Writing Ad Copy You Believe In

Copy that connects with your readresThanks to guest blogger, Sara Wright, for sharing her opinion

I like to make eye contact when I sing in public. This, despite the way I practiced performing as a teenager. Back then, we were told to overcome stage fright by finding a place just above the audience’s heads and to sing to this ether above them. It’s an age-old technique for managing fear for both performing artists and public speakers.

Yet, I’ve recently discovered that finding my authentic voice and building community — whether from a stage or from a budding author platform — is about the ability to connect. It’s about looking your audience in the eye.

As a journalist new to sales writing, I have felt reluctant to harness my “wordly” powers in order to manipulate people into buying things. Through the ages, advertising has successfully sold us things by convincing us that we are essentially lacking. Yet we could be happy, enviable, and have great sex lives if only we bought X,Y, or Z product.

As John Berger shows in his classic Ways of Seeing, this message is a lie that wreaks havoc on everyone but in particular on women. How can I, as a former truth-telling reporter, engage in such falsehood?

I have learned I can only work for people and products I believe in. But it also helps that the landscape of advertising is changing so wildly — just as the journalism and publishing industries morph as well.

Connection is hot – manipulation is not

Increasingly, people inoculate themselves against the advertising machine: Envy-based messages no longer work as often or as well. Meanwhile, everyone can benefit from products and services that will actually help them and their businesses and their families in the ways they dream of and need.

The other day I stumbled across this quote from Seth Godin in Tribes:

“[It’s about] finding a group that is disconnected but already has a yearning, not persuading people to want something they don’t have yet.”

I felt the light go on.

I’ve recently had the great good fortune to work with singer-songwriter Emma Back. Her “Living Song” program teaches women to find and share our authentic voices whether as writers, teachers, business leaders or as singer-songwriters. From Emma I’ve learned that one of the best ways to overcome stage fright is to stop trying so hard to communicate and rather to receive the audience’s energy and attention. Paradoxically, when I try this, I relax. I stop shouting to be heard. And inevitably, I wind up fostering a human connection that nurtures and fulfills us both.

I want to make it possible for my clients to be discovered by the people who need and yearn for what they offer. Often, the first piece of this is to discover with each: What core product, idea, or information do my clients contribute to the world that no one else can, at least not as well?

If I can help my clients find their unique “voice” and be heard, their tribe of customers will find them and together each will prosper and grow. We foster this one human connection at a time.

The best writing always aims for the individual, not the nameless masses. Editor Steve Austin explains it like this: “Pretend you’re in a bar. Turn to the person on the next stool and tell them the story.” It takes courage to authentically offer what is yours uniquely to contribute. This is a far cry from writing above anyone.

In one of her posts, Debra talks about being authentic and writing from the core of your being.

We copywriters employ whole toolkits of skills. We get more attention if we entertain, tell a story, make people laugh, combine unrelated things in unexpected ways. But at the core is a unique offering and our job is to help our clients share themselves with the world. One connection at a time, we gather together a community formed of individual, named stars. Clients gravitate here of their own free will, and everybody wins.

What about you? Are you making connections, being authentic and writing copy you believe in? Share your comments below because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks!

About guest blogger, Sara Wright: Sara has worked on crafting words since she could hold a pen. She helps her clients achieve powerful content and messages to connect them with their clients and customers and further their missions in the world. She must write every day or she feels ill. To slake this fire, she has worked as an education reporter and columnist, a massage therapist and novelist, and most recently as the President/CEO of The Wright Word. (Be Heard.) Her first novel, Awe, is nearly ready for launch. You may contact her at sara.wrightnow@gmail.com

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. I am just learning to write more effectively. Writing good copy is now taking a long time but I will happily endure during this learning curve. I created an avatar for my ideal client and I am working on focusing on her as I am writing.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted…3 Tips to Build Your Online ListMy Profile

  2. Writing effectively and sharing great copy that you believe in is key to success 🙂 Thanks Debra for sharing!! Awesome post!
    Joan Harrington recently posted…Here Is The Most Effective Content MarketingTipMy Profile

    • Hi Joan, if you believe in how your product/program/service helps others, speak to their needs and touch their emotions, you have good ingredients for successful copy.
      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Joan,
      I’m so glad you liked my post. I’ve benefited so much from what others have posted in my own process learning a new way to apply my writing skills. This is the first time I’ve felt ready to pipe up specifically on writing ad copy. I’m so glad you found it useful!
      Sara Wright recently posted…Writing ad copy you can believe inMy Profile

  3. I used to think I had to write to the masses. These days, I’m writing to and for my ideal client as if we were at the local coffee shop, sharing our stories with each other or talking through a particular challenge.

    I’m learning 🙂

    Peggy Nolan recently posted…Reducing My Breast Cancer Risk Through Martial ArtsMy Profile

  4. I’m so honored this was helpful. Thank you.
    Also thanks to Debra for inviting me to contribute to your site. You provide so much helpful information and support to us all.

  5. Debra, thanks for sharing this excellent article. “connection is hot, manipulation is not” – wow does this ring into the area of attraction marketing and done with an excellent twist. “Writing from the core of your being and being authentic” – this is what connection is all about. She has an excellent way of having you understand what she is delivering and communicating. Diane Hochman, Larry Hochman and Bob Clarke suggest this and the Mojo Twins, Mark and Frank, on their webinar last evening suggested this very strongly – be unique, be yourselves. I would say that almost every leader, if not all, would suggest that uniqueness and being yourself would be one of the major keys to success.
    John Logan recently posted…Are Your Fears Real?My Profile

    • John, we are all unique as no 2 people are alike (at least no 2 that I’ve met – LOL). These days it’s becoming more and more important (and valued by others) to be transparent and let your authentic self shine through. Thanks for sharing your comments here. Here’s to your sweet success.

    • Hi John,
      I really appreciate your comments. Thank you. I think sometimes it can take a certain kind of bravery to really own the stage and just allow others to see us as we really are. One of the things I’ve found difficult in transitioning from traditional media (newspapers, for example) to the internet is the sense of how big the audience might or might not be, and how exposed I felt. All I can say is this is paradoxically shifting as I realize that all I need to do is be myself and be willing to receive. As Belinda points out, this is kind of self-sorting. We will attract only those who are drawn to what we uniquely offer, and they will eventually form a specific tribe. And the more ourselves we are, the easier it will be for our tribe to find us! Warmly, Sara
      Sara Wright recently posted…Writing ad copy you can believe inMy Profile

  6. Debra, though I’ve studied copy writing before, it wasn’t until about 8 months ago that someone told me to… as you said… turn to the person beside you and tell them your story. I know write as if I’m talking to You!

    What a difference it has made.
    Brian McDaniel recently posted…Zija Review – Marketing Your Zija Business OnlineMy Profile

  7. This was a really great post, Sara! Debra, I wonder if Sara would enjoy a particular group you and I know about. 🙂
    Larry Hochman recently posted…Pre-Valentine’s Day Truth Bombs Of LoveMy Profile

  8. Whether you resonate with my work or not, I think writing authentically and from my heart is probably one of my greatest strengths as a writer. Thank you Debra. <3
    Belinda Rose recently posted…The Anorexia Voice: A Vicious Whisper WithinMy Profile

  9. Great post, thank you for sharing! It is very easy to be someone else online, who would ever really know? But freeing to know I can be myself and it creates a perfect filter to attract only those who will resonate with my personality 🙂
    Teri recently posted…What you should know about writing in your voiceMy Profile

  10. Learning to write from my heart and not my head has been my biggest challenge. I love your analogy about singing to people and not over their heads. Beautiful. Thank you.
    Jacqueline Fairbrass recently posted…Believe in Love – It’s not just for ValentinesMy Profile

    • Jacqueline, sometimes it is hard to quiet the mind and let our hearts speak out. However, I think in today’s world more & more people are tuning into their hearts and appreciating what one another has to say. Thanks for stopping by.
      Have a wonderful weekend.

  11. Excellent post Debra!

    And for some reason, all of your creative energy does just seem to naturally
    flow so much better, when are involved in a process that we totally believe in.

    There is nothing wooden or artificial about it! And learning to connect
    with our target audience in our very own unique way, is absolutely the best policy
    and the way to go! Thanks!
    Mark recently posted…Three Extremely Powerful Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From The Mayweather VS Pacquiao Fight!Part twoMy Profile

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