In my post on real-world copywriting, I came out strong… “Flying the flag” for a new kind of copywriting that turns its back on hard-sell nonsense.
But as soon as I posted it, I started hearing the chatter.
“Who do you think you are—Jerry Maguire?
“Like you’re just going to write up some kind of manifesto and ask who’s coming with you?”
But I am allowed to do the kind of work I want to, right? Real-world copywriting is about only that—nothing more, nothing less. It’s about trying to find some kind of practice that makes me feel good about getting up in the morning.
Regardless, it’s the second question I keep hearing—more than a few times—that’s got me shook.
“Copywriting is about getting conversions. Why wouldn’t you want to do whatever it takes to get them? Don’t you think clients are going to fire you? Selling is a copywriter’s job!”
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t really thought of that—because the truth is I’ve gone back and forth on that very issue for a couple of years now.
Funny thing though—I’m actually not shrinking from the job of a copywriter.
I’m not even remotely against using psychology and behavior to inform copywriting to help clients sell more.
In fact, I’ve built a thriving copywriting practice—as well as a beautiful house if you’ll allow me to brag for a second—by embracing psychology and behavior, and by relentless pursuing better copy.
Here’s a quote from Eugene Schwartz, author of Breakthrough Advertising:
[Copywriting is] not about building better mousetraps. It is, however, about building larger mice—and then building a terrifying fear of them in your customers.
I’m behind that sentiment, 100%.
You’ll always sell more by identifying a problem your reader didn’t quite realize they had, then agitating that problem until they’re interested in the solution you have to offer…
And I’ll always be able to write better copy for you if you let me do that.
Unfortunately, the spirit of that quote has been perverted, and now we see a lot of this kind of sales copy:
I’m ready to STOP missing out on the big-ticket income I deserve! I’m excited to sell $500 to $5000 Big Ticket Offers without all the hassle! Give me your course so I can start selling big-ticket products like clockwork using email and a special order form. I understand I only need to write at a 6th-grade level and I WON’T be required to put on webinars, write long sales letters, or be tied to my phone doing strategy sessions.
That’s cash-first copywriting right there—and that’s what I want to stamp out.
No, I don’t want to write bland copy that doesn’t do anything to sell your product or service.
But I won’t write cheesy, sleazy, hard-sell copywriting, either—the kind of stuff that makes your customers think you’d say anything and do anything to increase the percentage of people who bought from you.
And I think you want, too—
Copywriting for the real world.