Writing can be tricky and combined with the challenge of having to come up with epic ideas that will engage the masses and wow an audience. Even the toughest of writers can be sent into a panic resulting in – as Homer Simpson so eloquently put it – hiding under some coats and hoping everything will work out.
It’s funny the effort that copywriters will put into honing their craft. Getting better at sculpting a lovely prose and studying what style will best engage an audience when most don’t focus much on the ideas themselves. Who cares if you’ve got a great list, perfectly presented, if the information itself is lame?
So let’s discover some awesome ways to combine ideas and content to create something that your grandchildren will speak of and which will be celebrated globally on the anniversary of its creation! Or, at least something your readers will like.
1. Begin with the problem in mind
Imagine you’re a banker looking for a new suit. You wander into a shop with a mannequin in the store window wearing a suit you like. Once you get inside, a young boy in jeans and a t-shirt greets you.
“Hey dude, looking for a new skateboard?”
“No, I want a suit like the one in the window.”
“How about a new bike?”
“We only have that one suit, you can have it if you want.”
“Why do you have that mannequin if you don’t sell suits?”
“We didn’t want to stop anyone from coming in.”
Every copywriter has been told to keep things “friendly,” or “impartial,” because “We don’t want to offend anyone.” Thing is, the guy looking for a suit would rather keep his attention away from a skate shop than be drawn in by impartiality. If you sell skateboards, you’re never going to sell one to the suit guy – so focus on your core customer. I mean really focus, walk in their shoes and think as they think. You’re trying to get to a point where you understand what they love and hate; either of those two things will do because inherent in both of them is a powerful problem – giving them more of what they love, or less of what they hate.
2. Turn that problem into a concept
Just telling someone you know why they’re angry isn’t going to make them feel good, so it’s important to take the problem and turn it into a concept, not a solution, a concept. To do this, take their issue and explain to them what will happen if they solve it, and the implications if they choose not to.
“Old suits can make you look haggard, like a scarecrow. You’re probably sick of people throwing things at you and screaming hateful phrases – people hate scarecrows. However, there’s nothing like a new suit to get that promotion, meet the girl of your dreams and take over the world.”
3. From this concept comes the central idea
Draw a circle on a piece of paper, then another circle around that, then another. In the outer circle write the problem, in the second circle the concept, and then look at the center circle.
What you’ll find are several awesome ideas for solving the problem. It won’t come to you straight away so get outside with a notebook and preferably a skateboard, and let the ideas flow. Write everything down – even the stupid stuff – and watch as it takes on a life of its own, morphing into revolutionary ideas that will change minds and transform the world.
Because that’s why we’re here, right? Writers do this through creating content that matters.
Featured photo credit: War, by Igor Miske via unsplash.com