Connor T. Flynn – professor emeritus of Lessing-Flynn – has been writing ads for nearly five decades in which time he has learned and (dare I say) mastered a few simple principles that can benefit any and all copywriters. Or, for that matter, anyone who wishes to squish words together on a page.
A number of these tips I employ on an almost daily basis. Others I ignore entirely. Perhaps you will find a few of them useful in your copywriting endeavors. If not, blame Connor. After all, they’re his copywriting tips. I am merely the messenger.
Thus, I present the Top 5 (plus 1!) copywriting tips practiced (and yes, mastered) by Connor T. Flynn…man…myth…misplacer of coffee mugs.
1. Complete Sentences are for Suckers
F. Scott Fitzgerald penned some grand, sweeping, eloquent prose…but he would have never cut it as an ad man. Too windy. Too melodramatic. Too grammatically correct. Connor T. Flynn says what counts…nothing more…he pays grammarians no mind…let them grammarate elsewhere…the man thinks the AP Style Guide is a fashion blog…hasn’t typed a full sentence in years…four to six words and an ellipsis…that’s the ticket! Which leads us to our next tip…
2. Cut to the Chase!
Have a point? Get to it already! Have no point to prove? Don’t ramble in hopes of finding one. Move on.
3. Say it Simply and Succinctly
If ConDog (as we affectionately refer to him as at LF) is master of any writing skill, it’s his ability to say in few words what takes others many. Example: Common Copywriter: Usain Bolt is a Jamaica native commonly referred to as the fastest man alive. Bolt holds three world records, is an Olympic champion six times over, a World Champion eight times over, and has been honored three times as Laureus World Sportsman of the Year. Essentially, he is dope. ConDog Copywriter: Usain Bolt…fastest thing running. Indeed. Simplicity wins the word race every time.
4. Know the Product
Wanna sell something by way of words? A good start is learning the product or service through and through. It’s best that you know it better (or at worst, as well) as the person you’re selling it to. The stench of BS is tough to suppress.
5. Know Your Audience
Wanna sell something by way of words? A good start is finding out who’s reading those words. What do they want? What are they hoping to gain? How do they talk about it? How would they describe it to a colleague? What do they need to know about it? Having an honest conversation starts by understanding the customer. Put yourself in their shoes and write to yourself.
6. Prompt It
Call. To. Action. What do you want them to do? What’s next? How do they respond? How do they buy or enlist? If you don’t know – neither do they.
And that’s it. You don’t survive in this industry for five days – let alone five decades – without having your head on straight when you squish all those words together.
Master these copywriting tips and perhaps you will become the next Connor T. Flynn. ConDog. The man knows his stuff. He shares it, too. Now has anyone seen a coffee mug?