Guest post written by Martha Moger
Martha Moger is a freelance copywriter who loves creative business. She helps makers and independent brands to flourish by finding the words to show what they do. A valued member of the WebinArt family, Martha has been a mentor for the programme since it began in 2017.
It’s Spring 2017, and I’m in our spare room at home. I have two golden hours while my kids go to Grandma’s house and I’m completely consumed by an idea I can’t leave alone. I HAVE TO get my own business off the ground.
I’ve been trying to sell some designs in an Etsy shop but honestly, it’s not what I thought and it’s not really working. I’ve got a blog which I love but I’m not sure how to use it. The podcast I’m listening to is an interview with someone who built a business out of nothing and I’m sure there’s no difference between us. How is that person being interviewed not me?
One thing’s for sure - I’m not giving up. Until I find my way to be creative, get paid and do something that people need and love, I am NOT giving up.
This moment in my history came a short while before I pitched a craft project to a massive blog in the US that I’d been a fan of for years. If you’d asked me the ultimate place for my work to appear on the internet, this would’ve been it.
I had nothing to lose so I went all in and sent them a project in glorious, technicolour detail. To my shock, not only did they love it, they offered to pay me for it and commissioned me to write some more.
And that’s how I became a creative copywriter. I’m someone who uniquely understands the challenges and failures that creative people face because I’ve faced years of them too.
So let me ask you a question. Is starting with that story a more compelling way to tell you about what I do than saying “I write words for people online”?
I hope it is. I hope it demonstrates how using the right words can help you to connect with others because when people connect with you, they invest. They do things like follow you around the internet (in a good way), tell their friends and buy things from you.
That’s why you need to become your very own creative copywriter. Here are 4 ways to do it.
1. Know where you came from.
To get to the heart of what you stand for and tell other people about it, you need to know where you’ve come from. The key to knowing is to ask yourself some tricky questions.
Bernadette Jiwa will walk you through it perfectly in her ace book, ‘Story Driven’ There are gems like “What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? What did it teach you about yourself” or “Which people have had the biggest impact on your life?”
They’re not the kind of questions that you can come up with one-word answers to off the top of your head (probably) but that’s why they’re gold. These kinds of questions are key to figuring out why you do what you do and what drives you. They help you to tell a genuine story about the future you’re trying to create.
Knowing the answers can shape everything from the way you sign off emails to how you spend your profits. Killer brands are made of this.
2. Don’t edit your bad bits, embrace them.
The most interesting things about people often turn out to be the ones they don’t tell you. They’re usually the mistakes, the failures, the moments we’d want to change. Yet when we share our most vulnerable experiences, these are usually the ones that resonate most.
I’m not talking about constant oversharing but I once did some writing for a brand that was family-run and made minimal and incredibly beautiful products inspired by nature. The business owner had been forced to scale back after growing a big business and feeling that she’d lost control.
Instead of sharing how she’d yearned for simplicity, a narrative so many would understand, she felt shame and wanted to hide what had happened. I thought this was a wasted opportunity since the story brought such strength, grace and deeper meaning to her brand.
Perfection is dull. Share your down sides.
3. Go for emotion over facts
When you tell a story about your product, service or work, don’t launch in with the practical bits. Deep down people don’t really care whether something is green or blue but they really care about how it either solves a problem for them or fulfills an aspiration, desire or need.
Think big. Those things could be as simple as looking good on the school run or owning a piece of art that makes them want to show off their living room to the universe. To do this well you really need to know your customers inside out. You need to know their hopes, dreams and what’s keeping them up at night. Show how what you do relates to what they want and feel.
4. Different moment, different story
Our appetite for story is enormous. 190 million subscribers to Netflix says so. Stories capture our imagination and get us hooked so that we want to know what happens next.
There may be one overarching back story to your work, brand or business but just like the sub-plots in your favourite TV series, there are different stories to tell at different times and in different places.
Think about where your target audience already is. Think again about the things that they care about. Where your story crosses over with the things your customers aspire to is where the magic really happens.
So start today. Know where you came from, embrace your bad bits, go for emotion and weave stories your customers will care about.
That’s how you become your very own creative copywriter.
Find out more about Martha and what she does here -
On Tuesday 12th January at 6pm, Martha will be hosting an event for WebinArt - Write Creative Copy to Tell Your Story + Engage People. If you're interested in joining this live event, you are invited to join as an Evolve WebinArt member for £4 per month. Read more here.