Why MarketSmiths Can’t Just Edit Your Copywriting—And Why You Wouldn’t Want Us To

I’m asked at least twice a week for MarketSmiths to edit content. I wince… and then answer as I always do: “We’d be happy to if we could, and save you time and costs. But most of the time, your editing job ends up being a pure rewrite. We find ourselves diving in, salvaging what we can, and starting from scratch.”

Is there a problem with “light editing”? Not if you’re someone who likes to settle for less. But why take a half-measure when you have the chance to separate yourself from the bland monotony of your past?

Introducing: Your Full-Measure Solution

Nobody wants to scrap a project and start from the beginning. But if your base strategy is flawed, then using it as a foundation for improvement is like slapping newfangled appliances into a kitchen that’s small and cramped, or has bad traffic flow. Here are some reasons it can’t be done.

Editing doesn’t provide or fix context. There’s a reason you hired a copywriter. Chances are, it’s not because you don’t know how to articulate what you do. You do. But articulating what you do misses the point. The game involves climbing into your reader’s head, contextualizing the subject matter for his/her mindset, and making it all come to life.

For example, if your brand is a dating app for people who love tacos (hyper-specific, but this one’s free):

Crunch. You look up, he smiles. Crunch. You smile back. Crunch. He sees the smudge on your cheek but doesn’t mind. He’s got a stain on his shirt to match.

It only takes a few crunches to come out of your shell.

Does your audience trust you? Maybe your content is conclusory. You supply the answers—but aren’t doing much to build credibility with your reader. Remember, the key is to show, not tell. And we can’t do that without knowing your examples (and gaining insights from them) and perhaps citing one or two simple ones for your reader’s benefit.

See how we highlighted examples for this event planner:

A blowout birthday bash. The wedding to end all weddings. A recommitment ceremony people buzz about for decades. 

If you’re hosting to impress, you need an impressive planner to carry it off.  Diana Tsao Events is just that. A planner of exclusive events, our founder has a knack for creating big ideas with details that tickle and pop.

The benefits aren’t going to shine light on themselves. People don’t want to know what your product or service does; they want to know what it does for them. To capture the benefits your brand can provide—rather than just the features—we can’t simply dip our feet in. We need to dive into the deep end and swim around a bit.

Benefit-driven copy makes your features or services measurable and relatable. Here’s a good example.

You can speak 1,000 words and still say nothing. Another possibility is that your content is all fluff. It doesn’t give your reader details, so nothing is usable. Maybe it’s filled with jargon, or maybe your copy is so detailed that it misses the context—or both. To infuse value, we need to replace jargon with meaningful substance.

Ever see a website overflowing with clichés? Unless used properly—and in moderation—this type of language can destroy your copy’s value. See how to use tangible language to create value here.

Sometimes, it’s tough to break away from what’s worked in the past. But there’s a reason you’re looking to make a change: Your content is not working as well as you want it to. If you want to learn more about why that is and how we can fix it, reach out and introduce yourself. We can’t wait to talk!

A champion of high-end content, Jean is a living tribute to copywriting for humans. In 2012, at a TEDx talk, she declared her now widely viewed “War Against Bland.” The visionary founder of MarketSmiths, Jean leads her growing team to captivate, inspire, and motivate readers. She has helped thousands of global clients generate revenue from words (up to 12,000% ROI), and transformed the writing of hundreds of seminar attendees at the SXSW Interactive Festival (2014 and 2015), SXSW V2V (2014), the Small Business Summit (2014, NYC), and other venues.

Contact MarketSmiths!

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