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Incredibly candid

I had a rare evening alone on Monday.

Grace was out, Jim was in bed and I was wondering what to do with myself.

And that’s when I discovered Gary Neville’s Soccerbox on Sky Sports.

(Don’t worry if you don’t like football, there is a point that transcends sport here…)



The premise of the show is very, very simple: Gary sits on a sofa with another ex-pro, watches games from ‘back in the day’ that both players were involved in and chats about them.

What makes the show so good is that it’s incredibly candid.

It’s a world away from a usual robotic post match interview that most players give, where they’re so scared of getting tripped up that they don’t give a straight answer to anything.

Both Neville and his guests are incredible truthful, and as a result you get an insight into some of the behind the scenes stuff that was going on at the time, what players were like as individuals and what life as a footballer is really like.

A lot of business owners fail to emulate this in their marketing and the way they write copy.

They’re so focused on maintaining an air of ‘professionalism’ that they fail to realise that their prospects are people just like them.

Their copy is really formal, often in the third person and more at home in a broadcast than a conversation.

They don’t include anything personal because they’re labouring under the misapprehension that it’s unprofessional.

They wouldn’t dream of ‘peeling back the curtain’ and letting you know what they’re really like as people.

Your marketing doesn’t have to be like this, and there’s one easy way to ensure it doesn’t in the way you approach your copy:

Write as if you’re writing to one person (pick a prospect or a customer that you know relatively well and write to them)

Follow this one step, and I can promise you that your copy will be more captivating, compelling and effective than the boring corporate junk you see in a lot of marketing these days.

Give it a go?


P.S. I used to really dislike Gary Neville as a player, but I’m finding myself really enjoying everything he does on TV now. I can’t say the same about Sol Campbell though…

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