Copywriting that gives people something to steal


Clients in the UK and Asia that come to us usually have one thing in common. They want to build a reputation as a thought leader in their field.

But what is thought leadership all about?

Well, it’s not about exclaiming how wonderful and great you are. In fact, it’s not about you at all.

It’s saying things in a way that your audience responds, “Yes, EXACTLY. I could not have put that better myself!”

Powerful communicators don't dominate a conversation. They draw one out of an attentive audience and win them over as loyal cheerleaders.

That’s why great copywriting is so important.

It prompts readers to re-use your words to express the same thought when they talk to others. Either mentioning you by name when they reference the idea, or sharing your words verbatim among their network.

You can put forward the most interesting idea in the world, but if it’s not stealable, you won’t get quoted.

Take this paragraph, crafted way back in 1776:

All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural rights, of which… they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Nothing wrong with that. All sounds very sensible and forward-thinking, especially for the time. But will you remember it? Would you quote it? Would you share it?

Would you say to someone, hey, I read this great passage by a guy called George Mason the other day that really hit the nail on the head?


But let’s look at what happened to the same passage once Thomas Jefferson got his hands on it:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now that has a ring to it.

Which is probably why half the world, well beyond the borders of the US, can recognise that quotation. Why it caught on so fast and became such an influential and inspiring concept. Why it still packs a punch, 300 years on.

We all love a good quote. Something pithy and powerful that we can whip out to prove our point. It makes us feel smart, erudite, witty – a bit of an expert.

That’s why reading a perfect one-liner that sums up an idea or approach that’s been floating around in the back of our brain gives us that “YES!” moment.  It's why we immediately want to post it, share it, commit it to memory.

When someone gives you the tools to be eloquent on a topic you struggle to explain, that feels like a gift.

The best copywriters understand this intuitively. They’ll focus on crafting quotable sentences their readers can lift straight from the text and straight into their own voice.

And technology is your friend here. Like, share and comment buttons available on most sites make it easier than ever before to spread your message.

Help your audience put your best words into their own mouths and they’ll soon be shouting your ideas from the rooftops.

That's what Smith &Edit's copywriting services strive for.

When we craft your press release, article, blog post, eBook or other written content, we don’t just think about the quality of the points being made. We ask what could someone steal? Which lines deliver your point in a way that’s totally quotable?

Give your audience plenty to steal, and they’ll keep coming back for more.

Mark Smith

Smith & Edit, Minato, Tokyo,