Why you should NEVER write your own copy

Before I tell you why you should NEVER write your own copy, I want to share something with you.

Even the very best copywriters have a hard time writing copy for themselves

That’s right.

And while I’m sure a bunch of copywriters out there will get their panties in a bunch over that statement, I’ll stand by it.

I’ll also tell you WHY that is true.

The very best copywriters will write YOU amazing copy. They’ll get YOU a ton of sales.

However, they will NOT write sales copy to promote themselves. Instead, they’ll get another copywriter to write it for them, or at the very least critique what they’ve written.

If that doesn’t make sense, I’ll explain it using a simple analogy:

YOU CANNOT CUT YOUR OWN HAIR.

Why? Because your perspective of yourself is limited. And that is an inescapable truth.

Solomon’s Paradox — Why our self-judgement sucks (scientifically-backed statement)

Don’t take my word for it. There are studies that prove it. In fact, there’s even a name for the phenomenon.

It’s called “Solomon’s Paradox”.

The name comes from the legendary King Solomon who, as the story goes, was infinitely wise when it came to the matters of his subjects. He was also notoriously bad at dealing with his own personal issues. In fact, due to his antics, you could say he was single-handedly responsible for the ruin of his kingdom.

So, what’s Solomon’s Paradox all about?

If like me you’re fond or research papers, there’s a cool study (Grossmann, Kross, 2014) where researchers ran a series of experiments to prove that we are wiser about situations when we’re detached from them.

he full study is right here. But in essence, here’s what it’s all about.

Remember that friend of yours with the cheating partner? Yeah, that same one who wouldn’t listen to reason, and kept dating the lying creep instead of breaking it off?

That’s Solomon’s Paradox at work.

You were wiser about your friend’s situation because you were detached from it. And your friend was on the opposite end, drowning in crap and coming up with all sorts of “valid” reasons for wanting to stay in it.

So what does all this have to do with copywriters and not writing your own copy?

Well, nobody is immune from Solomon’s Paradox. Copywriters are no exception.

Sure, we are the undisputed masters of selling. Our career is completely focused on studying and understanding the key principles that make people click the BUY button.

A huge chunk of what I earn goes right back into market research, scientific studies in consumer psychology, courses, 1:1 mentoring, and mastermind groups. And I’ve successfully used that knowledge to help companies make quite a bit of money.

But I’ll be honest with you; when it comes to writing copy to promote myself, I get a trusted, competent colleague to give me an outside perspective. Invariably, we find I’ve missed a number of key elements that end up making my copy 10X more effective.

Is it because I’m stupid? Ok ok… let’s not go there.

The truth is, writing copy for yourself is many many times harder than writing it for others. When you’re “selling yourself”, your perspective is limited and your judgement is badly skewed.

There ARE a few exceptions to this rule, but trust me, you and I fit nicely and squarely into it.

So let’s not be presumptuous. You’ve got a business and you’ve invested a ton of time, money and energy in it; do the right thing, get help with your copy — do it NOW.

Yes, you can write a first draft of your copy if you’ve taken the time to really study the principles in depth. But trust me, you’ll be missing crucial points that could be making your copy many times more effective.

I’m not asking you to hire me specifically (actually yes, I am, so get in touch and let’s talk).

Just stop trying to do it all yourself. Remember:

YOU CAN’T CUT YOUR OWN HAIR!

CLICK HERE to get in touch with me so I can help you out with your copy.


Bibliography

Grossmann, I., & Kross, E. (2014). Exploring Solomon’s Paradox: Self-Distancing Eliminates the Self-Other Asymmetry in Wise Reasoning About Close Relationships in Younger and Older Adults. Psychological Science, 25(8), 1571–1580. http://doi.org/10.1177/0956797614535400

5 Replies to “Why you should NEVER write your own copy”

    1. The evidence is in the quoted study, as well as cemented in personal experience working with and writing copy for a considerable number of people, including consulting for other copywriters.

  1. Hi Cedric. I have to agree. I can see what clients don’t see about themselves. Or, perhaps more accurately, they have begun to take some blindingly obvious strengths for granted. A big mistake.

    It’s the same with me. I make sure another copywriter either changes what I do – and they usually do quite dramatically and I kick myself. Either that or completely originate it.

    Just thought I’d concur!

    1. Hi Ian. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. Yes, I definitely agree on the “taking blindingly obvious strengths for granted” bit. It happened to me too. I remember there was a time when I had no idea what direction I wanted to take in my life, and I was trying to clutch at every straw that drifted by. Eventually, a good friend sat me down and said, “Cedric, screw this crap. You’re good at writing — DO THAT!”

      It still took me a while to internalize that lesson, but when I finally did, it set me on the right path. But even now, there are things I miss.

      There’s the flip side of the coin though. Sometimes, there are aspects of our skill set that we think are way better than they actually are. Regrettably, I’ve been guilty of that too, many many times lol.

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