Opinions Are Like A$$#@!es… Everybody’s Got One (Including Me)

So I had an interesting experience this morning after a 5 mile jog with 40 lbs. on my back.

I read a post by a friend of mine who disagreed with an answer I gave a member of my copywriting group who asked a question.

My friend has the benefit of a LOT more background information on the member’s question and, with the benefit of that background information, he was mostly right… I was mostly wrong.

My friend then went on to say that he’d made some changes based on suggestions I’d made for his copy and the results were inconclusive (because there was not a statistically significant change over the control).

My friend further went on to say that people, out of respect for my opinion, might take my advice over their own experience and use it to their detriment.

Again, he might be right… And he might be wrong… depending on the situation.

Some might think I’d be pissed off at being “called out” like this by a friend. He even said he considered deleting the post.

I’m glad he didn’t 😀

First, this is a GREAT example of intelligent discussion rather than social media name calling and whining. My buddy disagreed with me and said something. I have no problem with that because he had his act together and could back it up with a logical argument. (Plus I just love the guy.)

Second, it made me realize a few things (while showering off after my ruck). Yes, Dave, I was thinking of you while in the shower 😀

1. This is a great example of WHY you need to become the best copywriter in the world you ever hired. Nobody should know your audience better than you.

2. If you ask for an opinion, understand that the opinion is just that… an opinion. NOT FACT. That opinion might sound like the gospel truth, but it’s only an opinion. Take it for what it’s worth… even if you paid for it. (Yep, even if you pay for an opinion, you’re still left with just an opinion… hopefully it’s an experienced opinion.)

3. Copywriting is a SUBJECTIVE art.
It’s not like math where there is a right or wrong answer. There may be 10 different ways to do something in sales copy and get a result. Your job is to figure out one that works and then make it better through testing.

4. Once you understand the principles, patterns and formulas of proven sales copy, your job is to practice plugging YOUR stuff into them to fit your audience. Unlike high school English class where you were punished for modeling others, in sales copy you’re often rewarded for following the formulas.

5. If you get an opinion from someone about your copy, run a test, and then beat that person’s suggestions, that doesn’t make them wrong and you right… it means you know your audience and you should feel good that you’re already moving in the right direction.

6. There are NO MAGIC ANSWERS!
And, as you get better at creating sales copy, ads, offers, OTOs, etc. the major leaps and bounds of improvement you saw when you first got started reduce down to fighting for 1/10th of a percent improvements. In other words, it’s stops being creative fun (at least for me) and turns into work. But the BIG money comes from the work.

So, bottom line, if you ask a question, get a critique, or ask for an opinion from anyone, including me, be prepared to accept the consequences.

And, if you answer a question, offer a critique, or give an opinion, be prepared to accept the consequences… especially in this hyper-speed, low-cogitation, knee-jerk-reaction world in which we find ourselves now.

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