As Easy as Pie
Are you old enough to remember that TV advert when flat-pack furniture became all the rage? It involved a young child building something very quickly on his own. The strapline was something like ‘so easy, a child can build it’ triggering a decade of grown adults made to feel useless and inadequate.
Only last month, a client was asked to participate in a social media advert campaign. “It’s easy to set up” the marketing woman trilled. I’ll send you the instructions.” Of course, it wasn’t easy, and my client turned to me, upset and distressed. I printed off the six pages of instructions. Baffled, I emailed Ms Trill. “I’ll organise a Zoom call and talk you though it.” Of course, it took another conversation with her boss who had to include an important extra step that had been overlooked before we could complete this ‘easy’ task.
Two types of Easy
The Easy Gang usually fall into two camps.
A. Those who find it easy because they’ve done it before, over hundreds and maybe thousands of times. Doesn’t practise make perfect? They make the task look easy because they are good at it.
B. Those who tell you it’s easy because if they say it’s difficult, they know you won’t do it.
Why people tell me “It’s easy.”
People say things are easy to me (copywriting), in the misguided hope that I won’t charge them so much.
“It’s only 500 words. Easy.” Shorter pieces can take longer. A very small amount of time is spent on the actual writing. Most of my time is spent on research or thinking.
“It’s easy. In fact, I could do it, but I don’t have the time.” I decide whether something is ‘easy’ or not. And I see red flags when a potential client is deciding for me. No one would tell a solicitor or a brain surgeon that a task is ‘easy’ but because everyone can type, they think they can write. Maybe you can. In which case, wait until you are able to do it.
If something is genuinely easy for me, it’s only because I have been writing professionally for over twelve years, and over that time, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve made mistakes, and hopefully learned from them and honed my skills just like a master chef or a concert pianist or an accountant would.
Next time you are tempted to tell someone something is easy, pause a minute and spare a thought for their feelings. Or rephrase “I find it easy, but…”
Do you agree?
Image: Masha Fathi Unsplash