When copywriters get disappointed....and why it's important to be authentic

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Hello there!

Yes, it’s me again.

And we’ve had snow.

And I’m sure there isn’t a single person who hasn’t had it or who hasn’t at least heard about it. It’s been all over the media and there’s been hashtags such as #beastfromtheEast and #stormEmma.

Along with the news reportage and general over-egging of weather conditions, there was the usual British sense of humour over the media’s exaggeration. Jokes about Armageddon, or as some referred to it #snowmageddon were rife, and there were plenty of pictures of people racing to buy bread in large quantities and people sarcastically measuring the level of snow in their garden with a child’s plastic ruler.

The best came mid-week when a daily magazine programme decided to have a ‘snow special,’ with a panel of ‘experts,’ with one explaining to us in painful detail how our bodies retain heat, gesticulating wildly and producing some facial expression that turned out to be far more interesting than the actual weather conditions outside, and another telling us what we can expect (duh, well, snow?).

People’s reactions on social media were hilarious, and of course I had a few things to say of my own. After all, did we really need this painfully patronising hour of snow-talk, like we’d never experienced it, like we were in Russia or something?

And that’s where it got even funnier, because they talked to someone actually in Russia who could barely hold back the laughter. She expressed some jokey disappointment at the beast hashtag (this is because all this snow has come from Russia apparently, perhaps it’s part of their new arms race everyone’s been talking about in the news today, ‘choke them out with a shit-storm of snow’) and then answered questions on how they coped with snow in Russia. Well, she said, still laughing, we’re used to it, (and basically, they just get on with it, because snow happens in winter and there’s no reason to turn it into a big deal and bang on about it, OR dedicate an hour’s TV to sensationalize it) and then went on to tell us what the temperature was in Russia by lifting up her phone to the screen, and it was……… - 34.

Yup - 34.

The presenter lifted his phone up in response and weakly joked that -‘haha!...it’s….minus -2 here!!’

Ye gods….

Yes, Scotland have had it bad, and South Wales is due to have its fair share too, but the same thing happens every year – winter equals snow + cold = get over it. I guess it’s a bit cry wolf now, if you tell me we’re having serious snow action, I want a full-on blizzard and husky dogs outside.

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Later that day, I watched some videos from Rachel Kay Albers, if you’ve never heard of her I strongly suggest you go look at some of her videos at the link above, they are amazingly good and hilariously funny, all at the same time.

She makes videos which focus on entrepreneurs and on the classic mistakes some of us make. There's a suite of videos which focus on the top 5 awkward marketers, and it’s about being authentic, not copying other more successful entrepreneurs, business people or copywriters, and just being yourself and doing your own thing.

What happens when people promise you the earth and then don’t deliver?

You expect more than you should have done as your expectations are too high, and the only thing you get is big fat disappointment.  

I don’t want to be disappointed, and I don’t want to disappoint other people either.

I try to keep to this all the time and I try to be as authentic as possible. It’s easy to hype yourself up on social media, to promise more than you can deliver, because you think it’s the right thing to do, or you’ve taken the ‘fake it till you make it’ thing wayyyyy to seriously.

Don’t.

You’ll always get caught out in the end, like one of Rachel’s copycats on her amazing videos, or you drum up too much expectation with exaggerated delivery (like #snowmageddon).

And it’ll all fizzle out and nothing good will happen, and you’ll just feel like kicking something.

What you want to focus on, and what I try to focus on daily, is to provide an excellent service to clients, deliver work that meets the brief, exceed expectations and always give value. I want clients to come back to me, I want them to trust me and feel that when they come to me, I’ll deliver on the brief.

There’s no point in me coming across as some big cheese or blathering on about how amazing I am and building myself up into some sort of money machine with a Porsche outside, and a holiday villa in France. It’s all been done before….badly.

It’s all about what you can give your clients, whether you can help them their pain points, what can you do to help them, it’s not about you. But don’t exaggerate about that either, never make promises you can’t keep.

And so now I come to an end, a crisp end, like the snow outside, or more like the very thin layer of snow outside.

It’s St David’s Day today, so for all of you Welshies in Wales, or elsewhere in the UK, Europe, USA or Canada, Australia (or anywhere else a Welsh person might be living….which could be just about anywhere in the world), I hope you have a wonderful day.

 I give you a lamb  and  some daffodils.....forget about the snow. Happy St David's Day!!

I give you a lamb and some daffodils.....forget about the snow. Happy St David's Day!!

No doubt, I’ll be back (as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say) that is if I haven’t been buried under several layers of snow and ice and have had to be dug out in a dramatic rescue attempt by a St Bernard, and the entire Welsh Ambulance Rescue.

In the meantime, if you want web copy for your website, one-off web pages or email sequences that sell your products and services beautifully, get in touch. I promise not to over-egg it or exaggerate too much, but what I will do is create some seriously hot, punchy, straight to the point copy that’ll make you money….I can’t say fairer than that.

Till next time,

Hwyl!

Gill

P.S Book recommendations: My recs aren’t all necessarily about copywriting this week, but I think all reading helps you to be a good copywriter.

So, this week’s recs arrrre: Educated by Tara Westover. I can’t wait to read this, Tara was interviewed on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour this week. It’s all about the beauty of knowledge, the importance of education and overcoming obstacles. Tara was brought up in a radicalised religious environment in Idaho, where she received no education, her birth wasn’t registered, and she had no medical or school records, to all intents and purpose she didn’t exist. She had to break away from family ties in order to save herself. She now lives in Cambridge as a writer where she was educated. Highly recommended.

Second is one which I pick up again and again. Denis Donoghue’s Metaphor. If you love language, you’ll love this book. It’s about ‘the daring vivacities’ of language.’ Can metaphors ever really die?

Finally, my third is a book is one that always enters the conversation when we’re talking about copywriting, and that’s Finding the Right Message, Jennifer Havice. If you want to learn about customer research before embarking on a marketing campaign, this is the book for you.

Chow ya’ll, till next time. x