[Cats & Copy] The Best Copywriting Tips I Learned By Mothering A Stray Cat In Bali
Location – Bali, Indonesia
So get this.
I’m riding my motorbike down a curvy stretch of road at night, nothing guiding me but the headlights.
In my dimly-lit view, I see outlines of a tiny furry creature, and that green/red light of reflection in the eyes.
As my lights pierce the dark air, my heart sinks a little.
Suddenly I see a small, clumsy kitten stumble onto the road in front of me.
I literally almost ran over her with my motorbike. I barely saw her because at that time, she was the same size of my palm!
My immediate thoughts were:
“It’s 9 o’clock at night, it’s cold, dark, wet, and her mother is gone. She’s good as dead.”
There are freakin’ Komodo dragons on the prowl! They’re native to island of Komodo in Indonesia, and I’ve seen some big as the gators of Florida.
There are also snakes, dogs and other stray animals that would enjoy a scrumptious kitten breakfast.
Without my help, I suspect that’s exactly what would’ve happened to her. Remember this, because there’s a potent copywriting lesson contained in that simple thought. We’ll come back to it.
I pick her up. She’s wet, cold and shaky, and she actually fits into the palm of my hand.
“Well, that’s it,” I think. “I’m her new mother now… DAMMIT!”
I kept telling people I wouldn’t name her so I would get attached, but… I knew as the days crept by, she’d grow on me…
Well, now she’s bouncing around my villa all day, hunting my toes and chewing up my things.
Pretty freakin’ obnoxious, but I mean, LOOK AT THAT FACE! Could YOU stay mad at this?
Little did I know she’d soon be reinforcing some of the best copywriting tips available, about human and animal nature that I’ve used to sell products online (and you can too).
Oh, and I named her Khaleesi. Yes, like the mother of dragons in Game of Thrones. I thought it’d be ironic and funny!
A lot of these copywriting lessons I already knew and have literally used before in my clients’ businesses! But they’ve kept popping into my head as I fed her milk and tuna.
Starting out with our first one for today’s post…
#1 – Humans (& Animals) Do NOT Like to Go Against Their Nature!
She hates lying on her back; she always wants to be alert on her feet. If you try to flip her on her back, to pet her belly or feed her milk, she’s not having it. She’ll fight you to the death to maintain her consistent nature.
Just like Cialdini’s commitment-consistency principles, she wants to remain true to her being. This is is animal nature, and isn’t unique to the animal kingdom.
This is natural; probably a defense mechanism to be aware of predators, or get ready for a hunt.
When you make her go against her nature, it simply doesn’t work.
She might do what you’re trying to get her to do for a quick second, but then she’ll revert right back to her ways.
She’s also a cat: stubborn and independent, but still.
So what does this mean for you and me as marketers?
YOU MUST SELL HUMANS WHAT THEY ALREADY WANT.
Then you must deliver them what they need, that will get them results.
Ever heard that one before?
“Sell ‘em what they want; give ‘em what they need.”
It’s like Eugene Schwartz famously said:
This applies even if you think you know what’d help the prospects most.
Even if you want them to be successful and happy with your product.
Even if you KNOW that what you have in store FOR THEM would blow their socks off…
It doesn’t matter.
We operate under laws of human behavior. The psychological, emotional, and societal laws always apply.
Our behavior, since we’ve elevated ourselves from the animal kingdom, is still primal in nature.
Never forget that. Evolutionary psychology is an extremely powerful basis for writing kick-ass copy like John Carlton.
So if you’re writing copy without using some of the psychology triggers you already know, you’re wasting your time.
If you think you’re above using scarcity, social proof, or proof of results to make the sale…
You’re selling yourself short.
Plus, you’re only marketing to a small percentage of people who don’t need that stuff in order to make a buying decision.
In other words, one of the most important parts in this session of the best copywriting tips, is recognizing the necessity of using tools like this to get solid products to the marketplace.
On top of that, you’re doing your client or customer a disservice, if you don’t use everything in your power to get your product into their hands!
If you bang on about this feature or that benefit, instead of using innovative techniques that actually get the sale, you’re wasting your time.
If you are selling your heart out on what YOU think is so awesome about your product, you’re wasting your time.
All you’re doing is temporarily flipping the cat onto its back, because you think it’d be more comfortable there.
This is one of the most fundamental laws of human nature, so I really want it to sink in for you today. It sunk deep into my psyche as I was enjoying Bali this time around, and mothering this little one.
This crazy cat has taught me a lot of the best copywriting tips and reinforced some relevant copy laws, but today we’ll leave it here.
In the upcoming days and weeks I’ll drop some more insights to you about the best copywriting tips I learned from this little stray, in parts two and three!