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What's the big idea anyway?

What's the big idea anyway?

“Does that kind of make sense?” My mentor asked. 

I sat there thinking over what he said. It seemed simple enough. 

So it’s just like a theme? Like in a movie” I asked. 

“Well yes and no. It’s your ‘big idea’. It carries everything forward and wraps the message up together” he said. 

It took me ages to wrap my head around this “big idea”. 

It’s not a hard concept now that I get it. But you don’t know what you don’t know, right?

And I did not know what this “big idea” looked like in action (for longer than I care to admit). 

“Where’s your big idea?” he asked. 

I wanted feedback on a client sales page I wrote, so I showed my mentor. 

“Ummmm” I said. My eyes raced over the page to find my “big idea”. 

He saw me scrambling. 

“You’ve got multiple strings you’re pulling at. But you need to pull on just one”. My mentor said. 

See, I had written big ideas into my scripts and copy before. But usually by accident.

My mentor highlighted a line of text. This looks like your big idea. Or what could be your big idea”. 

I read the line. Then I skimmed the page. And read the line again. 

It clicked. 

Like aha! moment clicked. 

“Ohhhhhhh, my idea is not getting lost. This guy is the guide. And he’s got the map. His offer is the map”. 

(I was talking about my client). 

It sounded stupid coming out of my mouth. But the gears in my head were turning. Light bulbs came on. 

I felt like Neo looking at the Matrix for the first time…

Thankfully no Agent Smith

I could feel the excitement of my discovery building up. 

“Sounds like you got it”. My mentor said. He smiled. 

So, what’s the big idea?

It is a theme. And you use it throughout your entire message. 

But it’s more like an idea…under your words. 

The idea that hits a customer square on… 

The idea that takes things like “grow your business” and “get more sales”…

And (actually) make them mean something. 

I didn’t get it because I was stuck on surface level transformations. 

Also it sounds confusing when you try to explain it in abstract.

I would have gotten it faster if my mentor had just shown me a ton of copy and pointed out their big idea 🤦🏻‍♀️.

Sure people want to make more money. Get more sales. Grow their business. 

But I didn’t think about how they see themselves…

How they picture their success…

What role a business plays in getting to that success…

And then tie that together with a theme.

That’s the big idea. 

About Ame

Ame Proietti is B2B copywriter. She writes copy people remember (like Nicolas Cage), nod to, and buy from.

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