Everything is about the context it’s in.
See those chairs below…
They’re the sort that you’d see lobbed into a skip.
They’re ripped, rusty and ruined.
Yet plonk them in a “vintage chic” shop in a trendy bit of London… and you can sell them for 40 quid each.
Context is how everything is percieved.
One of my favourite films is Enemy of the State.
They’re big. You’re small.
How can you win?
You use their weapons against them.
You only fight the battles you can win.
It’s the same in copywriting.
You’re a lone writer fighting for a buyer’s attention and money.
You look at the competition.
Work out how they fail and succeed.
And use their weapons against them.
And only compete in places where you’ll win.
That’s how you beat people bigger than you.
The White Lion pub in Selling doesn’t sell food.
It sells art on a plate.
Colours. Flavours. Textures.
Every element was well thought out.
Tuned to perfection.
Surely that’s an idea we can apply day to day.
To make our own masterpieces.
I love events.
Networking. Professional. Non-professional.
You walk in. You suss out the room.
“Who do I want to speak to?”
Failing that, “Who’s the best looking?”
You grab yourself a drink. And you speak to them.
You own the room.
You introduce people to one another.
You spark other conversations.
You get them laughing.
And they’re all yours.
Dad was clearing out the wardrobe when he found this.
A brochure and video for a 1991 computer. The Ti’Ko Max.
In its day, it was £2,499 – “a real bargain for a hot PC”. Bundled with DOS 4.01 and a mouse. Wowzer!
It’s funny to look at the world that existed before I was born.
How impressive it was at the time.
Like Victorians seeing a train for first time ever.
Look at all the technology we’re using now.
You’ll laugh at it in 5 years time.
“Haha! You had an iPhone with only 16 gig of memory.”
Watch my words.
“That’s right. You could write off 70% of your debt now.” Says a deep male voice
“Press 5 to speak to one of our operators and be sent an information pack.”
I press 5.
“Can I start by taking your current debt level?” She shrieks.
“Can I start by taking your name?” I reply.
“OK. How are you today Lauren?”
“Well I’m glad to hear it. I’ve just got this call and I didn’t really want it. Can you remove me from this list.”
“OK. Good bye.” After about 15 seconds of being on the phone to me.
Talk about manners. The girl had none.
“What’s my current debt level?” How about asking me about how I am?
How about being a human being rather than a ditzy robotron.
I know she has a horrible job. And a horrible boss. But please…
Manners maketh man and woman. And she could convince a lot more people if she had them.
I’m unemployable. Well, for a traditional job at least.
I get bored too easily.
I want to do something exciting and new.
Not doing something repetitive.
Where you learn the manual and stop.
That’s what I like about freelancing.
You’re always working on something different.
If they don’t like you, they sack you.
If you don’t like them, you sack em.
But that’s healthy isn’t it?
It’s evolution. No?
How many people stick in jobs they hate because it’s comfortable?
This way we rapidly develop towards what we like doing.
And the variety of new ideas and new work keeps things interesting.
I’m unemployable for a 9-5 job. But that’s no bad thing.
I went to The Design Museum on Sunday.
It was inspirational.
There’s so much creative energy and inspiration there.
I especially liked the British identity section.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have been the person to design the phone box or traffic lights or road signs?
With or without your permission.
Who else gets to plaster their work everywhere forever?
They made Britain.
We’re all malleable.
If you want to change people’s minds, you can.
Because most people think what they’re told.
I love seeing the fire in people’s eyes.
When they tell you about what they’re excited about.
A project they’re working on.
A piece of art.
An adventure they’re planning.
Because at the end of the day, doing a 9-5 job about something you don’t care about is boring.
It’s when people grab their destiny by the balls and do something about it.
And those are the kind of people which are inspirational to be around.