12 Writing Rules That Work. Always.

1.

We marketers must learn to be fascinating and interesting.  If no one reads the content, we’re not selling anything.  And customers usually have a different idea of what’s interesting.

2.

Copy should sound like one human being talking to another.  Not like a corporation addressing a demographic or market vertical.

3.

The less your content feels like marketing talk, the more persuasive it will be.  And more customers will trust you.

4.

Odds are, your competitors’ content is long-winded, faceless, and predictable.  And it talks about them.  There lies your opportunity to steal attention.

5.

Most marketing copy is longer than it needs to be. Tighten the text, omit the sales chatter, and boost the signal-to-noise ratio.  Delete what doesn’t matter and you will sell more.

6.

It’s a paradox, but if you want to sound smarter, use shorter words and simpler sentences. Complex and stuffy prose suggests you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

7.

Instead of writing product copy, write a product review.  Explain what it’s like to use your stuff. And talk about cool things users can do with it.  Here in the real world.

8.

In your presentations and speeches, either lead with your most compelling, eye-popping material, or unleash it at the end with a bang.  Never bury it in the middle.

9.

Don’t paint your products (or company) as too rosy and perfect.  Mention a minor shortcoming or two, and prospects will believe the good things you say. You’ll be more natural and authentic.

10.

Build your case in threes.  Three points.  Three ideas.  Three highly flammable and utterly unexpected insights.  A rock-steady tripod.  And yes, I see the irony in saying this as a number ten of twelve.

11.

A good, real-world human story beats a pile of specs and featureandbenefits any day.

12.

Sometimes the mission is to shut up, put your head down and get it done, right now.  Swing for the fences another day.