We are just two more steps away from a perfectly edited piece of writing.
A quick recap of my 7 step editing process:
Today we're being purely evil.
Suggested listening while reading: death metal
At this point in my editing, I've been diligently editing and combing through each word of the copy, making sure it's nice and polished.
Now I tear it apart.
When I do this step I like to envision myself as a character in Mean Girls, snapping my fingers and saying "No girl, that's soooooo no true."
Sassypants McGee and I fight back and forth, with me trying to convince the hater that the product/business the copy is for is totally awesome and worth their time.
You know what, scratch that Mean Girls analogy.
I'm totally Jekyll and Hyde-ing it.
Playing devil's advocate is only possible when I've done my extensive research into the target market, company, and product. I couldn't have a logical and well thought out battle if I didn't understand the customer's pain points or intimately know competitor's strong suits.
This is when my brief foray into theater is really helpful. I try to assume the character of a typical customer and how they are experiencing the words on the page.
The real question I'm trying to answer in this stage is:
Have I made a convincing argument?
Copy needs to be persuasive, especially conversion copy (my speciality).
I have to not only tell a story but also move people to action at the same time.
Playing Mr. Hyde helps me take a step back and see if the copy is strong enough to get the desired action.
It might seem strange that I wait until almost the very end before ripping my copy apart with a Victorian fervor, but I want to the copy to be almost done before I start facing the devil.
Mostly for my own pride.
How embarrassing would it be if the devil won every time?
Ok, you can turn the death metal music off now.