My obsession with him started in my early teens, back in the mid-90s.
It was the same time I started my love affair with Vanity Fair magazine, which is how I discovered him. He was the ultimate ‘extra man’ — a single man about town, a nosy writer and a tortured soul forever mourning his daughter.
Dominick Dunne got me obsessed with society, scandal, crime, and the world’s power dynamics.
image: Vanity Fair
It wasn’t until I worked in PR and Marketing years later that I put my finger on his special talent:
He was a keen observer of the real people who inspired his fictional characters and feature stories. He understood what made them tick.
Was he the greatest writer? No. But he knew his subject down to the difference in their intonation when they greeted those who weren’t “people like us.”
I’m telling you about Dominick because he got me thinking about Ideal Customer Avatars and how to think about your client when you’re writing copy.
Like Dominick, the savviest business owners start with their clients’ top of mind before writing a single word of copy.
What do they want?
Why do they need it?
What is the underlying feeling they want to experience?
What’s the problem they’re trying to solve?
What are they NOT saying?
Observing your customer — paying close attention to the words they use and how they move around in their world — is the key to reaching them and capturing their attention.
When they can see themselves in your sales copy, they won’t be able to resist taking the next step with you. You’ll become ‘people like them.’
I’ll bet not a single society lady or powerful business magnate risked missing a mention or a golden nugget of gossip in one of Dominick’s Vanity Fair columns.
As his former editor said, “He was a great listener, and people just loved to talk to him.”
You can write unmissable copy, too, laura.
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