Words that work – write better copy

“So, what is it that you do?”

“I’m a copywriter.”

“Oh…. (pause) so does that mean people come to you when they have a really good idea?”

“Umm… no. You are thinking of copy right. I copy WRITE, I mean write copy. Basically, it is a fancy name for words.”

That, friends, is the conversation I have with possibly three out of four people that I meet. What most don’t realise is that copywriting permeates every aspect of modern society. Every word on a billboard, radio advert, magazine cover, and all online content is created by phantom culture shapers known as copywriters.

Our business is to subtly show you the benefits of, well, whatever company we are employed by, so, everything! But – and this is a BIG but.

Not all copy is good.

Sometimes it feels forced and salesy, or just over done. Good copy is like the smell of coffee. It wafts into your routine, subtly beckoning, reminding you of something you already enjoy without being invasive or demanding. But how to create it?

Get in their heads

People essentially envision themselves a certain way and then align with the brands that speak to the identity that they have decided on for themselves. In terms of creating copy, this is golden, as you can push heavily into the idealised values, thoughts and outlooks of your client.

What is your audience already thinking about? What are they worried about? Or in the case of Nightire, dreaming about? The aforementioned brand is aimed at women that value quality. These women want elegance above all else and will spare no expense when it comes to comfort and image, even importing nighties made of bamboo fabric “inspired by the big-city-life.”

Here is an example of copy from their home page:

“Not many people care what they wear to bed, which is a shame as you spend about a third of the day in your PJs. We’re happy to shell out for fancy suits and pencil skirts, but when it comes to our home-wear; a grubby pair of last year’s shorts and a freebie t-shirt from that 5km run we did once upon a time, will do.

But no more. Because you’ve just discovered Nightire. Good on you.”

Simple and elegant, with relevant points and a set apart air aimed at the elite. Voila.

Humour the reader

Never underestimate sharp wit and the careful placement of a good punny to get a point across. Humour is not only disarming, it also shows off the human element of a brand, which makes it more relatable.

Humour turns words into gold. No, seriously. People connect to the story of a brand almost as readily as they do to the product, which makes it possible to sell almost anything. A great example of this is the Urban Daddy newsletter which playfully advertised rubber band guns in such a way that you end up believing that no self-respecting adult should ever be without one.

Phrase so it pays

See if you can name the brands attached to these slogans. Ready?

  • Give that man a Bells
  • Just do it
  • Guess who got it all this morning?
  •  I’m loving it
  • Finger lickin’ good

Chances are that if you have been alive for more than two minutes, these slogans are deeply embedded in your psyche. Why is that? They are catchy, “clean” (not wordy) and summarise the objective and outlook of each brand brilliantly.

A good slogan can make your brand a household name. Try to give some thought to making it relatable and relevant, you want it to catch people’s eyes and make it stick in their minds.

Be authentic and become amplified

There are many ways to say something. The individual voice of the company needs to be the focus. Do the words you use portray the brand in the way you want? Does it sound as though the people writing the phrases are actual people and not just robots programmed to spit out key phrases and SEO propaganda?

Also, as human beings we are drawn to authenticity, originality and sincerity. Good copy is written from a pool of life experience, almost aimed directly at the single person reading the ad. Like a friend to another friend. Your copy should say: “Hey friend, even if no-one else does, I get you.”

People are not that complicated, make sure they feel seen, heard and appreciated. Do not try to manipulate them. Stay true to your brand and come up with phrases that grab their attention and keep it. Forever.

Or just contact us and we will do it all for you.

 

 

Live by your values, don’t just list them

We have five core values at Yellow Door: to be authentic, consistent, have a can-do attitude, care why, and last, but not least, to do everything with integrity. In this blog post I look at how and why we make a concerted effort to live by them every day, and not just list them on our website!

3 ways we keep our values top of mind:

  • Ant has designed an icon for each one, and we’ve printed posters to go on the board room wall. Not only is it a stylish addition to the space, but it’s a reminder of what we stand for and believe in every time we walk through the yellow door.
  • We link behaviours, attitudes and the way to tackle tasks back to each one. For example, we put ‘care why’ in to practice when we create a holistic strategy for a new client, by focusing on why the brand does what it does, and how to get this across to their target market
  • We share stories every Friday, for example about how we stayed consistent or embraced a can-do attitude.

To understand the why, we need to delve a little deeper in to each one, and unpack what they stand for, in order to explain why they are central to what we do.

Authentic

Authenticity means being genuine and transparent. We are a team of real, honest people. We are trustworthy – and we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk.

From the very early days, Dom and I have been very clear about this one. We want to stand out from the crowd and avoid typical marketing agency traits. We want to attract staff and clients that take the road less travelled, with intention and purpose, rather than just because it’s the scenic route!

Consistent

Consistency inspires confidence – whether it’s in people, an approach or work done. We instil this in each of our team and come back to it over and over again.

We aim for a consistently high standard of work; and are constantly coming up with ways to raise the bar, expand on our offering, and keep the new improved version consistent!

Can-do

We believe that a combination of passion, drive and proactivity is a winning combination. We are dynamic in our approach and relentless in our pursuit of success – and find a way to always have fun along the way.

Why? This testimonial from food and wine commentator Michael Olivier sums it up better than I can: ‘YDC is a super team; professional, clever, innovative, and there is a passion – and a sense of humour – about what they do. I have referred clients and friends to them, and will continue to do so.’

Care why

We go beyond the what and the when, to make sure we understand the why.

This keep us curious, ensures we are strategic, and that we really understand each brand we work on, and what they have set out to achieve.

Integrity

At Yellow Door, integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It encompasses sound principles, honesty and trust.

It is a golden thread that runs through everything we do – whether it’s in an interview, or deciding whether a potential client is a good fit for our team.

At the end of the day, long-standing relationships are based on shared values, mutual respect, and a willingness to listen. We are incredibly lucky to have many clients that fit this bill, and look forward to expanding our retainer client list further this year.