Copywriting and Business Lessons from Decluttering My Entire Life

Over the past year, I’ve become obsessed with decluttering. (Okay, okay, to be fair if you still looked at how much crap I own, you wouldn’t believe me, but it’s true.)

It originally started back in college, mainly to flip things to pay for going out on the weekends, but it became a fun way to get rid of stuff.

See, I’m not a big fan of just throwing things away. Especially when the item is still useful and works just fine. I just can’t get on board with working items sitting in a landfill until the end of time.

Through the years, I started to use my copywriting skills to test different ideas. It was fun to have full creative freedom instead of someone saying, “No, you can’t write that this couch is perfect for Netflix and chill.”

Or juicers with the tagline “Feel like you read goop every time you use this.”

While becoming a minimalist failed (My DVD collection alone proves this), I still learned a lot about copywriting and sales.

Specifics are secondary to benefits

People buy products and services to make their lives better. If you clearly explain why your product/service does that, then sales become so much easier.

Will this product make them more organized?
Will it help them cook faster?
Will they have a better workout?

Sure, product details matter, but if you frame it in a way that shows how you’re solving a problem they have,  they will happily buy. Which leads to my second point.

Sales aren’t always worth it

When it comes to selling, a discount can get a fast sale. However, they aren’t always worth it.

If someone asks for a discount, or you’re selling something under its market value, be ready to deal with difficult customers.

This is counterintuitive. You’d think that someone asking for a deal or getting something cheaper would make them easier to deal with, but almost always it’s the opposite. Of course, this wasn’t for every single sale, it was just amazing to see the haggling for the cheap products.

The same thing goes for business. When you undervalue yourself and your work, you’ll attract people who don’t value what you do, either. When I did $5 articles over a decade ago, I constantly had to deal with the worst clients.

Look, I totally get it. I’ve been there where you have to count every single penny coming in and out, but it still holds true.

Get creative to get out of a rut

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you’re working on your own business for a long time.

The problem a lot of us run into while running our businesses is getting stuck in the same rut over and over and over.

Good copy can’t save a bad product

If the product or service is bad, you can make it sound as fun as you want with your copy, but it won’t sell. Period. Chipotle can make their new queso sound absolutely amazing, but once word is out that it tastes horrible (which it does), the copy no longer matters.

Bad copy doesn’t matter if the product is amazing

As a copywriter, I know I should say that copy is the most important thing, but it’s just not true. Copywriting is the icing on the cake of an already excellent product or service.

Excellent products don’t have a hard time selling. Do you know how much copy I need to write to sell an old iPhone? Almost none. People know that Apple creates superior products.

Does that mean Apple never cares about copy? Of course not. Their product descriptions and new releases have “Expert Copywriter” written all over it. This is why I often recommend that companies get their branding in order before hiring a copywriter.

What unexpected business lessons did you learn by doing something outside of your regular routine? Leave a comment I'd love to hear about it.