Ho, ho, ho! Santa's back to answer some of your fellow Copy Insiders' most burning questions. Sorry to have missed yesterday, but I've been hard at work in my workshop--constructing a hot new promo for my good (and patient) client.
So let me dig deep into my mailbag and see what burning questions I come up with.. Ah, ha! We've got not one, but TWO questions submitted by Copy Insider Neil Go from Portugal. I love Portugal! Have great memories of visiting there for the first time last year...oh, how I can't wait to be able to start traveling again! Perhaps Santa can arrange a flyover with her reindeer over its beautiful coastline this year at the very least...
Neil writes, "Hey Santa, If your mailbag is a bit empty—Would you allow one of your elves to add some weight to it?
Present #1- Is there any specific daily practice, technique or approach one should apply to become better at 'mirroring' someone's voice? (i.e. write to a client's list as if it is the client himself.) And... Present #2- Would you share a few personal tips on how you come up with fresh new content for your daily emails? Thanks Santa."
Santa is happy to oblige, Neil!
First, my answer to "Present #1"...
There are folks I know who've created whole courses and systems that help you do this. My friend and fellow copywriter Abbey Woodcock (now also a cheese-monger from whom I've recently bought delicious cheeses and other goodies) created her Codex Persona system for adapting the voice of others into your copy.
You can pick up Abbey's free digital version of What They Hear When You Write, along with worksheets and writing tools, when you click here.
Whenever I've had to adapt a client's voice into my own copywriting, I always make sure I know how they talk...read other material they've personally written...and put together a "vocabulary" of word and phrases they use frequently.
Years ago when I helped launch the Healthy Directions supplement business, I got pretty adept at sounding like Dr. Julian Whitaker, who was the initial "guru" behind our supplements.
I did so by identifying his signature words and phrases, talking to him on the phone, and even flying out to his clinic in Newport Beach, California, plus reading every word in every issue of his Health & Healing newsletter religiously.
It's not that often I need to do this kind of in-depth voice research these days, since many times the "guru" doesn't play as big of a role in the promos I write. But in some cases, it's absolutely critical to nail the spokesperson's voice and personality.
If you're writing to your own list, you'll want to figure out how to best express your own unique personality. People want to glean new insights from you...but it's human nature to also want to be entertained.
You are uniquely YOU...so let your "freak" fly! (And if you're doing this on a client's behalf, figure out what makes THEM uniquely them.)
One course I took earlier this year gave me a ton of insights I found useful. It was Justin Blackman's "Write More Personality-er" workshop, and I enjoyed every minute. In fact, on his website you'll find my "testy" that says the following...
"If you've ever wondered how to make your emails and other copy addictively entertaining and ultimately more persuasive...you'll want to learn from the 'maestro' himself: Justin Blackman." Justin's also now offering the same workshop combined with a coaching option as well. You can find out all the details on both programs here.
Okay, on to "Present #2"...how do I come up with fresh new content for my emails? I don't really have a system. It's more that I collect ideas, try to keep them somewhat organized and accessible (okay, I confess most of the time they're scribbled down like chicken scratch on a sheet of paper I have to hunt for later!)
One of the things I love about having my own list is, unlike with my work for clients, I can write about whatever I feel like! And Justin's aforementioned course helped free myself up a bit more to do just that.
Of course, I do occasional surveys and have other ways of keeping in touch with my Copy Insiders so I know what they want to hear most about from me.
And this may be TMI, but like many writers I get my best ideas when I'm doing something else completely--like taking a shower...or walking the dog outside in the woods. I'm always running back to the house (or rushing from the bathroom) to jot down my latest brainstorm before it vanishes from my mind.
So hope that answers your questions, Neil!
Okay, Santa's got some more copy promos to "build" and last-minute shopping...and there's nary a tree or decoration up inside just yet! (for some reason, 2020 just doesn't feel as "festive"). That means that's it until tomorrow! (It's not too late if you want to shoot over any other questions for Santa's mailbag. Send them to Kim@kimschwalm.com).
Yours for smarter marketing, Kim
P.S. Oh wait...one more question came in. This one's from Copy Insider Tim Berce, who I had the pleasure of meeting at last February's Copy Accelerator event in Las Vegas (he flew all the way from Slovenia--another place on my travel "wish list").
Tim is getting a little "deep" with his question...
"What are your Holiday wishes for the world :)?"
Oh, there are many...but if I had to pick one that I think could make a world of difference, it would be this.
I wish we could all learn to put our differences aside, and treat each other the way we'd like to be treated.
More empathy, more kindness, more peace.
Think of the joy that would bring all of us!
I'll see you tomorrow...