In a nutshell, a boilerplate is an organisations standard description, that is used repeatedly, without change.
However....it is something of a superhero amongst copy.
Let me explain:
Take Apple for instance. Hugely successful, massive organisation, with (quite possibly) one of the best boilerplate's I have read. It features on their website, on the bottom of every press release and seldom changes. It underpins their external communications and truly captures their essence. By all means take a look, its the last paragraph of this press release: apple press release
FedEx and Starbucks are another two great examples. The clever ones even manage to 'sound' like the organisation to which they refer, cue yet more brand recognition.
"It is the single piece of company writing that receives the broadest exposure."
Boilerplate's traditionally live on your, "About Us" page. They are also very popular on company brochures, case studies, white papers, sales sheets and, without fail, on every press release (usually its the last paragraph, sometimes the first). Quite often journalists will print just a few bullet points and then simply attach your boilerplate.
The clever, little boilerplate should ideally be one paragraph and no more than 100 words. These 100 words (or less) need to be chosen wisely. They should underpin all of your formal communications and manage to convey a factual and neutral tone, whilst simultaneously and subtly conveying how fabulous you are and what you are about.
For example, if a blogger writes about your organisation – they will attach a line or two, or maybe the entire thing.
Potential customers, employees, investors, they all head to the boilerplate for a sound summary of what you do and what you are about.
It shoulders quite a bit of responsibility - the humble boilerplate, display yours loud and proud.
As always - warmest regards,
To those of you enjoying your dream career - my absolute congratulations. To do something that you love and get paid for, is very high on most peoples ‘to do’ lists.
Not in that category?
Want to be in that category?
It's hard isn't it? Spend any length of time in a certain field and you are pigeon holed, pretty much good for nothing else (according to some recruiters). Some know exactly what they want to do from an early age (was always a bit jealous of them), whilst others just fall into their careers and make the best of it.
You also might be good at something, but is it enjoyable and does it fulfil you? Those two things are quite different.
"Invest in yourself, believe in yourself."
I spent almost two decades selling. Shares, boat trips, you name it. I came back from travelling and kept on selling. It ticked a lot of boxes but I would never say I was in my dream job. It got quite close, for a time, but when I thought of being a sales person for the rest of my career, a frown began to form. I didn’t want to be a sales manager either, or a sales trainer or anything else I could think of that might make sense.
Sales is a hugely important role that most (if not all) businesses need and rely on. Let’s be kinder to our sales people. It’s become a dirty word in recent years. People now label themselves as ‘Client Relationship Managers’ or ‘Client Growth Executives’ - basically anything without the word ‘sales’ in it. I will proudly say I was a kick-butt sales person. Like every different department there is the good, the bad and the lazy. Selling is hard work, pressured and constant. So, build your sales people up – they are the face of your organisation. The relationship you enjoy with your customers depends on them.
"Your happiness is important."
Right, back to the dream job thing, I didn't know what mine looked like. That makes it rather hard to obtain. I was restricting myself to what I deemed to be my capabilities, i.e. sales, good with people, and balancing the need to be on hand for the smaller members of my family.
But to those who still aren't sure what their dream job is; just keep trying new things and mixing it up. Most importantly believe in yourself, expand your knowledge, invest in yourself. It literally dawned on me, after goodness knows how long, that I love copywriting. I had been doing it for years (inadvertently) and was doing it more and more due to trying new things. I took a course in it, I invested in myself and I started to believe I could do it, and guess what? I can.
Your career is important. Your time is important. Your happiness is important. Don’t undervalue yourself.
Just because you haven’t quite landed your dream role yet does not mean that you won’t. Invest and believe in yourself and good things will come.
Oh, and network loads and work smart……that helps a lot too.
As always - warmest regards,
I love writing, but writing isn't just words. It is the ability to stir feelings, spread your message and unite people.