How Dangerous Dave and Big Brian drive conversations for this artist.

Big Brian pain brushes

I write and talk a lot about the power and benefits of conversational copywriting.

Today I want to share an example of how the power of conversation extends way beyond just the words we write as copywriters.

Let me introduce you to Dangerous Dave, Big Brian, Flat Phil and Miss Rigger.

As you may have already noticed from the photo above, these are the names of four different paint brushes.

These four brushes arrived in the mail because my wife is an accomplished watercolor artist, but still likes to take classes. And one of the instructors she likes to follow is Andrew Geeson, from Wales. Andrew, as well as being an artist and instructor, clearly has smart marketing skills coded into his DNA.

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Adjacent possibilities for freelancers who want more.

 

This post is based on a one-hour presentation I have given a couple of times this year.

I won’t try to include the full hour of information, or the 29 slides.

But… I hope to communicate the value and power of adjacent possibilities for freelancers.

To start with… what does that even mean?

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English may be his second language, but his copy rocks.

Online copywriter in English

It’s tempting to think the quality of the copy we write is determined in large part by our ability to write a decent sentence.

We’re wordsmiths, right? That’s the foundation of what we do. We have to be able to put together a sentence that works and makes good sense. We need to understand the basics of grammar.

So my heart sank when I was reading a homework assignment that came across my desk last week. (I’m running a training program right now, and the students submit assignments.)

From the very first sentence it was clear that English was not this writer’s first language.

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No new web page exists in isolation.

Write new web pages in context

Back in the old days, when I was young and writing print ads and direct mail. Before the web. Before everything was connected.

Back then, I could write each piece as a standalone element.

If I wrote a piece of direct mail, what came before and after someone read that package was simple and clear.

The “before” part involved a letter carrier delivering the letter to a prospect’s home.

The “after” part involved 1) The recipient dropping the letter and its contents in the garbage, 2) The recipient completing an order form and mailing it back or 3) The recipient calling a 1-800 number.

That was pretty much it. Easy. Simple.

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How to get into Conversational Copywriting, without faking it.

conversational over coffee

First, a definition of conversational copywriting.

To me, it means writing in the same way you would speak persuasively to a friend over the kitchen table.

Imagine you’re trying to persuade a friend to go hiking with you at the weekend. You’re in conversation, but you’re trying to be persuasive as well.

Because it’s within the context of a real dialog between two people, your language is natural and conversational. Emotional at times.

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It’s not always easy finding the sweet spot for your freelance business.

Truth in freelancing

I get into conversations with a lot of freelancers, many of them just starting out.

And one thing I notice again and again is that freshly-minted freelancers often struggle to articulate exactly what their specialty should be.

  • B2C or B2B?
  • Which industry niche, if any? Financial, health, industrial, travel, other?
  • What kind of writing specialty, if any… sales copy, email, content marketing, social media writing?

It’s important to have answers to these questions. Without answers, you’ll often feel you have no real foundation. It becomes hard to articulate your position and your value to prospective clients.

In other words, if you aren’t completely clear about where you stand, and what you stand for as a freelancer, you going to have a lot more trouble marketing yourself and finding good work.

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