There are various ways to insert emotion and emotional intelligence into your work.
But perhaps the easiest way to communicate emotion is to write from a perspective of personal experience.
On other words, weave yourself or someone else into the narrative.
Put human experience into the frame.
From description to storytelling.
I can give you a detailed description of how to change an inner tube if you get a puncture while out cycling.
But so can GPT-4.
This is why, to differentiate our own copy, we want to insert a real person into the narrative.
We’re no longer simply going to explain a process, describing each step along the way. Now we’re going to talk about how it feels as well.
It’s a pain when you get a puncture far from home. You hope, hope, hope that you have everything you need in your bike bag. Then you have to find somewhere safe and comfortable to set the bike up, remove the wheel, pry off the tire, without pinching your fingers… and so on.
And you hope it isn’t too cold, or it isn’t too hot. Or it doesn’t start raining.
In other words, the experience is emotional. Not for an AI describing the process. But it is for you, a human being.
What we have done here is tell a story… a human story filled with emotion.
This makes our content a great deal more interesting to read. And it separates us from anything written by AI.
How to formalize this process with Emotional Intelligence.
The domains of Emotional Intelligence give us a structure or template to work with.
First, we need to understand our own emotions… Close our eyes and remember how we felt the last time we had to deal with a puncture.
Next, we remember how we managed to control our emotions at times like these. Stepping away for a moment, taking a breath. Reminding ourselves it isn’t the end of the world.
But hang on…. What if you’re writing about this experience, but have never actually had to change a bicycle tire, far from home, on your own?
This is where the third domain of Emotional Intelligence comes in… empathy.
This is the toughest part, but it also offers the greatest rewards.
As copywriters we’ll often be tasked with writing for products or services that we’re not familiar with.
Whenever possible, for myself, I’ll see if I CAN get first-hand experience.
If not, I need to research my audience, read their stories and reviews, and then see if I can put myself in their shoes.
This is the true test of your emotional intelligence.
Personal experience breathes life into your copy and content.
When you talk about first-hand experiences of a product or service, your writing instantly becomes more relatable.
If you have had those experiences yourself, so much the better. You’ll remember how it felt.
If not, you need to have sufficient empathy to be able to walk in the shoes of your audience. You need to imagine the experience to a depth that allows you to write truly engaging and relatable copy.
If you want to learn how to do this, check out my course on Futureproof Copywriting.