Eddy Lawrence is a journalist, copywriter and speaker. He is by far one of our most popular speakers and reveals the dark arts of bringing your copywriting to life for his talks and workshops for Clever Boxer.
1. What do you do?
I’m a copywriter and journalist for brands including The Guardian, Red Bull and Kering. I do everything from writing to planning content strategies and defining brand stories. I run courses in copywriting, which I really enjoy because I love the sound of my own voice.
2. What’s your favourite personal success story?
It’s actually not exactly a personal success story. I’ve been lucky to work with some seriously talented young writers, and be able to give them the opportunity and tools to express themselves. So watching them go on to do great things always makes me want to punch the air with glee. It also reminds me of the value of mentorship in the creative fields. My own career has been shaped by the support and guidance of a pantheon of greats, and I’m just happy to have been able to pay some of that forward.
3. What’s the most important soft skill in your role?
Empathy. So much of copywriting is about understanding other peoples’ points of view – from deciphering what clients really want to say, to working out how to translate that into language, imagery and narratives that their audience will respond to. It’s as much about psychological triangulation as it is about crafting fancy sentences.
4. What do people do wrong?
Try too hard. So many potentially great writers lose their authentic voices when they put words down in black and white. It’s all too easy for brands in particular to slip into a robotic monotone because they’re trying to sound ‘professional’ – or worse, to go over the top with slang or jargon to ingratiate themselves with their audience. Good writing feels like a conversation, not a lecture.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
There has to be a point to whatever you’re writing – the audience should learn something, whether it’s news they can share, a skill they can use, a fact they’ll want to remember. Think about what the most important takeaway for your readers will be, and work backwards from there. Information is the greatest free gift, except maybe that time Oprah gave everyone in her audience a car.
Eddy is running his day-long “How to write brilliant copy” masterclass for Clever Boxer in January 2019. We’d love to see you there! Go to www.cleverboxer.com/events for further details when we announce our 2019 programme..