Archive | Writing Without Waffle

Can you copyright a colour?

ColourJust for a change, let’s explore copyright rather than copywriting.

Last night, I met the owner of a small business who’d been sued by Getty Images for thousands of pounds.

She had recently taken over the business from the previous owner. He’d innocently grabbed a picture from Google images and used it on the company website.

She managed to win the argument by immediately taking down the photo and proving it wasn’t her that had used it. Unusually, Getty backed down.

Many people think it’s OK to search the internet and help themselves to whatever images they find there. They are wrong.

Continue Reading →

0

B2B v B2C copywriting: What’s the difference?

plastic cupOn my copywriting training courses, I sometimes ask delegates to write a headline to sell a plastic cup. Usually, they focus on the drinking experience of the end user – a business-to-consumer approach (B2C).

However, the purchaser of the cup is likely to be the procurement manager of an office block, who buys the cups in bulk. They don’t really care about the user experience; they care more about the price and speed of delivery – a business-to-business message (B2B).

It’s not really a trick question. I do it so the trainees remember to always ask themselves who the real customer is and write their copy accordingly.

Continue Reading →

0

How copy really DOES make a difference

Many moons ago, I did a copy test for ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, in which I was asked to describe the last product I bought as a result of an ad.

At the time, I think I claimed that ads couldn’t persuade me to buy anything I didn’t already want.

I was wrong.

You may remember a blog post I wrote last year, about Eve mattresses: Oh, what a lovely bit of copy

BoxThat copy was so good, I have now invested in an Eve mattress. It arrived three days ago in a beautifully branded box (see right).

It’s evidence that a simple value proposition and clear tone of voice actively promote sales.

I’m not surprised that Eve has been listed in the CoolBrands® survey 2016/7. Congratulations to them – and a good night’s sleep to me.

Continue Reading →

0

Let’s talk about tone of voice.

tin canJust as every individual has their own personality, so does every brand. Some clients want simple copy written in Plain English. Others are brave enough to express their personality through their words. In one week, I was excited to write very different copy for a fashion-forward hairdresser, a family-friendly coffee supplier and a young, funky housewares retailer.

Clients sometimes ask me to produce a tone-of-voice manual to match their visual brand guidelines. It includes an analysis of their competitors’ language, and suggests a list of words and phrases to use or avoid to express their uniqueness while making them stand out from the rest and appealing to their target audience.

During these conversations, the fun and friendly tone of voice used by Innocent Drinks is often held up as a model.

But has this approach gone too far? Continue Reading →

0

Twitter. What’s the point?

ShrugAt the time of writing this article, I’ve published 14.7K tweets (every one a gem, naturally). Wow, that’s a lot of characters. However, there currently seems to be  another rash of p*rn and spam accounts that are diluting the impact.

So why do I bother?

I remember a week one November, when I won three bits of business from Twitter. That was a long time ago. In fact, I can’t remember the last time it happened. These days, it seems to be increasingly full of people tweeting into the void.

So does Twitter still have a place in your digital marketing strategy?

It depends Continue Reading →

0

Why writing your own copy is like waxing your own legs

LegsEver had your legs waxed? It’s painful. Hot wax is applied in strips and then ripped off, pulling out your hairs by the roots. Multiply the feeling of removing a sticking plaster by about 100. Very ouchy.

Copywriting can be painful too.

You might think it’s something you can do yourself – but it will probably take longer than you hoped.

Yes, you might know your business better than anyone else – but there is a danger that you’re too close to it. A good copywriter will translate what you want to say into language that your customers will respond to.

When you’re busy running your own business, you need to find uninterrupted time to write. Writing is quicker and easier for a professional copywriter – after all, it’s our job.

Continue Reading →

0

Dear Carpetright,

Thank you so much for your quote.
 
The calls to action in your quotation email are many and splendid.
 
Thank you for offering a free home consultation (I’ve already had one).
Thanks for offering free samples (I’ve already had those too).
Also, thanks for offering free inspiration and tips.
Details of your price promise and fitting service are fascinating.
And the message that ‘you’re here for me’ is a delight.
 
However, the one thing I need – just one little thing – is information about how to place my order.
 
#AskForTheSale
0

“Good writing works!”

Daniel was a delegate on the ‘copywriting for recruiters’ course I run every month or so with Mitch Sullivan. Here’s what happened next:


A LinkedIn post for a Business Development Manager on 14/12/16 (edited on the course) got 900+ views = a personal record
We had multiple approaches direct and to the hiring manager
This resulted in 11 applications
Arranged 8 first stage interviews
A shortlist of 3 for final presentations
A verbal offer made on 12/12/16 and accepted 14/12/16.

Cost = £0 ( apart from time and resource)
Time = 4 weeks
Start date = 23/1/17

Notably, a high quality / calibre of applicant; some active and some passive.

Thank you again – this course has completely reinvigorated my general attitude to my job!

Daniel Grinsted
Recruitment Manager
KR Group

1