actual task of creating.

We often cloud our message with several complex syntaxes and grammars. With different forms, shapes, and clauses. Yet Abraham said, sometimes, the best ad to sell a horse is simply “Horse for Sale”

There’s a certain kind of power that comes with simplicity: simple words, short sentences, active verbs, simple constructs… In this power, you find newness, clarity, persuasion, rhythms, waves, invisibility, and the gift to say anything in any form and any shape.  

It pays to go simple and short. Short, not in terms of the entire copy. But in terms of structure and form, words and sentences, thoughts and pace. You’d find it brings you peace. It makes you relax. It simplifies the work ahead and makes it less terrifying. It breaks down the entire process and brings them to you word by word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence. 

And by the time you look back, you’d find a powerful rhythm trailing behind you.

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