Originally sent via email as a Letter. Subscribe here or over to your right in the side bar.
A week ago I was lying on our hammock, watching our dog eat sticks like a goat, and devouring a good book.
In the fourth installment of a YA fantasy series, the characters were deep in a cursed wood. No sunlight came through the trees and plants that were usually helpful had turned poisonous.
As I’m reading about their adventures in Blackveil forest, I realized I had just hit upon the key to a brand messaging project.
A client of mine who is an incredible leadership coach was developing his brand voice to better position himself for sustained growth.
It was a really fun project - the interviews with his certified coaches were wonderful and I got to listen to his podcast for research.
He wanted to use the overarching metaphor of camping and the outdoors in his copy and I was struggling to do it in a way that wasn’t campy. (pun intended)
Everything was coming out sounding like a bad Girl Scouts camp song.
But when I reached the description of Blackveil forest in my book I finally discovered the balance. The pitches and voice I had been struggling to find suddenly locked into place.
The result was something that was powerful and decidedly not campy.
“Leadership feels like constantly getting lost in the wilderness.
You’re weighed down by expectations, there’s not enough sunlight coming in through the trees, and you’re crashing through blindly on a path you think is right.
But you can’t mess up or take a wrong step - because others are following you, depending on you to get them out safe and sound.”
Reading and consuming fiction is a critical part of my copywriting process.
Whenever someone asks me what I’m reading I know that they are looking for some sage business book or a self-help guide on how to be more productive….but I find I can get that advice from my community of incredible entrepreneurs.
What I can’t easily find is rampant imagination that creates new worlds at will.
Because that’s my job when I’m working on brand messaging - I’m creating a whole new world for a business to explore.
I’m building their own landscape that they can own, curate, and cultivate.
What fiction are you consuming?
How are you feeding your imagination?