In 1962, Time magazine called David Ogilvy “the most sought-after wizard in today’s advertising industry.”
In his book Confessions of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy wrote, “I tell new recruits that I will not allow them to use the word creative to describe the functions they are to perform in the agency.”
He’s instead quoted as saying “Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.”
To be sure, that is great advice. Were we all such writers perhaps we wouldn’t have a society so enthralled with reality television! However, many of us, as entrepreneurs, must wear a plentitude of hats in our job responsibilities, and as such perhaps we’re not in the company of the immortals when it comes to our writing skills.
So what are a few good tips to enhance our writing abilities? I’m glad you ask…
1. Get inspiration from other sources.
Most people think a great idea can be divined from thin air; thus you often here the phrase “think outside the box.” Great ideas more often than not come from adapting and metamorphosing varying elements from your existing worldview. Oftentimes, ‘creativity’ is the simple act of looking at something differently from your peers. Even the great sculptor Michaelango said that he would simply “free the figures slumbering in the stone.” Talk about thinking inside the box!
The very successful comedy of Jerry Seinfeld is all based on those little everyday experiences that we all go through. The difference, and what makes Mr Seinfeld’s comedy so much fun, is his ability to see these experiences in ways most of us never before did. His creativity literally comes from the mundane life experiences we all have almost every day.
2. Write first; edit later.
Every great writer knows that this is the secret to success. If you can turn off that little voice in your head that says “no, don’t write that,” or “that sounds stupid,” oftentimes you can get a lot of great ideas down and have a distinct advantage over someone who self-edits on the fly. The difference is that you end up like Michelangelo, cutting out your masterpiece from what’s already in front of you, instead of trying to slowly build your masterpiece from the ground up, one layer of marble at a time.
Push yourself to write a first drafts as quickly as you can. Later, you can revisit to make your piece really shine. In your first draft, remember what Mario Andretti said… “If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough.”
3. Use pop culture references.
Did you notice how when I mentioned David Ogilvy and Jerry Seinfeld your brain perked up? It did that because I mentioned things you know about that are timely and/or part of your own purview.
Did you happen to read this customer service representative’s online chat with one of Netflix’s customers? When this Netflix employee took a pop culture reference and brought it directly into the conversation, not only did it engage his customer, but the chat log became an internet sensation.
4. Be honest.
“Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine.” – David Ogilvy (again)
I think that quote speaks for itself here.
5. Be consistent in your brand’s voice.
Over time, if you remain consistent in the tone and voice in which you write, you will strengthen your brand. Scott Cook, the Founder of Intuit said, “A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is – it is what customers tell each other it is.” If you can maintain your voice and be consistent with your approach, over time you will represent your brand to your customers in such a way that you will be talked about in at least some circles… As long as those circles are your customer base, you’re doing it right.
Great deal copy helps to sell more deals. Not everyone is a creative genius like David Ogilvy, so if you’re just not the creative type, let us help.
We can set up a plan to write, edit or revise your deal copy at a competitive rate. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk.
Make moves today,
Co-Founder, Daily Deal Builder