Stop writing for other writers

“Just so you know, the people who talk that way think that monkeys can do this… You are the product. You, feeling something. That’s what sells. Not them. Not sex. They can’t do what we do. And they hate us for it.”

The early seasons of Mad Men taught a lot more marketing & advertising.

They wrote the ad men showing their work.

Don coming up with “It’s toasted!” for Lucky Strikes, for example.

They also show Don coaching his creative team as they work on campaigns for him.

In one episode they’re working on Mohawk Airlines.

Peggy and Salvatore come in with new work.

“It’s obvious. I’m uninvolved.”

After staring hard at Salvatore’s artwork he takes a red pencil and outlines a child on the board.

“What about that?”

“It’s sentimental,” says Peggy.

After some back and forth, Don pushes her to do better.

That’s the quote at the top of this email.

“What did you bring me, daddy?”

She comes up with the Big Idea.

“Put that in your book,” meaning she should put it in her portfolio.

It’s a legit banger.

But all this is kind of advanced.

There’s a more important bit of advice in an earlier scene.

The other copywriters are presenting their work to Don.

Kinsey’s ideas all revolve around puns about American Indians.

“Stop writing for other writers.”

Man, oh man, if that isn’t true for many of the novice copywriters I see today.

Writing to impress other copywriters when they should be writing for the market they’re selling to.

Here’s some recent feedback I had to give one of our CopySkills™ members.

I don’t understand your question because you’ve embellished this post unnecessarily. You don’t need to write copy to impress other copywriters. Just give the context and ask your question clearly.

He was trying to ask a question.

This should have been simple and straightforward.

But his post was so pretentious and self-indulgent I couldn’t understand what he was saying.

Get to the point.

– Nabeel

P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help.

P.P.S. Want to watch the Mad Men clips I just talked about?

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Nabeel writes a daily email to an audience of business owners, marketers and copywriters. Subscription to this newsletter is by invitation only. The only way to get on the list is by becoming a client, joining his community or buying one of his products.

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