Here’s a helpful filter to know when to worry: does something sound too good to be true, or does it sound so bad that people give up and stop thinking for themselves?
Either way, when everyone around you agrees, it’s worth asking some questions. Questions like: “What’s really going on here—and who is threatened by disagreement?”
Consider it an opportunity! When it comes to Coronavirus life, an astounding amount of groupthink is currently taking place. It’s as though everyone is taking the collective temperature (no pun intended…) before deciding what they believe and how they should act.
To be clear, I’ve said several times that the most important thing we can do is keep people safe. And as an introvert who frequently spends twenty-four hours a day by myself, I’ve also been social distancing for most of my life. (“Social distancing is the new silent retreat.”)
But whether it’s COVID-thinking or something else, if you can’t find someone who disagrees with you, someone who has another perspective—it’s time to worry. Or at the very least it’s time to widen your circle, read different media, and consider opposing viewpoints.
Speaking up as the only dissenter in the group requires bravery, but so does acknowledging that you might not be right about everything. Are you courageous enough to do so? Most people aren’t.
Fortunately, you aren’t most people … right? You are an original—so think for yourself, and don’t accept what you’re told without closely examining it.
One more thing: have you ever heard “You must learn the rules before you break them”? This is a classic gatekeeping strategy.
Just imagine: If you’re trying to break out of prison, you don’t need to spend forty years becoming a model prisoner before you hide in a laundry cart. You’ll be much better served by studying up on successful prison breaks.
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you’re taking care of yourself and working on something you believe in. The rest of us need you to keep going.
Over the years, you’ve come to appreciate the good you see in yourself. But some days it’s harder to see the beauty through the fog of disappointment and self-doubt. That’s where positive affirmations for adults come in. Affirmations are positive statements you tell yourself every day to remind you of how far you’ve come, what […]
Want to make a bigger impact with your copywriting in half the time?
Today on The Marie Forleo Podcast, learn three copywriting exercises to transform long, rambly sentences into copy that’s powerful and to the point. Iconic brands and prolific writers use these strategies to dazzle readers and skyrocket sales — and now you can too.
Practice these copywriting exercises often and you’ll be able to:
“I wish they took LONGER to get their point across.” ~ No one, ever. Learn 3 steps to write short, powerful copy → https://bit.ly/3copytips Click To Tweet
Grab your reader’s attention without sounding desperate.
WANT TO BE A BETTER WRITER? If you want more help with your writing, join me in The Copy Cure. It’s a copywriting program designed to help you write more powerfully, persuasively, and in your unique voice — and it’s backed by a 100% risk-free satisfaction guarantee. Doors close Wednesday, May 20th. Learn more here.
Transform Your Sales Copy With These 3 Copywriting Exercises
Worried that you’re scaring away potential customers with long, boring sales copy? You’re not alone. We surveyed over 20,000 people about their writing habits and 33% struggle with being too wordy and long-winded. Use these three copywriting exercises below to write stronger, more concise copy — in half the time.
Copywriting Exercise #1: Write A Shitty First Draft That’s Waaaay Too Long.
I know, I know. You want it to be short and powerful right off the bat, but that’s not how writing works. If you want to become a better copywriter, practice getting all your ideas down first. Best-selling author, Anne Lamott, calls this your “shitty first draft,” because that’s exactly what your first attempt is — shitty. The first step in the writing process is to get it out on the page, not get it perfect.
Key point: Just write, don’t edit.
Why? Because writing and editing are two different functions. Doing both at the same time will only slow you down. Write the shitty first draft and trust that the copywriting magic happens when you spend time editing and polishing.
Don’t believe me? Here are some examples:
The Continental Congress made 86 changes to Thomas Jefferson’s first draft of The Declaration of Independence.
Ernest Hemingway wrote 47 endings to A Farewell To Arms.
Marion Roach Smith submitted her essay Spam Chop Suey to NPR after draft 45!
Copywriting Exercise #2: Write It Rude.
Politeness leads to long-windedness. If you’re trying too hard to make everyone like you, your writing will suffer. You’ll add all kinds of unnecessary parentheticals and word softeners to your message, which will make it bland and forgettable.
Writing it rude will help you write more effective sales copy, faster and clearer.
These iconic ads are the perfect example of writing it rude:
Got Milk? — They didn’t say, “Excuse me, I hate to bother you, but I’m just wondering whether you have some milk?” No! They kept it short and sweet.
Just Do It. — Nike didn’t write, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you did it?” Or, “We strongly suggest that at your earliest convenience, you do it.” Instead, they wrote. “Just Do It,” and the rest is history.
To be clear, writing it rude doesn’t mean keeping it rude. Use this copywriting exercise to zoom past your inner critic and say what you want to say, without a filter.
Copywriting Exercise #3: Trim the Fat.
Once you have a shitty first draft that contains the essence of what you want to say, it’s time to edit. Cut as many words from your copy as you can without losing the meaning. Be ruthless. Lose every unnecessary word, adverb, and cliche.
Here’s a quick editing trick: use your document’s find and replace tool to cut common “filler words” like the following:
Want to see some copyediting in action? Here’s an example from our flagship copywriting program, The Copy Cure.
BEFORE: I firmly believe that everyone is fully capable of writing their own copy and developing their own truly unique voice, as long as they have the necessary knowledge of how to implement certain techniques, which I am about to share. AFTER: Everyone can write. Everyone can develop a voice. All it takes are these simple techniques.
In our writing program, The Copy Cure, we show you how to trim all the extra words (and include a list of words to avoid at all costs) so your writing is tight and powerful.