Today is the start of a 3 part series on the things that drive us (and don’t drive us) forward. Parts 1 and 2 are on the latter, leaving part 3 for the one to pay attention to if you want change in your life (and by ‘change’, I mean get what you want).
I once hired a plumber who checked his commercially bought, best selling ruler for accuracy by measuring it from both ends. He first measured the distance from a tap to the center of the sink in my bathroom, then did it again, but this time starting from the other end of the ruler (I’m only pleased he didn’t see the expression on my face).
His stock phrase for anything that went wrong was “it is what it is”, yet he couldn’t even trust his own tools.
No one could describe him as an optimist, but equally, he was not a pessimist either. He “was what he was”. In the end I fixed his mistakes and that was the end of our short, never to be repeated, relationship.
I have no doubt he accepted that for what it was too and moved on to the next job that turned up in his life. He was a fatalist. Everything is as it is. It will turn up if it’s meant to turn up and it will not turn up if it’s not meant to.
He is the perfect example of a certain type of customer, and it’s our job as copywriters to recognise that customers like him exist everywhere (both as prospective clients as well as the customers of those clients who we are ultimately writing for).
To put that in perspective, imagine some copy that droned on about the opportunities of our mystical universe and how we can use that power to create things out of thin air and live out our perfect destinies.
Mr “is what it is” would run a mile. It would be the worst possible piece of copy. If you wrote it for a client with such customers, you’d become the new benchmark for “rubbish”.
So your mission, should you wish to accept it, is to come up with some copy for fatalists.
Stick your “is what it is” hat on, and imagine your selling a measuring device to a fatalistically minded market. Paste it in the comments below. Then continue with part 2, where I hope, we’ll have even more fun 🙂
I've spent my working life starting and running a whole variety of businesses, from my first QPL Express Couriers where I travelled over 100,000 miles every year delivering packages on a motorcycle (along with a whole bunch of colleagues) to Accountz.com which made a major in-road in the UK, to ProofMEDIA my current business that focuses on Copywriting and the International Copywriters Association, which helps copywriters learn more about copywriting and the copywriting industry around the world.
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