Don Draper taught us a little bit about how to be terrible human beings and great copywriters. In This Book Will Teach You How To Write Better, Neville Medhora helps improve your copywriting without betraying your family and spiraling into darkness.
“No one cares about me, they care about themselves…” “No one cares about me, they care about themselves…..” “No one cares about me, they care about themselves…….”
One scene I still think about today is when he’s in the elevator with Ginsberg, aka the Superstore guy. Ginsberg thinks Don isn’t a good person and says that he feels bad for him. Don’s reply? “I don’t think about you at all.”
It was a huge lesson for me: people don’t think about you that often. Even if something happened between you and one other person, good or bad, they aren’t thinking about you.
They’re thinking about themselves too much to worry about you. Think about your end. Even if you’re thinking about them, it’s actually in relation to how it affects you.
When writing copy for an audience, don’t talk about you. They’re not thinking about you. They’re thinking about themselves so tell them how you can help them.
Waaayy too many websites/emails/letters incessantly talk about themselves first. Kind of like: Welcome to Ace Tennis Coaching. We are dedicated to serving our customers. We have been focusing on quality service for years, and have a dedicated staff to help fulfill your tennis needs. Our team is focused on quality coaching and delivering great training. We aim to serve our customers needs blah BLah BLAH.
We we we. It should be about you you you. We’re great because we do this. Well how about you’ll feel like you have Andre Agassi’s mullet after going through a session.
Don Draper didn’t talk about Kodak. He made you feel the importance of preserving your memories. What if you could re-watch your life? You can’t put a price on them. (But Kodak can!)
It’s easy to say what you’ve done. But focus more on what you’ll do for the customer. If someone comes to your house for help with something you wouldn’t walk them straight to your trophy case. Pass by it and let them notice the rec league championships on their own. Jump right into how you can help.
This is actually a shockingly easy task to do, and I’m going to reveal how…right now on the next page: Write casual copy! ….that’s it. That’s the whole secret!
I don’t do this enough. I’m trying to do this now and I still have a hard time doing it. Something that’s helped me is writing an email draft.
While I was reading this book, I subscribed to a few copywriting mailing lists. Because they’re good at their jobs, I also now have been sold a bunch of copywriting Info products.
Anyway, while reading this, I sent a daily email to a friend. I let him know it was just practicing writing more casual posts. Writing in iOS mail or the Gmail app helped a lot. It’s a different environment which gave me a different mindset.
iOS Notes and Evernote have everything and I sometimes get the feeling that I won’t publish things I write in these apps. It might be that percentage-wise, most notes are a few sentences (or even a few words) that are never intended for publishing. Too casual.
Ulysses and Google Docs are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They’re not casual enough. I feel like I need to polish things there.
Writing emails brings out the right amount of casualness. I also know that my friend (my podcast co-host Wally) actually reads the emails. They say you should have a reader in mind so I literally had a single reader in mind.