Jargon, historical figures, and abstract ideas — is philosophy only all about this?
Centuries ago, philosophers expressed their ideas and recorded their teachings in books that contributed greatly to cultural civilization.
Today, writing professions have varied, and they appear in many forms: screenwriters, editors, journalists, and copywriters — all of them making an impact in the world with their words.
What if we take a moment to contemplate the profound insights of philosophers and think about the writing lessons they have to offer?
Here are three of our favorite philosophers and their notable traits:
Audre Lorde is an African-American feminist, poet, and essayist who wrote extensively about societal issues through the lens of race, gender, and identity.
Empathy is a prevalent emotion in many of her works, and she addresses the social injustices faced by marginalized individuals. She uses personal stories to evoke empathy and inspire readers to break down societal barriers, hoping to “recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences”.
Emotions connect with readers on a personal level to make the content more relatable and persuasive. Like Lorde, copywriters must also be skilled in storytelling to tap into their audience’s emotions. A good copywriter understands their customers’ difficulties and provides a viable solution by:
- Addressing readers’ pain points and desires
- Crafting compelling narratives to engage your audience
- Using persuasive language that evokes emotions
Read this to get to know her:
In this autobiographical work, she chronicles her personal journey with breast cancer and reflects on societal issues related to disability and the healthcare system.
Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, is often considered a foundational figure in Western philosophy.
While he may not have the traits of an outstanding copywriter (he did not write any books or texts himself; most of what we know about him comes from his students’ writings), his clarity of thought and expression is a highly revered trait. Socrates emphasized using precise definitions and simple language to spread his teachings widely among the people.
Have you heard of the “Socratic Dialogue”? He used to engage in philosophical discussions with his audience by using this method, asking them probing questions and encouraging them to think critically and articulate their ideas.
How can good copywriters ensure that our target audience is receptive to our messages?
- Use metaphors or real-life examples to convey complex ideas.
- Craft quality content that sparks curiosity
- Encourage interaction with CTAs and rhetorical questions
Read this to get to know him:
Plato’s depiction of Socrates’ trial and death is a pivotal moment in classical literature, highlighting his commitment to self-responsibility and his philosophical principles.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
You’ve definitely heard of this aphorism! The philosopher behind it is Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher known for his wisdom and philosophical system, Taoism. It emphasizes the importance of “going with the flow” and practicing connective empathy to live an elevated life.
Many of Lao Tzu’s aphorisms are short and concise but impactful and simple to understand — making them timeless and universally relatable.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”
“Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.”
In an online realm saturated with content, copywriters must use concise language to convey messages that stick in our customers’ minds. Simple language resonates with a broader audience regardless of age, background, and culture, making our message more inclusive and effective.
How can copywriters apply this “less is more” approach to our writing?
- Review your content and remove redundant words to keep your message clear.
- Opt for powerful verbs and adjectives that vividly convey your message.
- Craft direct CTAs that prompt your audience to act quickly and decisively.
Read this to get to know him:
This book interprets the sayings of Lao-tzu and describes the teachings of Taoism.
As Socrates once said, “An unexamined life is not worth living” — and we copywriters would also like to contend that “uninteresting content is not worth reading”!
Philosophical principles have the potential to guide how we write and how we approach life’s many questions.
As we explored the remarkable insights of Audre Lorde, Aristotle, and Lao Tzu, we unveiled the power of empathy, the importance of understanding, and the art of writing with clarity to create outstanding work.
Just as these philosophers have left their indelible mark on history, your brand has the opportunity to make a lasting impact in the digital landscape. Work with our team of skilled copywriters to give your brand a competitive edge today!