Timeless Principles Lifted From The World Of
Persuasive Text For You To Use And Abuse

Jack Oughton / Koukouvaya
www.kouko...
HELLO HUMANS
The aims of this talk are as
following...
 To help you get greater exposure and make more of an

income from your music.....
Aims, continued...
 To help you apply some of the ideas used in these areas

for the benefit your creative/music business...
Who is Jack and why should I care
about anything he says?
 Professional Copywriter & Freelance Journalist
 Unprofessiona...
 ‘Cos this isn’t about me – it’s about you, my

listener, and giving you the best info I can,
in the time I can!
 (so I'll be going through this talk as fast as I

can, giving as much time as possible to help
you & answer questions, i...
OK, but why should I even care
about copywriting?
 Good copywriting is about really understanding
your product (i.e yours...
And caring is good...
 Your fans (current and potential) want to connect

with you. Music builds empathic bridges and we ...
 In this ‘attention age’ we're all publishers of

information to one extent or the other (especially as
artists and busin...
Good copywriting/communication
can be described as...
 Right message (presentation/brand, medium of

communication) going...
NAICE
Words are weapons – arm
yourself
 One of the most immediate, easy to access and





powerful tools at your disposal ...
Continued
 Create more intrinsically interesting or poetic(?)







ways of communicating with the world
Create a un...
Copywriting fundamentals
 Know what problem the customer faces or what emotional








experience they want the m...
(Couldn’t help myself)
Copywriting Fundamental:
Difference
 Your product/you ...
 The music you create – what makes it different?
 What brand ...
 Maybe it’s being different enough to be recognisable,

but not so different as to be unrecognisable?
 Or the right amou...
Copywriting For Artists In A
Nutshell: Quick Tips
 Things to do when communicating with your followers







and pot...
 When you’re writing, ask yourself “so, what?”

regularly.
 What is ‘in it’ for your reader, why should they care?
 Reg...
CTAs & Closing
 Want someone to click through to a YouTube video?

ASK at the end of the message. You can ask times in
mu...
Anyone remember this?
3 ideas that I’d like to share with
you
Idea 1: Positioning
 Do you know who you are and where you are in relation

to the rest of the musical marketplace (do yo...
Positioning...
 When we're trying to sell a product, first we've got
to get clear on
 What exactly the product is
 Who ...
Positioning Continued: Your
Personal Brand
 Making the product right for the people you want to






sell for, or fi...
 Madonna: Has reinvented her personal brand

repeatedly in attempt to stay on top of the charts.
 Seems to have worked f...
Self descriptions and building that
connection
 Real fans buy into the product (you) wholesale, not






just the mu...
And... we’re learning!
IDEA 2: Grab ‘Em By The Eyes
 TRAUMATIC WORD POWERRRRRRRRRRR=
 Powerful headlines
 Powerful words (for a powerful messa...
A) Use Ballsy Headlines
 Headlines that convert, headlines that don't and why

you should care
 Anything where you have ...
Shortcuts To Great Headlines
 On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline

copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the...
Wait... wasn’t that Picasso?
 Also a good headline....
Good Headline
 Grabs attention from line one and leads from here
 Informs reader concisely - does not rant and waste

pe...
Continued
 Headline formula = Number &/or Trigger word +

Adjective + Keyword + Promise ~ Jeff Goins
 E.g: “13 fantastic...
Bad Headline
 Basically doesn’t do any of those things.

Actually this one might be good ->
B) Use words powerfully and
powerful words
 “Walls of Text” = 
Continued
 Formatting = 
 Paragraphs
 Bullets

 Underlining
 Italics

VARIETY
Powerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
 The power of words is in how they








work upon human feelings
Consider what feeli...
 A lot of this is your discretion, there’s no regulatory

body for the efficacy of words
 (But there are many lists of p...
DESTROY ALL WEASEL WORDS
 Weasel words are linguistic cowardice.
 Often used to lie and deceive with inference and stand...
C) Use Narrative Structure &
Rhetoric









Humans love stories so tell stories
Bridge paragraphs so that the c...
BIG IDEA: USE LESS WORDS
 (good) “Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and

99 percent elimination.”
~ Louise Brooks
IDEA 3: Media Empathy:
Communicating with journalists,
‘tastemakers’, etc.
 Some insights from personal experience of wha...
What music media wants to get:
 Churnalism: Sad, but if you have a story that already

wrote itself = happy lazy time sta...
 Relevant Pitches: Either through knowing who
thinks what you’re doing is news or getting the
right media list (Gorkana, ...
Help A Reporter Out!
 A story that was pitched uniquely to me and

mentions why I was chosen (yeah it’s time consuming
bu...
Twitter Yes 

•Funny, novel
•Engaging: it started a conversation!
What music media doesn’t want
to get
 AKA writers are grumpy and how not to make

them any grumpier
 Don’t simply tweet ...
Continues
 Don’t email them so obviously from a mailmerge (e.g.

my name is not ‘Journalist Oughton’ :/ ) – people are
pe...
Twitter No 

•I won’t RT this and you can’t make me!
•I still don’t know who this person is
PR In A Tiny Nutshell: Writing A Press
Release That’s Not Crap
 Press releases are fantastic if...
 i. Written compellin...
The Inverted Pyramid

Via http://provercoffee.wordpress.com
I’m going to shut up soon, promise
/ The Summary:
 Music and words are both forms of communication








that buil...
Summary continued
 Good copywriting allows you to better understand

your musical/commercial offering, who wants it and
h...
(and that is serious business)
Ideas for next steps
 Take no longer than 10 minutes to try the 5 word self








description test (when you’re in ...
 Happy to provide more help if I can: tweet your
love, hate, questions and suggestions at
@koukouvaya:
 And tell me: Wha...
Email Jack for links to the
following:
 Press release template
 Swipefile: proven headlines etc.
 Powerful word list & ...
Now start: Do something, anything
- but remember to keep it simple!
Byebye humans

“I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars:...
PS: How To (probably) Tell When A
Copywriter Is Lying
 This is a bit of fun but you might find it very

useful in dealing...
PPS: How to help determine your
brand and positioning with a few
questions:
 The cool thing about not being signed to a m...
Copywriting Exercise: Self
Description
AKA What are you ‘trying to say with your music?’
AKA It’s almost like journaling!
...
Continued...
 Sometimes this helps you see what you’re doing. Other

times it doesn’t. Sometimes it helps you sharpen you...
Continued...
 The exercise can help you find a little direction in your

self definition.
 But it’s likely that you’ll k...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Jack Oughton - Copywriting Psychology for Artists (Darker Music Talks November '13)

965 views

Published on

Video: http://www.tommydarker.com/music-talks/archive/jack-oughton-copywriting-psychology-for-artists/

Published in: Education, Business
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
965
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
129
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
8
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Take notes if you want, i’ll try to make this available online soon enough – and i’ll have some resources/links to what i think are the essentials at the end
  • Should probably have used a picture of a greyhound
  • Any of you guys write for a living or work in the helping/therapeutic fields? Timeless idea of understanding the self in relation to taking actions in the world around you
  • Any of you guys like bulletpointedcheatsheets for everything? Just me then...
  • More detailed ideas begin here
  • Anyone doing this? Seen an image consultant etc?
  • Ask audience.
  • You want all of your readers to look liek stock photos
  • I’m a ranty bugger so this is a hard one forme
  • As an artist you are probably evolving. If you’ve stopped, I worry about you.SO, this exercise does not set in stone who you are, nor can it. It’s just a way to measure your current state of evolution
  • Jack Oughton - Copywriting Psychology for Artists (Darker Music Talks November '13)

    1. 1. Timeless Principles Lifted From The World Of Persuasive Text For You To Use And Abuse Jack Oughton / Koukouvaya www.koukouvaya.co.uk
    2. 2. HELLO HUMANS
    3. 3. The aims of this talk are as following...  To help you get greater exposure and make more of an income from your music...  To give you a number of discrete ideas that'll work separately or together. Take what works for you and discard the rest  To act as a straightforward introduction to the rather large and detailed world of copywriting and 'persuasion engineering'
    4. 4. Aims, continued...  To help you apply some of the ideas used in these areas for the benefit your creative/music business  To give you some insights from the other side of the fence drawn from my experience as a freelance writer who covers music from time to time  To provide lots of silly, but relevant pictures  <- true
    5. 5. Who is Jack and why should I care about anything he says?  Professional Copywriter & Freelance Journalist  Unprofessional Internet Marketer  Unprofessional Sound Designer/Composer  Has been on both sides of the fence – media and practicing musician.  Wants to become a film composer – but is currently trapped writing dubstep (and adverts)   Insert some achievements here. Or don’t, who cares?
    6. 6.  ‘Cos this isn’t about me – it’s about you, my listener, and giving you the best info I can, in the time I can!
    7. 7.  (so I'll be going through this talk as fast as I can, giving as much time as possible to help you & answer questions, if you have any) This is a metaphor for me talking really really really fast
    8. 8. OK, but why should I even care about copywriting?  Good copywriting is about really understanding your product (i.e yourself and your music).  And by extension, your 'value proposition' (i.e. What you offer and why you exist in the context of the marketplace).  Know thyself  Music is about communication, so are words. Applications from one reach over into the other.
    9. 9. And caring is good...  Your fans (current and potential) want to connect with you. Music builds empathic bridges and we can all still work on our empathy skills  Persuasively and correctly positioning your product (i.e. you) = better commercial results  Obvious but worth a mention: Copywriting is a compliment to, not a substitute for your music  Your music speaks for itself but good copy can help it’s message be correctly framed and interpreted by the right people (audience)
    10. 10.  In this ‘attention age’ we're all publishers of information to one extent or the other (especially as artists and businesspeople) & for most of us, our main medium of communication is the written word  And since I’m guessing that writing is something that you use every day, even the slightest improvement in your communication skills would quickly compound  “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein Study hard humans
    11. 11. Good copywriting/communication can be described as...  Right message (presentation/brand, medium of communication) going to....  Right people (listener demographic, financial decisionmakers) at the...  Right time (when they have money, are available to see you, aren’t distracted by Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones etc) equals...  = Great Success!
    12. 12. NAICE
    13. 13. Words are weapons – arm yourself  One of the most immediate, easy to access and     powerful tools at your disposal are the words you use... What can you do with words? Persuade (get fans to buy stuff or do stuff that moves along your grand plan) Build empathy and connection with listeners (get new fans & allies, or get existing fans to like you more) Clearly communicate what you’re doing, why it’s important and what you need others to do to get you there
    14. 14. Continued  Create more intrinsically interesting or poetic(?)     ways of communicating with the world Create a unique communicational style that is as individually you as your music should be – making you more memorable and enhancing your USP Create more meaningful or entertaining dialogues (often on social media) Finding out what’s working and what’s not working for your fans and allies, and how you can make use of this information (market research?) Recognise and reward your best fans and allies
    15. 15. Copywriting fundamentals  Know what problem the customer faces or what emotional       experience they want the music to guide them through Have you considered the following...? Your customer (fan) Who’s your music appeal to? Where do you find them? How do they emotionally experience your music? (i.e occasions suited to Marilyn Manson may not be ones where classical music works) What, asides from music, do they want to spend money on?
    16. 16. (Couldn’t help myself)
    17. 17. Copywriting Fundamental: Difference  Your product/you ...  The music you create – what makes it different?  What brand (image and design) do you possess? – what makes it different?  These differences: areas to exploit and emphasize in how you present yourself.  Same reason why cookie cutter pop bands come and go but certain timeless trailblazers are remembered as ‘true’ artists – they did something noticeably different.
    18. 18.  Maybe it’s being different enough to be recognisable, but not so different as to be unrecognisable?  Or the right amount of what a lot of business types would call ‘differentiation’?
    19. 19. Copywriting For Artists In A Nutshell: Quick Tips  Things to do when communicating with your followers     and potential allies... Write specifically to one person, not ‘your fans’ – write for an archetype – imagine you had a fan that you really liked and you were in a social space (i.e. The Pub) telling them a story, face to face Write as yourself. Don’t put on a persona. Ask an (open) question that gets people to respond Never give all the game away (‘click this link for more info...’)
    20. 20.  When you’re writing, ask yourself “so, what?” regularly.  What is ‘in it’ for your reader, why should they care?  Regardless of what you’re communicating you are also & always selling your reader on reading onto the next sentence  End each of your communications with a clear CTA [call to action]
    21. 21. CTAs & Closing  Want someone to click through to a YouTube video? ASK at the end of the message. You can ask times in multiple in the same message but always CLOSE the message with ‘the ask’.  This ‘action’ is the goal of the message. You’re not just writing for the sake of having written, you’re using words to make good things happen.  Not all of your messages are written with the goal of getting people to do stuff, but many can/should be.
    22. 22. Anyone remember this?
    23. 23. 3 ideas that I’d like to share with you
    24. 24. Idea 1: Positioning  Do you know who you are and where you are in relation to the rest of the musical marketplace (do you know what you’re selling and who’s buying)?
    25. 25. Positioning...  When we're trying to sell a product, first we've got to get clear on  What exactly the product is  Who it appeals to  Where it is (who it's competing with)  Why it’s great/different
    26. 26. Positioning Continued: Your Personal Brand  Making the product right for the people you want to     sell for, or finding the right people for what you’ve already got. AKA stuff that the commercial music industry takes to often ridiculous extremes So, have you considered...? Your personal ‘look’ and graphic/site design - is it consistent? (I am clearly not a stylist) Your tone of voice - does fit with your identity? – how you speak and type (Friendly? Angry? Sartorial? Laconic?)
    27. 27.  Madonna: Has reinvented her personal brand repeatedly in attempt to stay on top of the charts.  Seems to have worked for successive generations of music listeners and various pop styles?  I’m not a personal branding expert or a fan so I can’t say all that much more...  Do you reckon it worked?
    28. 28. Self descriptions and building that connection  Real fans buy into the product (you) wholesale, not     just the music you create. That means that they buy into your style, personality, lifestyle and everything else! So, give them more to connect with. Consider: how are you communicating and connecting at current? (I’ve got an exercise at the end that can help you determine your personal brand.)
    29. 29. And... we’re learning!
    30. 30. IDEA 2: Grab ‘Em By The Eyes  TRAUMATIC WORD POWERRRRRRRRRRR=  Powerful headlines  Powerful words (for a powerful message)  Powerful narrative structure
    31. 31. A) Use Ballsy Headlines  Headlines that convert, headlines that don't and why you should care  Anything where you have to grab people’s attention in the first few lines (read – almost all communications) can be counted as a headline  Don’t reinvent the wheel. Swipefiles can help.
    32. 32. Shortcuts To Great Headlines  On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. ~Copyblogger  Swipefile: A bunch of headlines that have already been proven to work  (I’ll give you a link to one I’ve put together at the end of our talk)  Basically headlines I stole from people who stole from people who stole from people...
    33. 33. Wait... wasn’t that Picasso?  Also a good headline....
    34. 34. Good Headline  Grabs attention from line one and leads from here  Informs reader concisely - does not rant and waste people’s attention  Directs reader to an action (such as selling them on reading the rest of the content) -> YOU DO THIS WITH EVERY LINE YOU WRITE  Uses powerful, timeless words (list will be provided at the end)  Uses timeless structure (often comes modified from a swipefile)
    35. 35. Continued  Headline formula = Number &/or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise ~ Jeff Goins  E.g: “13 fantastic ways to overeat sweet potatoes and still feel great about yourself!”
    36. 36. Bad Headline  Basically doesn’t do any of those things. Actually this one might be good ->
    37. 37. B) Use words powerfully and powerful words  “Walls of Text” = 
    38. 38. Continued  Formatting =   Paragraphs  Bullets  Underlining  Italics VARIETY
    39. 39. Powerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr  The power of words is in how they        work upon human feelings Consider what feelings you’re trying to tap into Fear? Urgency? Reassurance:? Exclusivity? (there are many more) #1 Powerrrrrr Word Of All Time= “You”
    40. 40.  A lot of this is your discretion, there’s no regulatory body for the efficacy of words  (But there are many lists of particularly powerful available online – I’ll make one available if you want it)
    41. 41. DESTROY ALL WEASEL WORDS  Weasel words are linguistic cowardice.  Often used to lie and deceive with inference and stand on       empty technicality At best they’re not specific enough and at worst they’re unethical Use them too much and you sound like a slimy advert or an uninformative/crap wikipedia article. Examples: Up to 50% off! (everything from 0-50% is “up to 50%”) People say that... (what people?) As everybody knows... (do they really?)
    42. 42. C) Use Narrative Structure & Rhetoric         Humans love stories so tell stories Bridge paragraphs so that the copy flows. “And, speaking of sweet potatoes...” You can start sentences with questions that you answer “What’s the band been upto for the last 3 weeks?” Or with words/phrases such as “so”, Or you can use single line paragraphs for emphasis The point is to make it read like you’re talking to somebody and ‘mixing it up a bit’  Also stay away from abstraction, it kills empathy most of the time.
    43. 43. BIG IDEA: USE LESS WORDS  (good) “Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination.” ~ Louise Brooks
    44. 44. IDEA 3: Media Empathy: Communicating with journalists, ‘tastemakers’, etc.  Some insights from personal experience of what it's like to be a music blogger/writer and work with musicians and musical PRs.  AKA What musicians and music PRs often do well and badly “review my album” “no”
    45. 45. What music media wants to get:  Churnalism: Sad, but if you have a story that already wrote itself = happy lazy time starved writers [see our point later on press releases]  Rights cleared images: So they know they can use them  A story that’s actually not boring AKA ‘THE HOOK’: Oh, you released a new album – why should I care? What’s ‘the hook?’ always ask yourself that  Viral/ LCD stuff: funny, sexy, useful (FHM holy triad) + anything with cats or celebrities or boobs etc.
    46. 46.  Relevant Pitches: Either through knowing who thinks what you’re doing is news or getting the right media list (Gorkana, Sourcewire, Entertainment4Media, PRWeb etc)  Exclusivity: Kinda hard but some people use it.  Friendly relationships – some of the most successful PRs I know I'd count as nice people with interesting things to tell me, not people pushing products and releases.
    47. 47. Help A Reporter Out!  A story that was pitched uniquely to me and mentions why I was chosen (yeah it’s time consuming but flattery gets you (almost) everywhere. It also appears relevant)  Asking me what I’m working on and then seeing if/how you can help.  People who want to help me:   People who just want to pitch me 
    48. 48. Twitter Yes  •Funny, novel •Engaging: it started a conversation!
    49. 49. What music media doesn’t want to get  AKA writers are grumpy and how not to make them any grumpier  Don’t simply tweet at people with links to your songs, this just makes them irritated and likely to pay no attention to anything else  Don’t email people press releases without some form of contact introducing them to who you are and explaining why your content is relevant to them  If you’ve done it already that’s OK – but at least establish a relationship before you send more messages though
    50. 50. Continues  Don’t email them so obviously from a mailmerge (e.g. my name is not ‘Journalist Oughton’ :/ ) – people are people, not lists  One too many times of this and the journo might click ‘spam’ on your emails. Once that happens you are effectively blacklisted and your emails will probably not be read again   Also don’t be a dick on the social media.
    51. 51. Twitter No  •I won’t RT this and you can’t make me! •I still don’t know who this person is
    52. 52. PR In A Tiny Nutshell: Writing A Press Release That’s Not Crap  Press releases are fantastic if...  i. Written compellingly (designed for reader     convenience not the Pulitzer Prize) ii. The reason for contact is clear and the content appeals to the journo and his/her readership iii. Sent to the right people (get the right lists and spam indiscriminately at your peril) (Often they’re none o these) (there’s gonna be a link to a press release template at the end)
    53. 53. The Inverted Pyramid Via http://provercoffee.wordpress.com
    54. 54. I’m going to shut up soon, promise / The Summary:  Music and words are both forms of communication      that build empathy with your audience/listener/allies. Empathic bridges are good and allow people to feel the emotions they’re chasing... Every product/service can be reduced to a means to enable good feelings... Some songs excite you Some songs relax you etc.
    55. 55. Summary continued  Good copywriting allows you to better understand your musical/commercial offering, who wants it and how to package it so that they best ‘get it’  It helps you build empathy  Test and refine your communications/marketing as much as possible for as long as possible.  Find out who’s listening and speak directly to them
    56. 56. (and that is serious business)
    57. 57. Ideas for next steps  Take no longer than 10 minutes to try the 5 word self     description test (when you’re in a good frame of mind) [link to it with example will be at the end of the presentation] Take a look over your biog and written marketing materials now knowing what you know (provided you got something from the talk!) Check out some recommended resources which I'll include at the end and consider how to use them. Ask me stuff whilst I’m here, if you want Tweet/email me your questions/ideas later, if you want.
    58. 58.  Happy to provide more help if I can: tweet your love, hate, questions and suggestions at @koukouvaya:  And tell me: What do/did you want to hear more & less of?  Feedback helps me improve!
    59. 59. Email Jack for links to the following:  Press release template  Swipefile: proven headlines etc.  Powerful word list & Structuring messages checklist  SEO Writing Checklist [for humans AND robots!]  Shortlist: Where to find music writers, journos and bloggers  Recommended further reading [copywriting, marketing, attention economy, etc]
    60. 60. Now start: Do something, anything - but remember to keep it simple! Byebye humans “I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1foot bars that I can step over.” ~ Warren Buffet
    61. 61. PS: How To (probably) Tell When A Copywriter Is Lying  This is a bit of fun but you might find it very useful in dealing with the world of ads  Adding a question to a statement, no matter how impossible, is seen as an excuse to lie or get away with stupid hyperbole  i.e Get Ripped in 2 Weeks? (probably not)
    62. 62. PPS: How to help determine your brand and positioning with a few questions:  The cool thing about not being signed to a major label is that you should have nobody telling you what kind of musician you're 'supposed' to be.  Thus you get to find out for yourself...
    63. 63. Copywriting Exercise: Self Description AKA What are you ‘trying to say with your music?’ AKA It’s almost like journaling!  Find the 5 core phrases that you associate with  WHAT you are  WHO you target  HOW you do what you do  WHY you do what you do  [There’s a link to my filled out example available if you want it]
    64. 64. Continued...  Sometimes this helps you see what you’re doing. Other times it doesn’t. Sometimes it helps you sharpen your writing and sometimes it simply creates bollocks.  But it’s worth the time every now and then.  How you use it depends on the kind of self description you uncover.  Ideally you want to have an ‘aha’ moment that helps you see where you’re going, creatively or that helps you create a wicked biog/your next concept album...
    65. 65. Continued...  The exercise can help you find a little direction in your self definition.  But it’s likely that you’ll keep changing, so this exercise is just a rough indicator of where you are artistically right now, not some sort of ‘destiny solidifying’ document  Unless you want it to be? woof

    ×