I hold up the remote and click “play.”
The familiar opening notes of “Perfect Day” start blaring through our living room on a bright Tuesday morning.
My husband walks out of the kitchen and looks quizically between me (snuggled into the couch in my fave fuzzy pants) and the clips of Elle Woods’ perfect hair that are now displayed across our TV.
“Don’t you have work to do?” He asks, raising a skeptical eyebrow.
My jaw falls open. I gasp loudly. The back of my hand flies up to my forehead. Someone bring me a fainting sofa, stat!
“But this IS work!” I insist, gesturing wildly as Elle’s sorority sisters pass along the sparkly, sequined envelope through their enchanting house on Greek row.
Husband crosses his arms, looking terribly unconvinced by my completely rational reasoning.
“I promise! On. Corbet’s. Life!” I insist, pausing between words for dramatic effect.
He throws up his hands and leaves the room.
Leaving me to my hard work.
Okay, okay, the above story may not have exactly happened but one part of it is true…
Watching movies is good for your business.
And this is your sign to put “watch a movie” on your work schedule this week.
Cue the skeptical eyebrow raises. But hear me out.
Storytelling is the KEY to amazing copy and what are movies if not storytelling at its finest?
Big movie producers won’t spend a dime on a script that doesn’t have a good STORY behind it.
So, cuddle up and pop in your favorite flick and look for these common storytelling elements, so you can apply them to your own business.
Here’s what your favorite movie can teach you about copywriting:
1. You need to clearly define the main character
In Legally Blonde, we see that Elle is a sorority girl who sets her sights on Harvard Law to win back her long-time boyfriend. We’re shown who she is, what problems she faces, and what she values.
In your business, the main character is going to be your dream client. Who they are, what their life is like, why they are the way they are, what issues they face, and what’s important to them.
2. You need to include an “inciting incident”
In Legally Blonde, the inciting incident is Warner breaking up with Elle and her seeing a photo of Warner’s brother with his serious fiance while reading a magazine at the nail salon. The break-up is the problem that Elle currently faces – she wants him back – and applying to Harvard is the solution.
You need to break down the problem that your audience is facing – the inciting incident in their life. Then you need to show that you understand exactly what they’re going through and how your product/service is the solution they’re looking for.
3. You need to take your audience on a journey
Throughout Legally Blonde, we get to watch Elle get into Harvard, struggle, prove everyone wrong, and completely transform her life by the end.
You need to walk your client through their problem and how your product/service takes them on their own journey. You’ll clearly explain how your offer brings them the transformation they’re looking for.
4. You need to show a payoff
The payoff is why we watch movies — it’s the fireworks at the end when the two characters finally kiss, it’s the hero slaying the bad guy, it’s the person finally overcoming their problems. In Legally Blonde, its Elle helping Brooke win her court case and graduating valedictorian from Harvard.
With your copy and content, you need to paint a picture for your audience of exactly how awesome their life will be after they work with/buy from you. What is their metaphorical valedictorian moment?
There you have it, permission to sit down and watch your fave movie during business hours this week.
Keep these elements in mind when you’re evaluating your own copy and content.
Are you including all the storytelling elements that make copywriting compelling and interesting?