Hey… Jimmy Curley here.
Glad to see you’re back for more “Street Marketing” punishment.
I won’t beat around the bush… today’s lesson is something I call:
“How not to get your testicles caught in a drawer.”
(Alternative name: “How not to get your titty caught in a wringer.“)
Whoa… now slow down.
Before you leave in a huff, just hear me out.
It’s about dealing with the ONE thing that may be blocking your hottest copywriting and boldest marketing moves…
… unreasonable fear.
The idea hit me while I was watching a documentary on various kinds of human phobias. You know…. case studies of people terrified to ride in elevators… or frightened of spiders crawling inside their ears… or afraid of clowns with razor sharp teeth.
Absolutely fascinating stuff.
One disturbing case involved a middle-aged man scared shitless of getting his testicles pinched off in a doorway, a cabinet, or anything else that could slam shut.
His life had become a virtual prison. Couldn’t get near anything that had hinges or would open and close…
… so a car door, the refrigerator, or the silverware drawer were all off limits.
Another case, (and I’m going somewhere with this), was a woman who was obsessed with the idea that she had just run-over someone with her car…
… and so she circled the block over and over again looking for some poor sap smashed in the roadway.
Eventually she realized that she had NOT hit anyone at all…
… but then would “hear” another thud… freak out… and begin to circle the block all over again.
And so her cycle of searching for human road-kill continued.
But what was REALLY interesting (besides how that woman ever got her driver’s license), was that, in all other respects, these people seemed like normal folks.
They talked openly about their dilemma, seemed reasonable, intelligent, and logical…
… and then wham-o, a door would slam shut and he’d jump back guarding his nuggets…
…or she’d scream out that she’d just mowed-down some poor bastard in the street.
Wow… this really got my attention. Mainly because, in part, I realized that we ALL suffer from some kind of unreasonable fears. (I know I’ve NEVER liked evil clowns with razor sharp teeth).
And here’s the good part… where I connect this all up with you and your copywriting and marketing efforts.
You see, I’m convinced that the biggest “block” to fabulous copy is plain and simple FEAR. Unreasonable fear at that.
Let’s break it down.
You have a “big idea”… or want to say something that’s really gonna connect… get attention… maybe even make someone’s nose bleed…
… and then pow, the voices of self-doubt, fear start to creep in.
“I can’t say something like that!”… “the client will freak if I show her this,”… “what will my dad think”.
It’s all fear… the kinda thing that will actually PARALYZE your copywriting just like it trapped that lady within one city block of her home…
…and kept the man safely on his couch, away from the terrible scrotum-tearing jaws of his window shades.
Don’t be like that, especially when the solution is actually pretty simple.
So here it is: The big solution to “writer’s paralysis”.
Get over it and force yourself write down the “big idea” anyway, no matter how stupid or nutty it sounds, or how much it makes you sweat.
Consider it a kind of “rough sketch”.
Don’t worry about sentence structure or polished copy yet. Just allow yourself permission to “dump”, “vomit”, or say anything you want… with the understanding that you will later return for a ruthless edit.
Don’t hold back.
And for God’s sake, (this is important), don’t hit the “publish” button or let anyone read it yet, or you may find yourself the star attraction in some phobia documentary.
Give your copy a day or two to settle, even if you’re convinced that it’s genius-level stuff. Then go back and do one, two, three or more deep edits.
Remember that writing is a CRAFT.
Nobody is whipping off finished copy from the top of their head.
Which is why the “Hollywood” version of writing is such a joke.
We’ve all seen this in some movie or another. That determined writer who sits down and types out “Chapter One” on a blank sheet of paper and then madly pounds out page after finished page of copy…
… until, at last, he types out “The End”… tears the final sheet from the typewriter… lights up a smoke… and enjoys that soothing rich tobacco flavor while smugly patting a thick, perfectly stacked manuscript.
This is ridiculous.
Writing is much more like creating a painting.
You don’t start at one corner of a blank canvas and work your way across the surface, leaving a breathtaking finished painting in your wake.
No… it doesn’t work that way.
Even the greatest fine artists who ever lived — Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Rembrandt — would start with numerous crude “idea” sketches…
… toss most of them out… make many corrections to the ones they liked… and then trace or transfer the final rough sketch onto a canvas (or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel)… brush in some sloppy light washes of color… and slowly “build it up” with more finished colors…
…until eventually the painting began to take on a finished quality.
But it starts with some big, bold, rough sketches.
NOTHING happens without it… and you can’t allow unreasonable fears to get in the way of the process. You can’t be afraid of getting your testicles caught in your desk drawer. Or your titty in the wringer.
Have fun with your ideas. You’re not wasting your time — this is an integral part of developing some killer final copy…
… crucial because sales and marketing is all about connecting the product with the emotions behind the purchase.
Use your words like a baseball bat to smash through the most skeptical arguments… a bridge that connects product features with the prospects deepest desires and fears… a sharpened arrow that pierces through callused layers and infuses life into a withered heart.
A glib song and dance won’t do. You gotta dig deep.
Trying to market diet pills? You better understand the secret suffering of overweight women who no longer want to be “invisible”.
Got a “make money quick” product? It’s essential to know about your prospect’s struggle to make his mark… and his desperate desire to have his wife and family proud of him.
A “how to meet women” product? Are you considering that a high percentage of these prospects will be guys looking for a good wife… and not just a quickie in the parking lot.
It’s like a TV commercial I saw for “Joe’s Bail Bond Service” (or whatever the name was). A dozen or so jailbirds in striped pajamas were dancing and singing in their cells. It was funny, but stupid and certainly missing the mark.
So guess what Joe’s competitor did?
He put together a commercial showing a worried young woman with a crying child in her arms walking into a scary police station packed with hardened unsmiling cops…
… then cut to a warm scene inside “Bob’s Bail Bond Service” (or whatever the name was) with a caring man handing that poor woman a cup of coffee, rubbing her smiling kid’s head, and “giving you the help and comfort you need in times of crisis”.
See? Whoever did Bob’s marketing did their homework.
They understood that is was mainly women bailing out their worthless husbands and boyfriends. And that having her man arrested and thrown into jail was not one bit funny to her. It was, in fact, a crisis.
Guys dancing and singing from behind bars was cute, but it wasn’t making the connection.
So don’t be afraid to stretch a little.
To do your homework, get that “big idea”, and then take the path less traveled.
Which somehow brings me back to the whole “testicles in the door” thing.
This really started to play on my mind.
I began noticing just how friggin’ dangerous the world is just below my waist line.
Scheez… started thinking that maybe this guy in the documentary wasn’t so nuts after all.
I mean, I’m standing at my bathroom sink in my underwear and lookie there… a damn nut-crackin’ drawer just below my waist… waiting to do some serious, serious damage.
Then later on that day I’m getting groceries out of the trunk of my car. I’m facing the open trunk, holding groceries bags in both arms…
… and then it happens…
… my wife slams the trunk shut.
Oh my God… I got my testicles pinched off.
I leap back in terror… and she stopped and looked at me with a wrinkled brow.
I was of course perfectly fine.
“Uh… yeah. I’m okay. It’s just that… well… you know… it seemed a little close.”
She just shook her head. “You saw that stupid documentary, didn’t you?”
Man, does that woman know me or what?
And so I got over it. Goddamn those unreasonable fears.
Next, I’m working on the razor-toothed clowns.
For better marketing…
P.S. Listen… if you have ANY writing experience then you have something to contribute. Don’t you DARE leave here without making a comment. Much appreciated.