Copywriting 101: Crafting Stories that Inspire Action | Alexandra Hammond | Skillshare

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Copywriting 101: Crafting Stories that Inspire Action

teacher avatar Alexandra Hammond, Communications Designer, Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Introduction - What we will cover in this class

    • 2. What Inspires Action: Latest Research & Wisdom

    • 3. Getting in Touch With Your Motivations

    • 4. Why its Important to Know Your "Why"

    • 5. Class Project - Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

    • 6. Class Recap - You Are Dismissed!

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About This Class

Whether you’re an individual consultant, a business or a nonprofit organization, you need to engage your audience with your work. You may be selling products or services, or you may be inspiring people to donate, cast a vote or volunteer for your cause. No matter what you’re trying to do in the world, you need to build relationships with people so that they participate in your project.

Inspiring participation requires building an authentic relationship with your audience, not just broadcasting your ideas and goals. This means connecting your work to what your audience cares about.

How is this accomplished?

It may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to connect with your audience is to communicate your authentic self and motivations. This means articulating your deeply held beliefs: explaining why you’re in the game and why you do what you do.

The great American poet and novelist Maya Angelou has said:

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This is why good copywriting requires that you have something important to say.

In this class you will:

  • Take a brief look into the latest research on what makes people care and take action

  • Turn this knowledge back on yourself to define what you care about -- why you do what you do, how you do it, and how this work affects the world.

  • Craft your authentic elevator pitch using an easy template so that you can communicate what you do in a compelling way that makes people want to know more.

  • Finally, we’ll touch on how you can add detail to this brief message so that you have the foundations of a longer pitch or presentation.

*For more about me, Alexandra Hammond, visit my website or follow me on instagram @walliealie

Meet Your Teacher

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Alexandra Hammond

Communications Designer, Artist


I work with individuals, brands and institutions to express their vision and connect with their audiences through image, message and strategy.

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1. Introduction - What we will cover in this class: Thanks for coming. Teoh. Copy writing 11 crafting stories that inspire action. My name is Alexandra Hammond and I'm a communications designer. I work with individuals, brands and institutions to connect with their audiences through images, message and strategy. And so baked into that is a lot of writing and thinking about what people are actually trying to say. In addition to that, I am an artist. So I spend a lot of time working with ideas about how our imagination and our emotional reality actually shape our percent, our perceptions of what is really in the world and then how we take action and live in the world based on those perceptions. So if you like to know a little bit more about my work, you can visit my website at AM and design dot com and for the play by play. Just follow me on Instagram. I'm at handle rally. So this class I'm gonna be asking us to take a little bit of a deep dive and look inward. Now, many marketing people will tell you otherwise, but I truly believe that to do good writing, you actually have to have something to say because as a great mentor and writing teacher of mine, once told me, Writing is thinking it's our way of organizing our thoughts and then recording them so that others can read them and understand what we believe I think are passionate about. It's in this class. We're gonna be focusing on that that inward look. And the result of this is going to be your assignment, which will be to craft your one minute message, otherwise known as the old elevator pitch. We're gonna break this down so that it's quite simple on and we're gonna actually use a kind of simple template, so it will be accessible for you even though we're gonna be dealing with some ideas that go pretty deep and in support of this work. We're also going to be looking taking a brief look into some of the latest research on what may actually makes people care and connect and take action. And then we're also going to be laying the foundations for you to add some detail on kind of flesh out your weapon and message for a longer piece of writing or a longer conversation . So, without further Dio, I think we can get into our lesson plan. And when you do your projects, don't forget to post them in the projects gallery so that you can get some feedback from your peers. Okay, tell CNN. 2. What Inspires Action: Latest Research & Wisdom: I welcome back to copy writing one on one, crafting stories that inspire action in this part of the course. We're going to be getting ready to tap into what makes you care about your work so that you can inspire others to care, too. So as we've discussed the key to any kind of marketing, whether you are trying to make sales or whether you're trying, Teoh inspire volunteerism or action is really getting people to participate in your vision in whatever way like you to consider this. This is a quote from an article from the Stanford Social Innovation with You by Christiano and Demons, and they stay. People failed to act not because they do not have enough information, but because they don't care or they don't know what to do. If you start with this perspective as a foundation of your work, you can craft a strategy that helps people care and tells them exactly what you want them to do. So consider that, And then I also want to share with you a quote by a famous poet and novelist, My Angelou. She says people will forget what you said. They will forget what you did, But people will never forget how you made them feel. I think all of us can kind of relate to that statement on a personal level. But why is that so? As I said before, writing is thinking and thinking is feeling So the old idea of the rational thinker that we as human beings should ideally make decisions based on our understanding of facts that is completely divorced from our emotional system. It turns out to be really debunked by the most recent kind of psychological and linguistic research. Recent neuro physiological research, for example, shows us that our comprehension of metaphors and language actually links up to our sensory perceptions. So if I hear the phrase I had a rough day, the same part of my brain actually lights up. When I hear that phrase as when I touch sandpaper. Is that crazy? So I think this shows on a really physical level how much our understanding is actually connected with our even our physical sense of feeling. So this gives us some pointers for our right, right? We can use metaphor and its com create visual language in order to connect with people emotionally. But this could get a little bit tricky because we don't want to start using cliches. And we also don't want to get kind of overly flowery and fanciful with our language, because that can also cause people to get alienated from what we're saying. So that's why in the next part of the course, we're gonna be learning how to really ground down and focus into our own experience and our own emotional reality in order to craft a message that is truly resident and truly authentic. So for the next part of the class, I'd like to make sure that you have a pen or pencil and your notebook handy so that we can do some reading in real time. In the next part, of course. Okay, cuz. 3. Getting in Touch With Your Motivations: the nice part of the course is called tapping into your motivations. And I'd like you to bear with me a little bit because we're gonna be doing a few exercises that you might think are kind of unfamiliar. We're gonna actually be using a teeny bit of mindfulness practice here to get really grounded and go deep. Take a deep dive into what our core motivations are for doing what we do, so that we can then communicate that out to others. Because, of course, the goal of this class is to craft stories that inspire action. So I hope that you've got your journal and your pen ready because we're gonna be doing some journaling. And we're gonna be doing this in real time in this class. And this is not your assignment, because this is something that you're gonna be using just for yourself for your own reference. So I want you to be as immediate and just kind of off the cuff as you can be. OK, so amazing. Counterintuitive. But the best way to connect with your audience is actually Teoh. Take a deep dive within yourself and identify your core motivations and your core beliefs. And once you can articulate those, you can often connect with others in a much more authentic level. So instead of walking you through a bunch of slides and showing how others have done this, I think that we should do it on ourselves, be our own guinea pigs. So this is an exercise for you. So remember, nobody else has to see this, and you can just be honest and take the next two minutes to write down what you dio. I think whatever comes to mind, it doesn't have to be polished. Just have a Did you finish? Okay, great. Next. I'd like you to write down how you do what you do. Read what you wrote about what you dio. And now try to explain how that happens. What processes go into accomplishing all that? I'm gonna give you another two minutes to write about that and the night segment. I want to get to the heart. Why is that? You do what you do, what motivates you at your core? I mean, we can all say that we do jobs for money to get paid, but you know, there are a lot of different ways to get paid for what you do. So why is it that you gravitated towards this specific calling this specific thing that you do? So before we dive into this, I'd actually like us to do you just a little bit of mindfulness exercise together. So if your game and I hope you are, go ahead and close your eyes and just feel your breath. I'm aware of the way that your breaths just goes in and out of your body. Trying Now become aware of received the way you make contact with chair we're seeing make contact with floor and how stable what stability? Now turn your attention to the top of your head and space above the top of your head. All the possibilities that's face Notice how your breath connects those two rounds, the earth below you and space about. Just take a few more breaths into that space and you're ready. Can you open your eyes? That wasn't so Now I'd like to take two minutes to write down why you do what you do. Just say whatever comes. - So now that you have your answers, were ready to move on to the next step 4. Why its Important to Know Your "Why": everybody. Welcome back to copy writing one of one crafting stories that inspire action. Thanks a lot for coming back and being part of this journey. Now, in this part of the class, we're gonna be talking a little bit about why it is so important to know your why and believe it or not. After that short exercise and after taking some time to write in your journal on that way, you probably know a lot more about your motivations and how to articulate them. Then many leaders. Now, I'm just gonna touch on some of the recent thinking about why this stuff is important live in what's been called an intention economy, right? We're all being pulled in many different directions, specifically towards screens and towards reading tweets and anything that can get our attention in the most sensationalistic way. So that's why creating authentic personal connections is so important for getting people to actually participate in the work that you do. Marketing guru Simon Cenac, who I believe also has courses on this platform, has talked about what he calls the power of why and we actually went through this exercise in the last portion. Of course, but I want to introduce you to this concept that he calls the Golden Circle. What cynics pieces is is that people don't buy what you dio. They buy why you do it. People don't buy what you do, they buy. Why you do think about that. We're going back, Teoh our emotional connection again, this concept that we actually make decisions oftentimes based on our emotional beliefs more than on factual evidence. So to build only squints, it's tapping into your wine and being able to communicate that strongly and effectively. It will actually allow people to then connect with your work and to become involved. So when you're writing just like when you're entering a social situation, think about what your audience cares about and what they want to know. You can use what you're thinking and feeling to connect with what they may well be thinking and feeling so clearly and strongly stating what you believe. You can connect with others. Good writing takes strong statements, and oftentimes these strong statements use concrete language and visual metaphor in order to make people connect things that they may not normally connect. And this is the way that we can use our thinking feeling mind, to inspire people to participate with us. So just remember, writing is thinking and thinking is feeling. So in the next class we're gonna be working on crafting our elevator pitch. 5. Class Project - Crafting Your Elevator Pitch: when our second to last segment of this course we're gonna be working on our class assignment. And this is where the rubber really hits we're gonna be using as a resource journal entries that you created two sessions ago where you talked about your Why, how and West in your class assignment will be using a fill in the blanks approach to develop some of the most important language. I used to get people on board with your project. Your assignment is to adapt this sentence for your own work. Think about how you would say this in your own voice. Even if it's not the boys you always speak with. It could be a better and clearer voice. Just make sure that it brings to you. Fill in the blanks model has also been provided in the assignment area of your course, so make sure to download it there and fill in the blanks. Here's an example of what I used to talk about my own artwork. I believe that our imaginations have the power to shape reality. I work in my studio to create paintings and conceptual projects that liberate people from the limitations of what they perceive to be real, as some of you are probably like What? What does that mean? But that's exactly the point. This part of your assignment is to essentially create what we call an elevator pitch on. The point of an elevator pitch is to get people involved and interested in what you do. You want them to ask questions what them enough information that they feel they can ask the question. But you want to drop. Remember that when you finish your project posted in the project gallery area so you can get back from your peers. 6. Class Recap - You Are Dismissed!: So people, welcome back and believe it or not, we're reaching the end of our time together. In this course, I'll be ready one on one, crafting stories that inspire action. I want to take a moment to thank you for being part of this course and sticking with it, and I really hope that you got something out of it again. My name is Alexandra Hammond, and I am a communications designer and I'm an artist, and you can follow my work. That's a M and design dot com. Or you can also follow me on Instagram. Well, the alley. So I wanted to take a moment to recap what we've covered in this course. We've taken some time to delve briefly into the latest research on what makes people care and how language interacts with our emotional state and how to use that to tap into our own sense of what we do and our core beliefs in order to connect with our audience and communicate that clearly to them so that they can in turn connect with the work that we do out there in the world. We've taken a brief look into the latest research on what makes people care and take action , then turned this knowledge back on ourselves to define what we care about and why we do what we do, how we do it and how this work affects the world. We then work to craft inauthentic one minute message so that we can communicate what we do in a compelling way that makes people want to know more. So now I'm gonna touch on some ways you can flesh out this brief message so that you can work it into a longer piece of writing are longer pitch. So here you pointers Towards working towards that longer message. Never assume that your audience knows what you or your organization does. Always be prepared to stomach out really clearly. And your elevator pitch should have to find who you are and what you do and what you believe. Now you can flush this out first. You can define what specific problems in the world you are trying to solve. Looking your wife statement. How are you solving this problem are creating more of what you envision in the world. Think about your specific audience and what they care about. What problem? My baby trying to solve. And how can you, your business organization, help next thing of an instance where you or your organization solved a problem? Describe that example. This shouldn't be abstract. It's a really story that you witnessed or experienced. It's like a case study. Finally describe your vision. What are you trying to get done? The goal here is to get someone to participate with you, whether they're buying your goods or services donating time or money are casting about. If you know your audience well enough, tell your ask directed to that so you can use this at one to craft your longer piece of writing, and I encourage you to do so. It's kind of like an extra credit. And remember that you can tap into what you wrote about for your why, how and what when we did our journaling exercise. Now you're on your way to be able to craft stories that resonate with your audience is, and we've broken this down by using ourselves in organizations as any pigs to describe what we do, how we do it and, most importantly, why we do it now. Remember that copy writing style is really up to you. It can be all your own and to make it the most effective, it should really be authentic. It doesn't have to be the voice that you speak with exactly because writing is a little bit different than the spoken word. But it should be clear, and it should be really compelling. Remember that good writing starts with really strong statements, and another thing to remember is that good writing really starts with being a good reader. So the best way that I would recommend Teoh work on your voice and to Kraft reading that is really compelling and meaningful to others is to read a lot of great writing that you love and to try to think about what it is about that writing that you can learn from to develop your own voice. Final reminder. If you haven't yet posted your project to the Project Gallery area, please do so. Then you can begin to get feedback from your classmates and start a conversation with before we finish our time together. I'd like to leave you with a final thought. I love creative work because there's really no one right answer and we all know that they're pieces of writing that resonate and that people quote for generations to come and that there also other pieces of reading that mostly just get forgot. So remember when you sit down to write that writing is thinking and thinking is feeling, so make sure that you write with conviction and that you know, and communicate what you're trying to say.