Why on earth would you write 100 headlines?
“I’m not feelin’ it.”
OK, that’s not exactly the line Honey used, but it might as well have been.
She was talking about the headline I’d just given her for a client’s home page.
The client is very smart. She’s funny. She enjoys a laugh. And she unafraid of smart writing.
She also has an unusual job.
That’s why she ended up with an unusual headline.
It’s a headline that would make some clients very afraid.
This client is a Certified Divorce Financial Advisor.
Yes, such a thing actually exists.
It seems the financial decisions made in divorce are often uninformed and emotional. For instance…
“I want the house!”
That’s a great thing to want.
But can you afford it on only one income while you’re crying in your soup?
And lawyers are not typically trained to examine such things. They’re merely trained to “make it so.”
“I want the house!”
“Let’s make it so!”
A CDFA asks, “But can you afford the house?”, then looks at the numbers.
Hiring a Certified Divorce Financial Advisor means making smarter financial decisions.
You end up with a divorce that’s fundamentally healthy and doesn’t leave anyone twisting in the breeze of financial devastation.
The headline I’d first given to Honey was so prosaic, I can’t even remember what it said.
Honey, doing the right thing, rejected it.
So I sat down and wrote many, many more headlines. I probably hit 42 possible headlines of varying degrees of electricity before writing this one…
“Why let bad financial decisions ruin a perfectly good divorce?”
I liked it immediately.
And I kept writing.
Because writing something you like doesn’t mean the job is done.
There is always more, and there might be better.
Too often, a writer stops as soon as there are words on the page.
That’s not how copywriting gets to a place of surprise that inspires response.
There were close to 100 possible headlines in the writing that happened for this client. Some of that material ended up as subheads, headlines for other pages, and body copy.
But when I read aloud, “Why let bad financial decisions ruin a perfectly good divorce?” Honey laughed, I laughed, and we knew it was a winner.
And when we presented it to the client, she laughed, too.
And we all laughed for the right reason.
Better than that, our Certified Divorce Financial Planner understood it to be just the kind of sentiment she needs to surprise her core client into responding to her message.
And she loves where her brand is going.
It’s smart, funny, informed, concerned, friendly and approachable.
Those things don’t happen by accident.
This is another page from the Purpose & Intent Playbook.
No copywriting happens in a snap.
As the very famous Mary Heaton Vorse once said, “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”
Sitting and writing past the first thought is how the writing gets to a place that makes you say, “Hey, this feels a little dangerous, but in a good way,” instead of “Well, I filled up the space.”
Write yourself into The Zone.
Let flow happen.
Write more than you need to.
And stop thinking about it.
Just sit. Write. And Win.
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in Park City
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Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.