A human brain works this way. When we hear an extraordinary and vivid phrase, a “so-true” expression, we go “Wow!” We start listening carefully. We are hooked. We are ready to interact. However, when somebody (less-talented?) happen to pick this brilliant expression up and repeat it one, two, hundred, thousand times, it becomes a cliché – stale, boring, and ineffective. A living (and funny) example is the phrase think outside the box: an expression of unclichéd thought that became a cliché.
Copywriters whose task is to sell an idea or a product can’t risk harboring these phrases in their copies. Firstly, they won’t sell (though will effectively repel readers), and secondly, they will betray the lack of creativity which is harmful to your career as a copywriter. Today, with so many lazy “copywriters” out there and the web swarming with platitudes, you can stand out and eventually win more clients or even start your own business through launching a monetization platform. How? Just get rid of those verbal crutches, and we will tell you how.
Why are actually clichés bad?
- Clichés annoy. Educated readers may feel bored or even become angry that you steal their time.
- Not all clichés can be easily understood, and therefore, they can become barriers to proper understanding for some readers. (If they don’t understand, they won’t buy.)
- Clichés distract readers from what you are trying to say, the effect you are trying to achieve, and therefore, they miss your point.
- Hackneyed phrases betray your laziness and lack of original thought.
- Clichés can be omitted (like, for example, to all intents and purposes) or replaced with a couple of words that express your thought more precisely and creatively (for example, at this moment in time can be replaced by currently; par for the course can be reworded as normal).
Tips for eradicating clichés from your copies
Make your own blacklist of clichés
Analyze your portfolio and detect misused expressions, filler words, and stock phrases that made their way into your copies. Having this list of “favorite” clichés in front of you, try to avoid them next time you write a copy. This will be hard at first, but you’ll learn how to write more concisely and put more power into your words.
If you lack fresh original thoughts or feel that your vocabulary is poor, look for inspiration not in your fellow copywriters’ stuff, but in the real literature – great silver-tongue authors of all times.
Replace clichés with their actual meaning
What does this cliché mean? If you think or look up in the dictionary, you’ll find the actual meaning, the key word that you can use to replace the cliché or choose a suitable synonym that will most accurately fit the context.
Maybe, your copy will be better without it?
Fellow copywriters, let’s confess that sometimes we pack our copies with filler words just to increase its length, and thus, our salaries. Most of these trite expressions are useless as they don’t contribute to the message and are used only to make the speech flow. The quality of your copy will go supernova if you make it meatier through eradicating filler words.
Stay true to your personality
Sometimes, we fill our copies with stock phrases when we don’t know what to say. It can happen when the topic conflicts with your inner values. Don’t take the task if you feel that it’s not coherent with your values, your personality. Otherwise, you’ll create a bland, soulless copy that sounds like it was produced by a robot. Example (a real one): a client wants a copy for his brand clothes online shop, and it must promote the idea that good quality clothes (generalize: things) make you better and define your success in the future. You say, “What? What a damn bullshit.” But you take the job and struggle, struggle, struggle…. You try to reconcile the idea you don’t believe in with your conscience but to no avail. The copy you created and its style are like “not yours”. It won’t sell. It won’t even make its way to the client’s website. For this reason, we highly recommend choosing jobs where you can stay faithful to your inner values and bring in your personality.