Kill All Your Darlings – How to Build Your Brand Without All the Jive Talkin’

Mark Twain had an idea about copywriting when he said to “Kill all your darlings”, meaning say it straight and say it great. The same goes for creating copy that promotes your brand.

With all the media bombardment at every turn, you’ve probably seen it all – exaggerated headlines, over the top testimonials and claims. It might be effective in catching the attention of your customers but it’s a lousy way of building long-term patronage and partnerships. What happens when the hype is over?

Here are a few rules to follow when creating your content or copy:

1. Simple = Good

Simple is always better. It’s easier to remember and harder to miss. According to Luke Sullivan (Whipple, Squeeze This)

simple breaks through all the advertising clutter. So before you start writing, don’t forget to check your cliches at the door.

2. Numbers aren’t always great

Lose 10 pounds in 7 days or 10 Tips to A New You will grab a person’s interest but this will only lead to a one-time buy (hopefully).
When your customer snaps out of the starry-eyed high and find out your product doesn’t work then the numbers will definitely spell trouble for your business.

3. Most of the time, there’s never anything more
We’ve heard of this line and some people have even fallen for it once or twice. It goes more or less like “But wait, there’s more! If you call now, you get the Super Pro Ultraxxx for a very low, low price of $99.99.” Would you seriously consider buying the product? Or for those who were cuckolded, would you want to buy another one? I don’t think so.

According to Simon Glickman and Julia Rubiner of Editorial Emergency “It’s not just a matter of making sales; it’s a matter of making lasting connections and establishing a brand that offers genuine value. And treating potential clients with respect. And sleeping at night”

The bottom line is: Don’t treat prospects like suckers born every minute. Write good copy and establish lasting relationships. Long-term clients build your brand so talk to them and communicate with them accordingly.


Article by Guest Author: Carla Marie Adlawan

Carla Marie Adlawan, fresh from university with Business degree in hand, decided to jump into the world of advertising as a copywriter. Four years later, she’s still spitting copy at the same agency and from the same desk. She’s had years of experience working with local and multi-national clients spanning various industries from IT to F&B, Real Estate to Communications, Retail and Merchandising to Transportation and the Academe.

During her free time she prowls the streets to rid the city of crime, which is another term for freelance.

Visit her blog, Writings of a Street Rat.

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