Does Technology Make You a Better Copywriter?


Its true. I am a closet Luddite. Borne of the frustration of technology either NOT working or NOT doing what I want it to do! How often that happens to me is a source of constant mirth for those who know me and on the receiving end of my rants about in-complete emails dis-appearing into the ether and websites inextricably ‘losing’ my patiently typed registration info etc etc etc..

I have a romantic vision of the past as an un-complicated utopia of an electric typewriter; fax machine and a proper telephone on my desk.  Like I said, un-complicated.  But is it really as simple as that? How much do we take Google for granted as a research tool? Probably way too much I think. You can find out pretty much anything now without leaving your desk/chair/laptop. Which is brilliant, obviously, but is it enhancing our ability and willingness to think for ourselves or curtailing/negating it? 

This point has been made before and in more depth, but I am of the opinion we are surrendering too much. We have it made in a lot of ways, certainly technology wise, but we aren’t thinking for ourselves because of it. Here is where I get a bit ageist I guess, but our children are not thinking for themselves all the time they have Google. The answers are too readily available surely? Put it this way, I would rather know how to read, write and do basic arithmetic than be a dab hand at negotiating Facebook or Twitter.

But I digress, technology. Has it made us better copywriters? What would Albert Lasker, Claude Hopkins, Gene Schwartz et al have made of the Internet, emails, and social networking sites? I was out on my morning walk when this occurred to me. If these copywriting geniuses had been around today, would they have been significantly better copywriters? Or would we be any worse for being born in the 19th century?

I know what I think, and those gentlemen would probably go mad and insist I be locked up for dismissing the benefits it has brought us. But wait – I know they would be no better than they were in their day, but I think we probably would be better. Why? Because technology is a tool to help us do our work, (much) faster research, almost instantaneous communication (sometimes) and global networking opportunities. But it is no substitute for human contact. No substitute for knowing what makes your Client tick. Technology has changed our world beyond recognition perhaps for those gentlemen I mentioned earlier (if they were here today) but basic human needs and psychology are the same, and always will be as long we are a surviving race.

And its that intuition, that ability to know your client, and what turns him on, or keeps him awake at 3am in the morning, or scares him, that, along with a certain knowledge of how to write an ad, makes you a half decent copywriter. That’s why I don’t think technology makes a jot of difference to whether you can sell or not. It’s the human touch, your ability to react and liaise with people, to listen, to understand what they need and want. Writing ads and copy isn’t about whether you can write in beautiful prose – sure you need to be able to string a sentence together – but it’s primarily your ability to sell and convey that in writing.

As John E Kennedy famously said, although Claude Hopkins often gets the credit….

 “Advertising is Salesmanship in Print”

So you see, it really doesn’t matter whether you’re using the latest super duper laptop or a lovely IBM Selectric typewriter…now, gotta go and see what this fax is all about…

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The Curse Of The Monkey Mind – And How You Can Cure It


 I used to suffer from this.I thought it was merely a weakness in my character, but it would appear I wasn’t alone as I read an article online which described my ‘symptoms’ exactly and gave it a name – the monkey mind!

For those of you who are wondering what on earth I am talking about, I shall try and explain. Basically, I have an idea, think it through, and decide to do it. Then I have maybe another idea, or I decide the first idea is a non-runner and can it. This can and does go on until I have several ideas and plans and I end up really not knowing what to do!

This is disastrous if you want to get on in life and find something you really want to do, and more importantly, have an aptitude for! But personally I have found this inexplicably difficult for much of the last ten years really. Well, I say that, but about 5 years ago I discovered something online that sparked a real interest, and then never really pursued. Either for practical – need to pay the bills – or tenuous (lack of self-belief) reasons.

Throughout the last 5 years, and increasingly so in the last two, I have also been reading a lot. Napoleon Hill’s famous ‘Think & Grow Rich’ amongst many others. And I have realised that although I have come up with some crazy money making schemes and business ideas, I have also devised some pretty good ones aswell.

The thing is though. I can sit here all day and devise schemes, plans and ideas, good and bad, but unless I get out there and do something about them I might aswell not bother! How are you going to discover your true talent/calling/niche if you never try anything? 

 You need to exhaust a few possibilities before you find your ‘gig’ unless you are one of the lucky ones who know at school what they want to do and then leaves school and does it! I envy you in a lot of ways. But then, I have met a lot of people and learned a lot of things about different business models and sectors and their particular dynamics that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. It is those experiences that I believe help me now as a writer, especially in copywriting for small businesses.

I wouldn’t want to do anything else now for a living, I absolutely love what I do. But I do wish I had been able to cure that monkey mind years ago and concentrate on one thing: becoming the Number One copywriter in the UK. I’m not there yet by a long chalk, but I am on my way at last!

So, if your mind is wandering off at all sorts of tangents take a minute to think about what you really want to do. Is there any reason why you can’t? think long and hard about it and you’ll find that there isn’t –not really.

When you have worked out what you what, work out a route to get it, it doesn’t matter how many steps it takes, and then switch off that monkey mind. Immediately. Pursue your goal with single-minded determination and never ever quit til you get there.

This will take some practice, it did for me, and still does to some degree because I have a naturally inquisitive mind, but learn to stop yourself as soon as your mind starts wandering off to other possibilities or you start thinking you can’t do it. You can! And you will! Just keep that single mind and don’t let anyone – family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands or wives – put you off or let you believe you can’t do it, because you can!

Enough from me today I think, I look forward to reading your comments!

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Barstool Buddy – My New Ezine is now ready!


Barstool Buddy – the first edition of my new ezine is now ready! I hope you all like it, I am hoping to publish it every month, so around the 23rd or 24th of the month. Simply tap in your name and email address in the box to the right of this post marked “Sign Me Up” and I will email you a confirmation link, known as a opt-in , to ensure that you are indeed anxiously awaiting a copy of Barstool Buddy, once you have done that you will receive your copy!

Hope you enjoy, any feedback/comments please email or post in the comments section below, thanks,

Andrew

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Website


This is taking a little longer than I hoped to be honest. I know there is a view that you should just put it out there, but I am inclined to get it as good as I possibly can before I show it to the world! There is also quite a bit to write article wise, the premise being concentrate on the content because thats what converts the traffic into customers ultimately.

Fortunately I love writing, lucky eh? but it also means I am not getting out walking as much as I would like to, maybe once I have the site up and running I can get out there again. I get a lot of ideas when walking, I usually go out first thing in the morning if I can, for about an hour and a half, and I miss it if it doesnt happen.

I am really looking forward to getting Barstool Buddy ‘circulated’ and waiting for the feedback…of course if I get no feedback then I will be worried! but I will just concentrate on getting it out there first!

No other news at the mo, am just cracking on with the articles. And the new business letters, and the website copy…

ttfn

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Barstool Buddy


Well, I am now writing my first ezine – Barstool Buddy -which is primarily a sales tool, a showcase for my writing and ezine design & content. As well being a promotional tool for my business though, it will also aim to inform, educate and entertain, but rest assured, no licence fee to pay and no repeats!

Prospect Solutions is going to be THE number one copywriter to small businesses in the UK.

Right, I’m off to do some more work on Barstool Buddy, and if you’re wondering about the title….well, the answer is in the first issue, which should be ready any day now, if you want a copy, just email me with BB in the subject header

andrew@prospectsolutions.co.uk

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