No Fat? Then No Flavor

written by: Mike Granetz

November 24, 2009

One of the more frustrating aspects of copywriting is contending with client requests to keep marketing writing from sounding like, well, marketing writing.

I understand the disregard for over-hyped used-car-salesman histrionics. Whether you’re selling software or water softeners, nobody is going to take you seriously if you promise supreme contentment and insane powers of sexual attraction. But listen, you still need to amp up the advantages of whatever it is you’re trying to move. That can’t be done without a touch of attitude.

Worried you’ll compromise credibility if you come on too strong? Perhaps, but a pro will know how to tailor tone to suit your specific audience. And you can always revise initial treatments to be more reserved.

But let the writer stretch out first. Let it be a fluffy, fatty indulgence to some extent. It’s easier to trim down than bulk up once you’ve established the right feel for the messaging, so start with an understanding that it might be a notch over the top. Sure, you want more steak than sizzle, but what gets you to the table in the first place?

If you strive for bone-dry tone throughout your content, you’re missing out on a great chance to inspire imaginations and power persuasion. So, get past your fear of eloquent, colorful copy. Done well, it’s an unbeatable way to capture audience attention — and don’t even act like that’s not what you want. [z-pattern finger snaps]

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