Sperry - Content & Copy For a 60 Offices-Worldwide-Firm
Writer, Interviewer, Editor, Ad Copy Consultant
Sperry Commerical has grown into a global network of real estate brokerage affiliates with 60 offices worldwide, from Singapore to New Mexico, and all over the US, doing $3.2B in sales volume. During the 2022 recession, the commercial real estate industry was deeply tested as work-from-home routines were widely adopted. Sperry wanted to:
1) Show other leaders what must be done to survive this tsunami.
2) Exhibit their strength as a brand, and draw attention, clientele, and talent their way.
I was to interview Mark Hinkins, their President, and write a thought leadership article worthy of FREC (Forbes Real Estate Council) or the New York Times.
Here's a breakdown of what made this piece so successful, how I approach writing, and some behind-the-scenes footage.
Openings and closings are hard. Even the most experienced writers struggle with them. This one has a controversial first sentence (hook), a trending topic (back to the office after covid), numbered proven tips (promise), and another promise to see the future (unique) in less than 60 words.
2. White Space
White space is crucial - more so at the beginning than at the end. Why? Human behavior.
A) Tripwire, or the “foot in the door technique”. Ask your reader/prospect for fewer concessions early on. Just like asking for the first name before the email in direct response copy, ask them to commit less time and energy to reading bulk, long texts.
B) Sunken cost principle. Behavioral economics teaches us that people are more likely to finish what they already put their money/time into, just because they started. Irrational. Human. If a person committed to reading, it’s less likely they’ll bail out mid-way.
So, “lure” in with easy steps, and make them stay because they started. Psychology 101.
3. Research, Proof, Data
Connecting dots from past to present and proving patterns via credible research is hard. Doing so earns you points (and dollars). Add some spicy vocab (“helm your vessel”), and analogies--and we're standing out!
Now that you mention analogies...
4. Analogies, for the win
Yes, my niche knowledge played a part here, but the first sentence makes this stand out. Many real estate leaders know this fact already. But painting an emotionally charged, vivid picture while doing so is a different story.
Talking about stories...
Developing the ability to share (tell) information logically, chronologically, and anthropologically in a way that peaks curiosity and entails vivid details will turn your content from good to superb.
I could’ve just given the data, like a journalist. But I’m a train robber (or a cowboy).
BTW, this paragraph earned me a job offer!
70 words rewinding 1000. Closings are where the best writers shine. The TL;DR section, if you will. After a long text, can you help the prospect reading recap it all in a summarized manner so they say: “hey, yeah, this all makes sense”. If so, you win. They win. Everyone wins.
Hey -- to be honest -- I’m unsure about a lot of things, but I know this works.
This is what content should be: blending data with stories.
This piece is for repeating clients paying top dollar. Other times it’s leaders like Pepsi’s president, Mike Del Pozzo, reaching out to me personally and publicly admitting the writing hit home (my Adweek column) .