Advanced Copywriting Secrets: How to Bring Your Writing to Life!

June 17, 2010

A lot of readers have asked me if there’s a secret copywriting technique to adding more texture and dimension to the general message of what they would like to write. And my answer is “yes”!

More often than not, people provide just the mere facts in their writing, often forgetting to include emotive and sensory words that give readers a true picture of what they’re reading. It is very important to paint a picture of what you are trying to communicate because this makes it easier for your readers to “see” the image you’re trying to create.

Therefore as you write, try to visualize the message of what you want to convey. If you are writing about a product, or anything at all, one of the most important copywriting skills you have to learn is thinking in pictures!

Describe your product in vivid detail, right down to its textures and colors. There is no limit to your imagination and  you may even add interesting details such as whether there are other characters in the scene you’re trying to visualize. What are their expressions? How they are feeling? Whatever your imagination may be, the key thing is to share with your readers what they will see, hear, feel, taste or even smell when they use your product – any product – be it a meat patty maker or a hamburger!

With that in mind, let’s play a visualisation game to help you improve the clarity and control of your mental imagery. Picture the sequence of events as your readers use or consume these common objects. How would your scene unfold?

  • An electric fruit juicer
  • A bar of chocolate
  • A bottle of wine
  • A mountain bike
  • An electronic gadget such as a smartphone
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Get Inside Your Reader’s Mind with this Powerful Visualization Exercise

February 12, 2010

One of the biggest challenges in writing good, effective copy is finding out what your readers want.

What exactly motivates them towards responding to a call to action? What are their pains, fears, doubts that we, as solution providers, have to address and resolve?

By understanding your reader, it makes the selling process a lot easier. Think of it as a relationship with your loved one. It’s always a wonderful feeling to be understood and treated the way we want, don’t you agree? In fact, most relationships sour as a result of conflicts that arise from not understanding each other’s needs. It’s the same with copywriting – you have to know what makes your readers tick in order for them to respond to your offer.

While there are many ways to collect information about your readers such as drudging over marketing research, studying endless business reports or talking to salespeople for several hours long, there is one special technique that can help you get inside your reader’s mind within minutes. And you don’t even have to leave your seat!

Here’s what you should do:

1. Take a few deep breaths and relax.

2. Now imagine (you may choose to close your eyes if you want to) your reader sitting in front of you.

3.  Open up a conversation by asking questions about what they feel about your product or service. Imagine your reader responding to you and listen attentively for answers.  How does he or she sound? Does your reader sound happy, or frustrated or angry?

4. As you recall this imaginary conversation after the exercise, make a list of what was “discussed”

QuickStart Copywriter’s Tip: It helps to create a list of questions before you start this exercise so you have a mental guide of the things you should ask


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Creative Thinking Technique #4 – Reframe Your Perspective of a Product by Turning Negatives into Positives

January 19, 2010

The term “reframing” is a technique that originates from therapy and the work of renowned psychotherapist Virginia Satir.  More specifically, reframing is a technique that dramatically changes the meaning of something you’ve seen or believed in and thereby changing your perspectives.

One example of reframing is to turn something that appears to be negative into a positive and you can apply it even in your approach to creative thinking! Let’s take your product for example. As you study it from every possible angle, make a detailed list of its negative characteristics that skeptics might point out to you or things that your client would never want anyone to know.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Why might customers decide not to buy it?
  • What are its obvious disadvantages and flaws?
  • What negative reputation has it received in the past?
  • What could go wrong if it were used in a non-standard, particular way?
  • What criticisms would people out of your target group tell you?

From your findings, take each negative answer and ask yourself how could it be turned into a positive. If your product is overly expensive, what could be good about that? Could it be made from superior quality materials that last longer than your competitor’s? What advantage can your product offer if it’s designed in an unusual way? Could it save you more space in your warehouse?

Try swapping disadvantages for advantages and you will discover a whole new variety of positive selling points.


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Creative Thinking Technique #3 – Visualize Your Emotions

January 12, 2010

An amazingly effective way to improve the clarity and control of your visualizations is to get into a relaxed of state of mind.

Once you are relaxed, make yourself comfortable physically and take a few deep breaths. If you are at home or in the office, find a nice, quiet spot where you can do this simple exercise.

When you are ready, visualize a relaxing scene such as strolling along the beach as the sun sets over the horizon. Make this image clearer and the colors more vibrant and vivid. Next imagine a funny or even bizarre scene with the characters who populate your beach. It could be a naughty child playing a prank on his parents who are sunbathing or a pet dog that has found a giant bone in the sand! Let your imagination go wild and let it paint all kinds of creative scenes in your mind. Make a mental note of your experience – what did you see, hear or feel?

Play around with this creative exercise until you feel refreshed, enlightened and entertained.


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Creative Thinking Technique #2: Ask the “What-If” Question

January 11, 2010

A great way to get your creative juices flowing is to ask “What-If” questions of your own and discover where your imagination takes you. Chunk down to the details of your visualizations and see what happens in different scenarios. For example, what if…

  • Your household carpet suddenly came to life and could take you anywhere you wanted? What does it feel like to travel everywhere for free? Would you take a loved one with you? And if you do, what does it feel like to soar in the air over a magnificent cityscape on a magic carpet ride…like Aladdin? What marvellous sights can you see? What incredible sounds can you hear?
  • You were given the ability to read the minds of people around you? What does feel like to wield such amazing supernatural power? What words would you say to the person whom you suspect to be backstabbing you in the office or to the confidence trickster who roams the streets below your home?
  • You stepped into your office one morning, and everybody became an animal befitting of each person’s personality? How would you react? What would you do if your boss, who suddenly became a snake, slittered his way to your feet?

Take a moment to try out this exercise.  And if you do it often, the faster and more likely you’ll be able to invent creative new ideas. Have fun!


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Creative Thinking Technique #1: Combine 2 Things Together to Create Something New

January 9, 2010

In my “Creative Thinking” series of articles, you’ll learn a set of fun exercises that can help improve your imagination and turn your visualizations into innovative ideas you can use in your ads or marketing campaigns.

A huge part of creative thinking is joining 2 previously separate ideas and creating something entirely new and unique.  Back in the 1950’s, who would have thought that somebody would combine the idea of using a paper cup with the popularity of eating noodles and came up with the world’s first instant cup noodle?  Today, cup noodles are sold all over the world and have even become a staple food in many households.

In the same way,  look for interesting everyday objects  and try combining their functions, features and forms so that something new results. The key thing is not be limited by your imagination! Try and see and you’ll be surprised by the creative, unique ideas that you come up with. As a start, try the following exercises for example:

What happens when you combine…

  • A watch and a phone?
  • A chair and a fruit, like a watermelon?
  • A clock and the wheel of a car?
  • A pen and a torch light?
  • A shoe and a pogo stick?

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