How to write brilliant copy tips

Eddy Lawrence is one of Clever Boxer’s most popular speakers and trainers, and ahead of his evening workshop on Thursday 21 February, 2019, we asked him to share a few tips about how to write brilliant copy.

He shared three: if you want anymore, you’ll need to come along to his workshop (drinks and nibbles provided!). Look forward to seeing you there.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

Writing is effectively a one-sided conversation. But there’s a big difference between a heroic speech from a Hollywood president, and a monologue about travel socks from a seatmate on a seven-hour flight. So whenever you're starting a conversation with your readers, you need a good opening line, something that piques your reader's curiosity, and makes them think that they'll learn something if they pay attention to you. While it’s important to have a punchy first sentence, the most crucial aspect is to have a point to what you’re saying. Whether that's a bit of news that will help your audience with their work, a hot take on an issue  they can use to make themselves sound better informed, or a joke they can pass off as something they just made up to their friends. 

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?

Conversations online are becoming increasingly personalised. Readers are always looking for an authentic voice that chimes with their personal needs and wants.It's important that you know who you're talking to, so you can make sure your  message, and your language, is appropriate. You won't talk to your in-laws about car insurance at a wedding in the same way you'd discuss the latest all-Lannister incest massacre on Game On Thrones with your best friend. So know what your audience is talking about, and make notes of what the big news stories are in their world, whether that's the impact of AR on the creative design industry, or the gravitational pull of Cardi B's butt implants. 

ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?

The aim is to make your copy sound like living, breathing speech, not two-dimensional text. One of the easiest ways to do that is to vary your sentence lengths, so if you find yourself reciting your text in a long monotone, break some of your sentences up. If it sounds more like an especially corporate Iggy Azalea rap,  write some longer clauses for your readers to get their eye-teeth into. 

If you work in tech, marketing, financial services or, ironically, communications, you're going to be well used to speaking in what other people would assume is Klingon. The thing is, nobody likes corporate speak - it's either just shorthand or nonsense that people use to cover up the fact they don't know what they're talking about. By all means use a few examples of the very latest acronyms, or slang terms, to show that you're on the same level as your audience. But plain English is the best way to make yourself heard, and earn the gratitude of a lot of exhausted market analysts.

Eddy Lawrence is hosting an intimate workshop on Thursday 21 February, 2019, 6.30pm-9pm at Import at Republic, 2 Clove Crescent, East India Dock, E14 2BE. To buy tickets and see the full workshop listing, see https://www.cleverboxer.com/events/how-to-write-brilliant-copy