Want to know what thought leadership is all about?
Because it’s not about projecting how wise and great you are. It’s not about you at all.
It’s saying things in such a way that your audience says, “YES! EXACTLY! I could not have put that better myself!”
… And, more importantly, that prompts them to re-use your words to express that same thought when they talk to other people. Either by mentioning you by name when they reference the idea, or by sharing your words verbatim with their network.
That’s why great copywriting is so damn important.
You can put forward the most interesting idea in the world, but if it’s not quotable, you won’t get quoted.
Take this paragraph, crafted way back in 1776:
All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural rights, of which… they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
Nothing wrong with that. All sounds very sensible and forward-thinking, especially for the time. But will you remember it? Would you quote it? Would you share it?
Would you say to someone, hey, I read this great passage by a guy called George Mason the other day that really hit the nail on the head?
But let’s look at what happened to the same passage once Thomas Jefferson got his hands on it:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now that has a ring to it. Which is probably why half the world, well beyond the borders of the US, can recognise that quotation. Why it caught on so fast and became such an influential and inspiring concept. Why it still packs a punch, 300 years on.
We all love a good quote. Something pithy and powerful that we can whip out to prove our point. It makes us feel smart, erudite, witty – a bit of an expert.
That’s why reading a perfect one-liner that sums up an idea or approach that’s been floating around in the back of our brain gives us that “YES!” moment. Why we immediately want to post it, Tweet it, commit it to memory. When someone gives you the tools to be eloquent on a topic you struggle to explain, that feels like a pretty awesome gift.
The best copywriters understand this intuitively. They’ll focus on crafting single, quotable sentences their readers can lift straight from the text and straight into their own voice.
And technology is your friend here: one nice little feature that’s taken off lately is the “Tweet this” button, which saves you the hassle of selecting a line and checking it’s actually under 140 characters by suggesting which nuggets of wisdom you might want to share.
That’s what great copywriting is all about. Help your audience put your best words into their own mouths and they’ll soon be shouting your ideas from the rooftops.
So as you’re crafting your blog post, eBook, article or other written content, don’t just think about the quality of the points you make. Keep asking yourself, too: what in this could someone steal? Which lines really wrap up my point in a way that’s totally quotable?
Give your readers plenty to steal, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Want to steal this blog post? Here at The Creative Copywriter, we think sharing is caring. Go ahead and share this with your friends, fans and followers!