Recently I was reminded of a conversation I had years ago with my husband’s aunt. She had re-entered the workforce after many years of being at home with her children.
I asked her how she explained the “small blip” (like 20 year blip…) in her resume.
“Explained?” she asked. “Oh, I explained it perfectly. I told my prospective employers how the past twenty years had more than prepared me for anything that they could throw at me! Being ‘on the ground’ with three small human beings had made me an expert at thinking on my feet, appropriately responding to emergencies, diplomacy, dealing with irrational co-workers, complying with demanding bosses or customers, and meeting ludicrous deadlines. I went on to explain that I would never be an employee who defiantly stuck to her job description, lacked initiative or adaptability.”
As a naive, young, mom-to-be her answer both impressed and scared me. Years later, I can see the beautiful wisdom in it, and fully understand how our “on the ground training” as parents prepares us for life outside the home in a myriad of ways.
One of the most important aspects of being a successful writer is understanding the emotions at play. We are all emotional beings, especially when it comes to making purchasing decisions. I know we would like to think otherwise, but… when a product, service, or idea appeals to us on an emotional level, we are as good as sold.
That is why understanding core emotions is essential to copywriting. And this skill, I must admit, was developed, tested, fine-tuned, tested, enhanced, and tested (did I mention tested?), by my children over and over again.
As a parent, grand-parent, care-giver, we have all been there. You are in the other room when you hear the screams. You rush to the living room and have less than three seconds to assess the situation before making a call — often this involves multiple screaming, and at least one crying, little people, something broken or ruined, or, in some cases, someone bleeding. This is real life training, people!
What happened? What emotions were at play leading up the event and now after the event? What is most needed? How can you get buy in from all parties in the room? And finally, get them to choose what you are selling — usually reconciliation and maybe some help with clean-up.
Parents deal with some of the most raw, emotional beings on earth, — little ones — working with them in a wide variety of often chaotic situations, to reach the best possible outcome, and get total buy in. Incredible training, really!
Bottom line — with this level of training under my belt, understanding the core emotions of your prospective and current customers is a piece of cake!