Copywriting Tips – Convention vs Risk

There’s one pattern most humans love to follow. It’s called convention. We do it to feel secure. Very few people want to stand out, which gives copywriters a big advantage (because we know how to do that when required).

Standing out in a conventional way is subtle though. Most of us are acutely aware when we break with convention. It’s not just a strong gut feeling, it can have dire consequences.

If we make a faux-pas, we are likely to suffer not just from verbal abuse, but hidden abuse (the unspoken word or look).

And that hidden element can affect our reputation for months or years – unless we’re prepared to fight back.

So writing copy that stands out AND makes people feel safe is how to do this. It matters (and works) because many of our needs and wants contradict each other. For example, we crave security, yet we love excitement (most excitement has an element of risk, whereas convention usually means safe).

Most of us want to feel loved and included, yet we all need personal time. Some of us hate to be the centre of attention, yet want to be noticed.

Understanding these elements of human behaviour are vital ingredients of a copywriter’s skill set.

So rather than read every book on copywriting, throw in some psychology stuff as well. You’ll find it beneficial. Dan Ariely’s books on human irrationality is a good place to start.



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