5 ways to put the fun into copywriting Monday October 17, 2016
“Fun? Having fun while creating content?” I can hear the protests now. I love being a copywriter for many reasons. But while my role makes me happy, I find that many business-owners dread the prospect of creating content. In their eyes, it is a huge, never-ending job. Not fun. I hear so many people sigh at the thought of looking at their content. They recognise the value of content and the fact that a great copywriting strategy can make the difference between getting noticed and being ignored. Yet they see the whole process of copywriting and planning content as a chore, a bore and a task. One big part of the problem is that it isn’t their day job as it has been mine for 13-plus years, But it’s more than that. I think it’s easy for business-owners to get into a state where they view content just as something to fill the spaces and complete the gaps and that makes them feel stressed.
One of my golden rules
One of my golden rules for when I’m writing content is that I have to find it interesting to write or people won’t find it interesting to read. Actually, I think if I’m not enjoying the writing process, there’s something very wrong. It doesn’t matter whether I’m copywriting for a manufacturing company, a firm of solicitors or a boutique hotel. If the writing process isn’t rewarding, it’s time to stop and take a fresh look at what I’m doing.
So yes, I think fun has a big part to play in copywriting. Enjoying your content process can make you more creative and your content more effective.Here are a few ways to help bring back the fun when you’re creating your content:
1. Try something different
One of the biggest blocks to having fun? Trying too hard, of course. Now, I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t put your best into your content and copywriting approach. But why not try lightening up a little? It could prove surprisingly powerful. So many companies try writing with the straitjacket of professionalism on, even when their particular industry or audience is open to something a bit bolder. So, have fun trying out a more unusual tone of voice, instead of bland and neutral. Just one example of this is the client of mine who asked me to create a sarcastic tone of voice for their website and brochures. This had such a great impact that it ended up being imitated by one of their competitors. So, go on, relax and try something a little different. You may be surprised at what happens.
2. Bring in your team
Team building? What’s that got to do with creating content and planning your copywriting approach? Well, quite a lot. Great content should bring together messages from across a business. Asking your team about how they want to communicate about the business can be very revealing. Why not use your need for content as an opportunity to uncover what your team sees as your company’s strengths and skills? You might be surprised at what you find out. You could do this as group activity or simply by asking a series of questions. These could be around how your employees see the company, the kind of feedback they receive from customers and the value they think the business provides. You could gain all kinds of valuable perspectives, depending on different staff roles and how long they’ve been in the business.
3. Take it personally
In life, amazing things can happen when you share something of yourself. It’s the same in copywriting. Seeing content creation as a chore will keep it limited to a job to be got through as quickly as possible. But viewing it as a chance to share something about your story and what makes you tick will bring the process and the content itself to life. We all have different “sharing thresholds”. So experiment. Try writing from a more personal perspective and see how you feel. Does the process of copywriting for your business become easier or harder? Bringing in a more personal angle can help to reveal the story behind your business.
4. Don’t forget to smile
Yes, smiles are permitted in the copywriting process! A little humour can be a very serious advantage in business content. Think about the funny things that have affected your business and the interesting ways you’ve helped your clients. These stories can turn your content into something your audience wants to read like nothing else. Bring in the powerful art of humour and you’ll really start to enjoy the art of copywriting for your business.
5. Keep note of the daft
Don’t delete so fast! I know you want to create your content and move on to the next project, but deleting those more unusual ideas could work against you. Take your time and allow the daft ideas to remain on the page or screen for now. Then revisit them. They may hold the seeds of something useful. That’s certainly been the case when I’m copywriting for businesses. I won’t let an idea go until I’m sure that’s nothing I can do with it. So, relax, let the ideas flow, turn off your critical inner voice and trust the process. Then, when you’ve let the power of fun shape your copywriting approach, you can refine the content to its very best.
So there we are: fun and copywriting go together better than many business-owners seem to think. Business content is seriously valuable, but for the best results, fun isn’t an optional extra. Used in the right way, it can be a force for good in creating content that gains your business the right kind of attention.
Camilla Zajac, Green Light Copywriting, October 2016