Many times it’s really easy to spot bad ideas.
For example….this is obviously a bad idea.
Or the idea that these beard baubles will land you a hot date:
Or so so so SO many ideas for tattoos…
But when it comes copywriting, it can be tough to tell a good idea from a bad one.
Copywriters are constantly doubting their ideas and their skill. I see this all the time when I’m coaching someone or critiquing their copy. A writer will say something along the lines of…
“Yeah, I had this idea but I don’t know if it’s any good.” or “I like this story but how do I know if this is going to resonate with people?”
Even as a full-time copywriter, I still do the same thing myself!
(Here’s a secret … that imposter syndrome never goes away! Learn to love the fear and you’ll be much happier.)
It’s important to remember that the person on the other side of the screen is a human being just like you. That means they’ve got the same ticks, worries, fears, insecurities, and motivations that you do.
And that means if something catches YOUR attention – then it’s a good chance that it will do the same for others.
Of course, the ONLY way to know if an idea will work or not is to test it. If anyone tells you differently then they’re either lying, insane, or trying to sell you something. But…
When you’re trying to find big ideas and hooks that work, don’t discount the huge value of your own curiosity!
If you get goosebumps when writing a headline about AI technology taking over the world….
If the embarrassing story about how you pooped your pants in the 8th grade makes you physically cringe when you read it…
If your buddy laughs out loud when you ask them to read over your lead about how you snorted beef lasagna out your nose when your boyfriend proposed…
… then it’s a good indication that others will do the same!
Gary Halbert (arguably one of the greatest copywriters of all time) used to “test” ideas by watching his friends’ facial expressions as he told stories and jokes. If they laughed or had a significant reaction in any way – then he knew he was on to something.
He also used to test ideas by messing with people in public and doing uncomfortable social experiments in elevators… but that’s a story for another time.
The point is…
The best way to come up with genius copywriting ideas that really resonate with people in their daily lives is to go out and live YOUR life to see what resonates with YOU.
For example, here’s an ad that really snagged me today.
It’s an ad for an online tool that helps you correct your grammar and spelling while writing. The quick clip is about a guy who’s writing a speech for his friend’s wedding, and is having a hard time getting the words out.
(Another secret for you… professional writers with years of experience STILL struggle with this same thing!)
The ad popped up in between Youtube videos I was watching, and I was so engrossed in the story that I watched the whole darn thing instead of clicking ‘skip ad’ to go straight to my selected video.
If you’re involved in marketing at all, then you know it’s a superhuman advertising feat to catch a full-time marketer like me!
But I was really into the story, the quirky nuances of the character, and I felt invested in the outcome.
It’s great example of ads-done-right in an age where clicking away is the default.
Take a look at the ad to see for yourself:
Need some help coming up with your own big ideas?
I’m have an embarrassingly limited array of talents… but one of them is helping marketers come up with a ton of big ideas, themes or angles for their stories or their sales copy.