You can make conversation, right — in real life? People don’t run away from you or block your calls. They chatter and chortle. And natter and nod. But, online, tech companies can have a hard time speaking about what they do. They primp and proclaim. And baffle and bore.

I took 171 pieces of marketing bumf from one of London’s leading tech conferences and it’s a wince-inducing read. I’ve crudely turned some of it into a real-life conversation and it’s enough to fray your turtleneck sweater.

Customer: “Hey!”

Tech company: “Hello”

Customer: “I’m after some tech…”

Tech company: “We are perfectly timed to meet market demands for a better solution”

Customer: *blinks*

Tech company: “Helping our clients leverage the power of technology”

Customer: “O-kay?”

Tech company: “You get a scalable and secure solution”

Customer: “But does it do what I want it to do?”

Tech company: “It drives strategically important initiatives”

Customer: “OK, but can you tell me why I should buy it?”

Tech company: “It’s accountable and transparent”

Customer: “Ri-ght…”

Tech company: “Harnessing the power of data”

Customer: “And your product makes my life better……


If you’re thinking of hiring a copywriter, think about jelly beans first. Then you’ll know how to find the right one who adds flavour to your marketing…

A jelly bean is just a jelly bean, right? If it’s strawberry flavour, surely it comes from the juicy red fruit that announces Wimbledon every year.
Except it doesn’t.

Just like hiring someone to help increase your leads and make you more sales, there’s more to it when you take a bite.

Look at the list of ingredientsfor the watermelon Jelly BellyⓇbean:

“Sugar, glucose syrup, modified cornstarch, watermelon juice concentrate, flavouring, fruit and plant concentrates (spirulina, carrot, black currant), glazing agents (E901, E903, E904), acidity regulator (E330), colours (E100, E171).”

It’s not really the watery red semi-circle cushioned with a…


Are you clogging up your website with unappetising tech talk that nobody wants to read? Here’s inspiration on how to fix it from the most unlikely place…

Here’s the ugly truth. When you focus on the technology that underpins your product or service it’s a turn-off for your reader, which can hit your sales hard. To help explain why I found inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

Where?

Down the plughole.

Of course, there!

Where there’s plughole hair…

Yup — I wrinkled my nose too. But there it is. Clogging up your drain; creating a bad smell. A bit like the technical jargon that festers in your web copy, blocking up your sales funnel.

How to avoid clogging up your website with unappetising tech talk that nobody wants to read


Misrepresented by the bare morbid facts of how she died, the memory of a young woman is tainted. Can tech determine how you show up in life and in death?

In 2003, 38-year-old Londoner Joyce Vincent died and nobody noticed for three years. Not because she was unpopular or unloved. But because a disjointed lifestyle teamed up with other complexities made it possible for her to disappear.

It’s more gruesome than that, too. When the remains of her body were found, her TV had been on for three years. Her heating didn’t fail once. Joyce had been sat on her sofa, wrapping Christmas presents that nobody would receive. People who had lost touch for one reason or another, or had presumed she didn’t want to hear from them. …


You’re a copywriter?

But what do you do?

Well, we figure out a way to get the wheel into it… [bear with me].

Writing is easy to explain. You put pen to paper and words come out.

Copywriting? Not so succinct.

Allow me to have Don Draper explain it.

For those who don’t know (hey, I’m only on Season 4 myself), he’s a character in Mad Men. A TV series about a US ad agency that ran for almost a decade. → NO. SPOILERS. PLEASE!

Here’s 3:26 minutes of perfection.

Poetry.

Impeccably delivered.

“So did you find a way to get the wheel into it?”

That “old wound”…


A book I’m reading about sales pages makes me realise that, by the time I’m done, I’ll never be able to read anything in the same way again.

You see, copywriters are encouraged to write out long-form sales pages by hand to hone the practice. For perspective, the one I’ve written up is 42 sides of A4 paper kinda long. It took me 2 hours.

Then you work through it line by line, unpicking the stitching of its construction. I didn’t believe it, but it’s true. There’s something about holding the paper firm and making a mark with your own…


Think back to 2014. Does it feel like a long time ago? Sure… it does and it doesn’t.

Today marks the 4-year anniversary of running my own business. 48 months later and I swear some members of my circle still think I’m just playin’.

Na-ah!

Things get real after 4 years in business.

The other day, I had a flashback and wanted to poke pencils in my eyes. I remembered the first website I put out there to launch my business.

A lot has changed.

What surprised me is just how much you can grow. Every. Single. Year.

Not…


What can DIY teach you about copywriting? Loads…

You might worry. ‘Am I doing a good job of all of this?’ But comparing yourself to others in the same line of work eats you alive if you let it. So what’s a gal to do? You analyse a different profession altogether…

For me, it’s tradespeople. I’m a copywriter come DIY warrior, but accept there are some things I can’t or shouldn’t do myself. Like put a cowl on a chimney stack or move the boiler. To not kill myself, I need a professional.

Hiring one, I learnt a lot about how to handle my own business.

How to *not* land new customers

  1. Make sure…

When we’re young, we’re told practice makes perfect. It’s not quite true.

If you want to become a master copywriter, absolutely, read everything you can get your hands on and write every day. But it’ll take more besides…

  • Copywriting is emotional
    You’ll need to be invested in every piece of copy you write. If you don’t believe in it, why should the reader? That means you have to give it your all. Not just your intellect and copy skills, but your heart too. …


Copywriters use formulas to explore the subject they’re writing about. PAS is one of these formulas: Problem Agitate Solution (or Solve).

To determine the deepest emotions, agitation is key.

Let’s say we’re selling a new online tool to marketing managers. The problem is something many people in that role might have — there’s some kind of barrier to reaching their ideal audience. The tool you’re writing about can help them drop that barrier and reach their audience. Great! So you could explain what the tool does and sympathise with their predicament, but this only touches the surface of their emotions.

Natalie Smithson

Digital Innovation Copywriter making human connections in a digital world 🙌 Medium is where I collect my thoughts ✫彡 More at nataliesmithson.com/natter

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