Very little in the world of marketing is not verbal in some way. From brochures to broadcast advertising to websites, businesses depend on solid text to deliver their desired message(s) with the right tone. That means that when you set out to accomplish your marketing goals, you’re going to need some writing.
Writing is one of those activities like public speaking that can sometimes make people a bit anxious. This anxiety can be the result of bad experience with previous writing or a general lack of confidence in one’s written language skills, and it can have severe consequences for the production of the content.
We’ve all experienced it: the dreaded “writer’s block.” Generally, this mental deadlock happens after you have made some basic decisions about the general content of your message but before you’ve set down any words to the message. If you’ve been through this experience, you know that it is immensely frustrating because you are holding all the raw ideas in your head with no way to translate them into written language.
There’s no real “magic bullet” for curing writer’s block, but fortunately, there are some tricks to help.
Writing Past the Block
- Start in a format you know. Maybe you do a better job talking out your ideas — if so, record yourself and write down what you said. Maybe lists help you organize your thoughts. Maybe writing down words or phrases that you associate with the subject of the writing will inspire you.
- Don’t be afraid to start somewhere other than the beginning. Especially with longer writing, it is easy to get stuck in a linear notion of writing: You write the beginning, then the middle, and finally the end. Writing almost never happens so neatly. It is a process that loops and swirls and circles back upon itself. If you force yourself to start with the beginning, you may never begin.
- Don’t be afraid to write it wrong the first time. So what if you have some issues with grammar or standard English conventions like punctuation? You’re not writing in stone — there will be plenty of opportunities to filter out anything that might draw away from your marketing message.
- Write more than you intend to use. For some things like slogans, you will want to have a number of options, and for longer pieces, you will have an easier time carving out parts of your writing that are unnecessary than in trying to squeeze more content out of what you’ve already written.
- If all else fails, talk it out. Conversations with people you trust can be a good way to move your ideas from your mind to the page.
These guidelines will help you get some raw material, but what then?
Sculpting Your Message for the Medium
The key to a good marketing message: How you deliver the message is an important part of the message itself.
That means that your purpose and your audience(s) are important considerations for crafting the message, but the medium matters as well.
Slogans for ad campaigns need to be concise and catchy. Text for brochures or flyers needs to be a sufficient length to convey the message without becoming too overwhelming in the overall design. Website copy needs to be optimized for SEO. And so on.
Yes, your first drafts need to be edited in the normal sense — for grammar, spelling, usage, and so forth — but they also need to match the conventions of the medium, and that is knowledge that not everyone possesses.
If you still find yourself struggling to start or to take your first drafts from conception to completion, Creative Media Services offers both copywriting and copyediting services that will target your writing for whatever medium you desire. Contact us today!
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