1 year ago 💎 for day 27, 2021 with 496 words.

The copywriting con

I know I'm not the only one to say this, but over the years I've become more and more fed up with the common strategies and 'hacks' that come with copywriting as a job. My irritation with these strats also merges with social media marketing, as the two go hand in hand. Let me explain.

If you google something like 'copywriting strategies', one of the most common equations of reeling the reader in is the sequence of what I call hook, engage, sell. You hook with an opening line, something that's catchy and unique, that'll stop the reader from scrolling and entice their curiosities. Then, you engage them; get your point across as quickly and clearly as possible with the most convincing and endearing tone of voice you can use. Then, execute the final part, the 'call to action', an industry-wide phrase that I can't stand: motivate the reader to continue with this post in the way you desire. Buy the product. Read more of my blog posts. Comment down below.

This strategy works, and the best copywriters and strategists will be able to hook you into their equation no problem. Humans like to be talked to, related to, offered things. Think of it as you would when walking down a market street - you're ambling along on a Saturday morning with your coffee, and a vendor points you out directly - calling your person with a witty joke or comment. You're in a good mood, you're flattered they're complimenting your new haircut, and you wander over to the vendor. You see they're selling artisanal pesto cheese, from some kind of fancy cow. He's telling you that these cows only eat green grass and hazelnuts, that they spend most of their lives outside and get massaged each day by special acupuncturist farmers. You realise that, wow, this reminds you of your childhood when you used to go to your grandparents' house in the countryside and milked cows. You relate. You decide to buy the cheese, feeling accomplished and nostalgic. Equation = done.

Psychologically, this is one of the best ways to reel people into your writing. But every time I do it, I feel ingenuine, that the writing is staged and holds a motive of engagement that usually only benefits the writer. I know it's business, that marketing uses these strategies for a reason, but every time I see a LinkedIn post about some CEO bragging about how he hired a candidate with no experience or a tweet about why somebody thinks this company will be the next big thing - "quick thread!" - I cringe.

Just because something works, doesn't mean that it's the only way to do something. Can't copywriters throw out these practices and start anew, with proper storytelling in a strategy that really seeks to engage and without this tired equation?

Who knows. Just please stop with the cheesy LinkedIn posts - I can't take it any more!

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By Freya


Trying to create a habit. Yogini in training, copywriter, coffee-drinker, photo-taker.

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