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Detective turned amateur astrologist goes rogue (and ignores an advanced copy insight)

Last night, I finished Robert Galbraith’s fifth murder mystery novel, Troubled Blood.


In it, Strike’s, the main detective and leading partner of his detective agency, decides to try his best to crack a cold case that happened 40 years prior. And the lead detective at the time the crime happened, a dude named Talbot, gives Strike and his crew of detectives a run for their money.


Why?


Well, towards the end of Talbot’s detective career, he came down with a wicked mental illness, turned rogue, and started relying on astrology—instead of his detective skills—to solve the case.


As Strike and his partner, Robin, dive into the case, they wind up getting a secret notepad, full of notes Talbot hid from the police containing astrological signs and dates, pentagrams, and a whole host of other, irrelevant-tilting-on-mad doodles and notes.


This notepad was a gift and a curse.


Y’see, there were tidbits of information Talbot hid from the police that both helped the detectives and hindered the detectives.


Deep inside his lunatic notes, Talbot buried several needles in the haystack that contained info not even the police records had.


But the majority of it was complete and utter garbage—or wuzzit?


(You’ll have to read the book to find out the answer, I don’t wanna spoil anyone’s experience with the book.)


At one point, about a third into the 927 page book, Strike makes a valuable insight, especially when it comes to writing copy.


And I quote:


===


“and I think that’s part of what went wrong in the case. Talbot took in a huge amount of information and couldn't see what to discard.”


===


The copy tie-in here?


Well, if’n you’re a skilled copywriter, you’ll spend hours on the research before writing a lick of copy. Most of this research, like Talbot’s deranged notes, is nonsense.


Either it’s too stuffy and scientific (and thus, boring).


Or not relatable enough.


Or not visceral enough. And sometimes too visceral too.


The list goes on.


That’s why a skilled copywriter not only knows how to do the research part, but also understands what to discard from said research and what to keep.


Copywriting is far more advanced than simply writing words.


And you know what?


It’s a problem I see happening frequently to ecom brand owners.


They (foolishly) think that they can handle the copy, but they don’t fully appreciate or understand what makes their customers “tick.”


Since they assume they know what makes their audience “tick,” they skimp on the research. (Many such cases of copywriters committing this sin too.) And when they skimp on the research, they loot their own wallets—the same way Talbot “looted” this investigation and caused someone to reach out to Strike, 40 years after the crime took place.


Moral of the story?


If you want to write the most persuasive and infectious copy, then, well, you gotta get your hands dirty with the research. But more important, you have to figure out what to discard and what to keep.


Lucky for you, I have more experience doing this exact process than I can put any kind of numerical value to.


So to shortcut this onerous and often boring process, book a call, and lemme take it off your hands.


John

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