Shortcuts to Copywriting Success! How to Find Inspiration in the Work of Others
Even expert copywriters find inspiration in the work of others. In fact, most use swipe files and formulas. It's perfectly ethical to review and model your copy after other proven and successful campaigns. However, it's absolutely imperative to put your own creative spin on the ideas you borrow. It's never okay to copy work word for word. That's plagiarism and it won't get you very far. In fact, it can land you in really hot, legal water. So, swipe smartly.
When creating your swipe file you'll find swipe material in your mailbox, inbox, magazines, trade publications and more. Think about the copy that draws you in and keeps you reading. Hold on to those marketing materials and keep them tucked away in your swipe file. Then when you're stuck, pull your swipes to stimulate your next great idea.
I urge you to collect marketing materials in your industry and study them carefully. You'll also find brilliant ideas from other industries that you can modify to fit your own marketing.
When reviewing your swipe files, notice the formulas different copywriters use. Note the varying styles and learn from them. Paying close attention to the writing styles of other pros will greatly improve your own writing.
Here are some things to look for:
-Does the content successfully connect prospects with the next logical step?
-Does the content solve a problem or offer a solution?
-Does the writer tap into hot buttons to compel action?
-Can you create a new voice based on materials you've studied or perhaps improve your own voice?
-Is there a unique angle used in another industry that can be modified to create something new and innovative for your industry?
In addition to swipe files it's a good idea to have tried and true copywriting resources on hand.
Three of my favorites are: Words that Sell by Richard Bayan
Phrases That Sell by Edward Werz and Sally Germain
Hypnotic Writing by Joe Vitale
Remember, it's perfectly acceptable to get ideas from the writings of other but never PLAGIARIZE. Use swipes for inspiration and find your own voice to speak for your product or service.
Take Action Challenge: Look through your junk mail and take time to actually read the information. Collect trade magazines and other publications of interest. Take time to study the content then consider ways you can modify the approaches of others to position your business more favorably.