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How to Write Creative Copy (& Not Sound Like ChatGPT)

Love it or hate it, ChatGPT is sticking around. As a business owner, this means two things:

  1. You can create more content faster than ever.

  2. …so can everyone else.

If you’ve noticed every other business owner all somehow added the words “delve,” “tapestry,” and “realm,” to their everyday vocabulary, you’re not alone.

The key to standing out in an AI-driven content environment is to be creative. Human. Original.

And we’re here to learn how to do exactly that. As a freelance copywriter myself for the last 4+ years, I’m going to share 7 strategies I use to write creative copy for my clients.

But First… What is Creative Copy?

Angelie Rasmussen, The Copy Creative, typing creative copy on her laptop. Hands are typing, only the laptop and hands are seen

“Copy” is the writing used in marketing to sell a product or service. Think Instagram ads, email promos, sales pages, and so on.

As a copywriter, it’s my job to write these words. But as a creative copywriter, it’s my duty to make these words stand out, resonate, and relate to my audience.

Creative copywriting isn’t just using puns or risque jokes to get a giggle out of a reader. It’s thinking deeper. It’s looking at your product or services and asking why your customer needs them — then asking why again and again.

It’s empathizing with your audience’s needs, challenges, and deepest aspirations and aligning your messaging with them.

Most of all, it’s writing in a way that sounds like you — a brand voice and tone that makes your audience understand you, see you, and hear you in the way you want to be understood, seen, and heard.

7 Strategies for Creative Copywriting That Stands Out

So, how can you write creative copy that stands out in a sea of cheesy AI greetings, power words, and rocket emojis? Here are strategies I use as a freelance copywriter to help my clients stop the scroll and sound real:

1. Be Clear First, Then Creative. ✨

Even as a freelance copywriter, I find myself staring at a blank Google Doc from time to time, hoping a clever one-liner will pop out of nowhere. But when we aim for creativity first, we tend to leave clarity behind.

When writing copy, your #1 goal should be to be clear. That’s communication 101. Overly complicated, sarcastic copy can cloud your core message and distract from what you’re really trying to say. (It’s like those Super Bowl commercials that are funny, but you have no idea what it was even advertising afterwards.)

  • Quick Tip: Write your first draft with the sole intent of being as clear as possible. Then, go back and find ways to be creative. You’ll have a strong foundation you can then accessorize with hooks, clever phrases, and fun analogies.

2. Know What Kind of “Creative” You Want to be. 🔨🎨🔬

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. What do I find and respect as creative?

  2. What does my audience find and respect as creative?

To some, it might be quirky puns, pop culture references, or cheeky jokes. For others, it might be deep, poetic analogies, bold, novel ideas, or fun, entertaining content.

  • Quick Tip: Consider how you want to represent your brand. Some of us don’t consider ourselves as traditionally “creative,” but we all are in our own way. Match your own creative genius, and meet your audience where they’re at — and where they want to be.

3. Use Storytelling to Level Up Your Creative Copywriting. 📚

AI can create fake stories and “once upon a time” tales. But these aren’t usually very helpful to our creative content strategies.

What it can’t replicate is your unique stories and day-to-day experiences. As a freelance copywriter, here’s how I come up with stories for content:

  • Quick Tip: Think about your week. Look through your camera roll from the past year. Find a story to tell, whether it's the time you vacationed to a new place, hit a personal record, or had a mini-mental breakdown at the grocery store. Write out your story. Then, identify the key emotion behind your story: Stress, motivation, relief, etc. Connect the dots: Think about how your target audience feels (or wants to feel) that emotion, too. Tie it all together at the end of your story, making your story theirs. Finally? Find the most interesting, emotional part, and make it your hook.

For example, as a creative copywriter, I work with business owners. They might feel like having a "mini breakdown" when they have to write blogs, captions, emails, etc. on top of running their business. The central emotion here is overwhelm.

Or, they might want the freedom that comes with my exciting travel story. For my fellow business owners, this sense of freedom is felt when they finally outsource tasks and prioritize their time.

4. Try to Sound Like You, Not Just Like a Business. 👔

Don’t try to sound like a business — sound like you.

  • Quick Tip: Find or record a video of yourself talking about your business (or anything you’re passionate about), and pay attention to how you talk. Look for patterns in your words, tone, energy, and personality. Then, reflect that into your creative copywriting. I do this all the time for clients as a freelance copywriter to make sure my words sound like theirs.

5. Think → Research → Think. ✍️

Before doing any research on the topic, write down what you know.

Brainstorm your own original ideas before letting others influence them. Then, do the research to make sure you have the facts right and gather any important, valuable information for your audience.

Then, go back and combine your own perspective with what you’ve learned. This way, you’re providing a whole new point of view while still rooted in research.

6. Empathize with Your Audience. 🫶

One of the peak forms of creativity is creative problem-solving.

  • So, what problems does your audience face?

  • What challenges are they working to overcome?

Understand what emotions they experience on a daily basis and relate to them.

Now, this isn’t about “triggering pain points.” This is about empathizing with them, seeking to understand their situation, and providing solutions to help.

7. Know the Goal of Your Creative Content. 🎯

Are you looking to get sales? Gain followers? Get likes? Blow up the comment section? Get emails or DMs? Drive traffic to your website?

Each requires a different action from your audience, which means it needs a different strategy.

  • Quick Tip: Start with your goal first and work backward to create content that strategically and creatively lays the path there.

Should I Hire a Creative Freelance Copywriter Instead?

It depends. If writing is your forté or you’ve got a whole creative copywriting system down, then I say, stick with it! But if you’re…

  • Spending too much time creating content, whether for social media, emails, or your website

  • Not able to show up consistently for your audience

  • Blessed with a lot of followers, views, and traffic — but cursed with very few sales (more on that here)

  • Always dealing with a case of writer’s block

…then I recommend trying it out and investing in a freelance copywriter who understands your goals, your style, your audience, and your business.

That’s what I, The Copy Creative, am here for.

I offer copywriting for emails, websites, social media, and more. Shoot me or our Business Manager, Shane, a message, and we’ll answer any questions you have about creative copywriting for your business!

Angelie Rasmussen, a freelance copywriter, as seen as "The Copy Creative" on Fiverr. She is the writer of this blog post. She is seen in a red dress shirt with her laptop.
- Angelie Rasmussen, The Copy Creative

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