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Be Special, Not Different : DIY Copywriting for Small Businesses

Copywriting Tips

When I’ve cruised through online start-up businesses, I noticed creativity blossoming everywhere. It’s a great thing to see, but for many it seems without purpose. Not everyone can hire their own copywriter, especially starting-out, but still you do what you can. Here are three simple tips to steer you in the direction towards growth and ultimately strong branding.

1) Different isn’t comforting

The truth is human nature for the most part enjoys a level of comfort; as in familiarity. Most don’t gravitate to what they don’t know. It’s like a mental safety trigger that protects us from that awkward and strange feeling.

Think about it, when we meet someone for the first time and realize there’s a strong common ground, our inclination will be to want to talk further , right?  Rapport is established, therefor trust is seeded, on some level at least (low trust is better than no trust). Apply that same concept to business – too many ‘different’ ideas aren’t always a good thing. We have to tread lightly and make sure we walk that fine line between fresh and just simply uncomfortable.

2) There’s attraction in something ‘special’ (even if it’s a red sticker on an expired box of cookies)

People don’t want different, they want special. Though special does seem unattainable, realistically it isn’t too far off. We’re all different people, with different backgrounds, thus our own selves are special enough (yes, I know that sounds very ‘heal-the-world-ish’ but it’s true). The only problem with this is, how to express that?

This is where your inner copywriter must be sought. Dig deep! Most people are just lazy to get to the root of their talents. So grab a paper and a pen (or computer) and jot down in as many words as it takes, and answer this: what makes you special?

Now look it over, while keeping key points intact, go ahead and shorten it. The objective is to keep it as short as possible, while still being detailed (reduce the fluff, keep the juice). It’s tough, but work through it. Defining yourself is the essence of successful branding, and knowing what makes you ‘special’ is the most definitive thing about your company.

3) Don’t look at your competitors

Many may not agree with this, but for me personally I find the concept of looking at my competitors a real creativity killer. I feel incompetent despite knowing and seeing what I’m made of. I still feel lost when trying to find my leverage point(s) to showcase to the world. I also feel like my mind can’t see anything else but what my competitors do. This means, in attempts to be unique I’d actually just do the opposite (ie. be different) instead of actually aiming to be special (ie. be myself!). So, first I suggest you just dive within your own mind, soul and emotional gusto and write. When you’re done all that fun stuff, then peek at what others are saying just to check that you’ve highlighted ‘special’ and not run yourself into ‘the same thing as the other guy.’

Writing isn’t for everyone, yet it’s definitely a vital component in the world of business. Don’t give up, the journey isn’t always easy but with small consistent steps it eventually comes together. Most importantly – don’t try too hard, you can often lose your way when you’re overwhelmed.

Wishing you all the best in getting it ‘write on’!

Your English Copywriter

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