In the previous part of this mini series (click the link to part 1 below if you want to catch up) I talk about what we want (ie. what we think will make us happy) and what we don’t want (what we think will make us unhappy) and whether they are aligned.
For example, if I believe becoming rich will make me happy, then it makes sense that being poor will do the opposite. Knowing that, my goal would be to become rich.
But why would I believe that? First, if I see adverts showing rich people with happy smiling faces then it’s no wonder I’d start believing that money makes people happy (you rarely see an advert with unhappy rich people).
That’s what ads are meant to do though – get us to buy the things we think will make us happy – eg. solve a problem, improve our status, find us a partner, make us rich.
Second, given that situation, I’m likely to view everyone I see who is richer than me as having the things I want (better car, better house, better business, better, well, everything), so I’m likely to start to feel envious, then resentful, then anger, and with all that going on, I am bound to feel unhappy.
Has it got anything to do with rich people? No. They’re not on a mission to make me unhappy, they’re just living their lives (or rather, just acting in an ad). They don’t even know me (and I certainly don’t know them).
Has it got anything to do with being poor? No, but if I thought it had, that would be the association I’d make. I am not poor, but even when I was, it was not what made me unhappy – if I could eat, go down the pub, meet with friends, I was deliriously happy (poor being one state better than destitute – ie. not completely broke).
The problem is the alignment of rich and poor vs happy and unhappy. Being rich is not the answer to what makes people happy and therefore being poor is not what makes us unhappy (true happiness is not connected with money – however much people try to convince us otherwise).
If we start looking beyond the obvious, we open the possibility of finding out what’s really making us unhappy. And if we do that, we’ll know what needs fixing. This is the easiest path to take because all we really want in the end is to be happy (not rich, famous, or lauded).
But that’s not the point of this series. The real point is that this holds true for our clients, and our clients’ customers too. All the very people we hope to serve as copywriters.
Satisfying their needs means we need to understand their wants. Sending an email to a prospect letting them know we can help them get x,y, and z will fail every time unless we first discover what it is they’re really looking for.
But this journey starts with you. What do you want, why do you want it, where can you get it, what will you have to do to get it, when are you going to start, and what’s the first step.
PS. You still have time to join the ICA and get mentored by me for a year in ProCopyClub. Go here to start the journey: https://internationalcopywritersassociation.com/procopyclub/
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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