Some years ago I signed up for a highly respected coaching program. I did learn some important lessons from them. But, as with all advisors, I also learned what NOT to do.
One assignment was to come up with ideas for a new product that could be a signature product. I presented some ideas to the group. The coaches encouraged me to chose one idea, saying, “I like that. It’s catchy.”
As I began working on this idea – even creating a short course – it became obvious that this idea might be catchy, but it was all wrong for me. I couldn’t find a way to tie it to a problem.
Even worse, it didn’t fit the way I market my services. At that time I hadn’t figured out the five story archetypes. If I had, I’d have known: this idea would work well for Celebrities but definitely not for me.
Recently I came across a headline from a blog post on the Grammarly site: How to Write A Catchy Headline in 1 Minute and 7 Seconds.
This headline might get the attention of some readers…if they weren’t familiar with basic copywriting principles. Savvy clients will know that copywriters are taught to write headlines with very specific numbers. They might even see the headline as gimmicky.
Generally, small businesses – especially solopreneur service businesses – would do well to stay away from “catchy.” When you’re a big brand competing on a national stage, with television commercials and print media ads, you might want a catchy slogan. (I’m still partial to Purina’s “your pet, our passion”). But even for the big brands, catchy slogans can get caricatured and ridiculed.
From time to time, Delta Airlines uses the slogan, “Delta is ready when you are.” Although I personally like the airline, you can imagine the comments overheard at the gate area every time a flight gets delayed. More recently a cartoonist used the slogan to make fun of the airline’s name as a Covid-19 variant.
Small business? Don’t waste time inventing a catchy slogan.
Small businesses will be more productive when they replace slogans with stories and “catchy” with “profitable.” When you’ve got clients who buy with a mouse click, you don’t have time for “catchy.” You move directly to “sale.”
Here’s an exercise. Review your inbox. Which subject lines seem designed solely to catch attention…where the sender seems to be aiming for “catchy?” Which fit most closely with your archetype? Feel free to reply with your own examples.
Most copywriting courses still focus on making headlines “catchy.” They start with templates for structuring the headline, when the most important part will be the message your headline sends to your target prospects.
My course on Headlines with Stories takes a unique approach to writing headlines. Instead of applying templates, you’ll learn how to use storytelling to reach your target market.