Please STOP Writing Killer, Conversion Crushing Copy, Because My Wobbly Little Heart Can’t Take It Anymore

Spoilers inbound for Disney’s™ Star Wars™ Rogue One™A™ Star Wars™ Story™.

SPOILER: They get the plans for the death star!

Anyway, without writing a huge essay on this movie…

It’s a story with a lot of big dramatic moments and emotional high notes. People die heroically, there are miracle escapes, mad dashes, passionate speeches about freedom.

While this is a really well shot sci-fi war movie thing, all of those emotional moments don’t really work. They’re very sad but you don’t care about the people it’s happening to. LIke, you don’t care about them in a deep sense as characters, and you also don’t care for them in the dirty dozen or expendables sense of them being badass and cool.

You barely even remember their names by the end of the movie.

I mean, if you can imagine the guys from Guardians of the Galaxy dying like the characters in this movie. Or Groot and Rocket getting blown up like uh… Donnie Yen and the other guy that isn’t Donnie Yen.

Or Paul Walker, riddled full of bullets, calmly telling Michelle Rodriguez she needs to climb some stairs or whatever and then calmly saying “goodbye” and falling flat onto a control panel.

TRAGEDY, right? You feel sad even imagining it.

Are People “Rolling” With Your Work?

One of my pet theories on ensemble films is – the general test should be whether you, personally, would like to hang out with the ensemble. Even if a movie is ridiculous (think Fast and the Furious), it still works because you want to roll with those guys.

If you’re hanging out at home and Vin Diesel sends you a text. “HEY YO IT’S VIN PULL UP” you’re going outside. You might not even get dressed!

They’re interesting people and you want to hang out with them. Same with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Mission Impossible or the guys from the original trilogy. The Magnificent Seven, whatever. They’re good at their jobs, you have an idea of what they’re like and what they want.

Lots of People Organize Copy Around These Big Stirring Moments…

Big, flashy stunts that scream for attention. Basically the literary equivalent to slamming two star destroyers together like a kid playing with his toys. This is something you really have to look out for if you’re a newer copywriter, because the shouty bits can often be the part that feels “different” from normal persuasive writing.

So you have hit a lot of the “spirit” of good sales material but you come off as a parody. There are too many cliches. You have to hit the notes between the notes.

There’s nothing wrong with having shouty moments in your copy. But realize that having SUPERCHARGED COPY THAT SIZZLES AND SPEWS CASH MONEY can fall flat if you haven’t build the right foundation:

From your story. They want to hear about the ideas and the purpose you share with potential customers. They want to know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. If you’re just giving “good information”… that’s like being Not Donnie Yen and running around with a machine gun on your back. You might technically be good at your job, but you’re not memorable. What’s your identity and what are your beliefs? DON’T think that you can just say it once and walk away from it either. It’s better to be repetitive and REMEMBERED than subtle and forgotten.

Because people don’t just want to read a bunch of adjectives tossed together, they want to hear your story, the ideas and purpose that you share with your potential customers. They want to know that you’re a leader who has been in that situation and knows how to move them onwards and upwards.

From your priorities. What is it you want? I should be able to guess what those desires are from listening to you speak, or just taking a look at your website. In the same way that we can make guesses about people based on their looks, their clothes, their makeup – well, the same applies to a web presence.

From your personality. More than anything else your prospects want authenticity. If you can imagine sending an email out to a mailing list filled with dog lovers. They talk about dog breeds, dog tricks, dog shows, and all kinds of dog accessories. If you send them an email about cats, you can expect to get a lot of silence in return. That something called congruence – giving people what they expect. The same applies to our emotional tone. If your average copy throughout the rest of your sales funnel is normal, relaxed and laid-back, and suddenly you have really gimmicky copy when it comes time for the sale you can expect people to be turned off.

From your point of view. Don’t just hit publish on your first “good sounding” idea. What happens often is that first good idea is just a cliche. You need to dig deeper into that spiderweb of ideas. Ask yourself why, then ask yourself why again. The deeper you go, the more profound you get.

Even with a strong and aggressive sales pitch, you need to take your time. You can’t just jump into what a great deal it is, the big name boss that’s endorsed you, your triple your money back guarantee. All of that is important and will get people scrambling for their wallets, but you need to find time to do the hard work of establishing the pain of the customer, your expertise and experience as an instructor, what your solution is and how it works.

That’s the character stuff that pulls the customer in and makes the flashy action relevant.

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