How to write funny content

Presented live on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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Could it be that a little levity is exactly what your brand is missing? In this tutorial, conversion copywriter and founder of Punchline Copy Lianna Patch teaches how to “find your funny” and translate that into more entertaining content, like blog posts.


Lianna is writing in Airstory, the writing collaboration platform that powers changemakers.


Joanna Wiebe:                     I am Joanna, from Copyhackers and Airstory. We have another Joanna signed in here but it’s actually Lance, who is calling in from Victoria. I am in Boston at WistiaFest right now, in the lobby outside where a talk is happening right in there with the guy from Sandwich Video. So I had to leave that, but I was stoked to be at least leaving here to come … to leave that and come chat with you. And Lianna is here with us as well. Lianna Patch, hello.

Lianna Patch:                        Hey.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Hello, how’s it going?

Lianna Patch:                        Great, how are you?

Joanna Wiebe:                     Good. And you are in … Are you in Louisiana, where are you exactly right now?

Lianna Patch:                        I’m in New Orleans.

Joanna Wiebe:                     New Orleans.

Lianna Patch:                        In the second to last room of my house, standing at my desk.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Excellent. The second to last room? What does that mean?

Lianna Patch:                        ‘Cause the last room is the bathroom. It’s kind of a shotgun style. Shotgun style house means that all the doors are in a row, so if you shot a gun through the front door, the bullet would come out the back door.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Oh. That’s interesting [crosstalk 00:00:58].

Lianna Patch:                        It’s not a true shotgun.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay, well, I’ve never heard of it, so I’m learning things. Yesterday I learned the phrase “might could,” it’s something that’s said in the South. Do you know it? I might could do that.

Lianna Patch:                        Yes. I occasionally say it, it’s not really a part of my vocabulary. But like, yeah maybe, I might could.

Joanna Wiebe:                     I couldn’t believe it. It blew my mind.

Lianna Patch:                        Just another way to be a non-committal millennial.

Joanna Wiebe:                     That’s what I was like. Can you be less committal, please. Like, you’re saying no, like you’re definitely saying no when you say “I might could do that.”

Lianna Patch:                        Yeah [crosstalk 00:01:34]. Click maybe. Just say no.

Joanna Wiebe:                     It’s just no. Okay cool. So, people are coming out of the session now, and they’ll all be around us. Okay, people are … awesome. Cool stuff here. Okay cool, everybody, welcome. We are recording this session, and it will be posted afterward along with last week’s Tutorial Tuesday, we’ll have that up soon. But for now, Lianna is going to share with us how to write copy that’s actually legitimately funny. That actually makes people smile, and then sometimes fully laugh. So, cool. Lianna, are you ready to lead this Tutorial Tuesday?

Lianna Patch:                        I’m so ready. I might be too ready. I had two cups of coffee, that was one cup too many. But, I’m ready. Let’s do it. Before we jump in, before I screen share, I just want to briefly go over why we want to use humor. Because it’s fun, first of all for you. And it makes people like you more, as part of that know, like, trust thing where people feel like they’re your friend and they want to buy from you. So that’s a great thing to do, no matter what business you run. And, the reason that I came to it, is because I just kind of assume that everything has been written about already and been done, so I was like, how can I make this new? Oh, what if we made it funny. Turns out, not a lot of people are tackling marketing topics and trying to be funny. There’s some people that are awesome and you should find and follow them, but that was just why I came to it. Everyone is cool. I’m imagining you’re all listening. You all look great.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Love it.

Lianna Patch:                        So many people. Everyone looks good, except for that one person. Really? Wow. Okay.

Before we get into this. I want to assume that you guys know what you find funny. That you’ve done some digging in your own tastes and the music and movies and shows that you like, to figure out exactly your sense of humor, because that’s going to be the best way to approach writing funny copying content. You could be kind of a dorky, geeky style of humor, where you reference a lot of pop culture stuff. You can be more absurd, which is what I am, which is like what if something crazy happened, what if the limits of space and time were no more? That’s my favorite thing to do. You could be satirical, you could be dark, you could be highbrow. You have to figure out what appeals to you, and what feels natural to you.

I’m going to throw a bunch of improv terms at you. Gonna share my screen. It’s gonna be this one. Just kidding, it’s going to be the other one. It’s so quiet, I forgot that no body would be talking, except me.

Joanna Wiebe:                     You’re talking, yeah.

Lianna Patch:                        Okay, can everyone see my screen?

Joanna Wiebe:                     Yes.

Lianna Patch:                        Cool. We’re gonna start with “Finding the Game.” This is an improv principal. The game is the one weird or unusual thing. In improv, when you walk out on stage, you start a scene, probably you, another person, maybe two other people, maybe a few other people. And you start having a conversation, you don’t know what’s going to happen. So you look for the one weird or unusual thing, and then you grab it. Latch on to it, and build from there. So, no matter what topic you’re writing about, no matter who you’re writing to, you can find a weird or unusual thing. And that’s how I like to focus on, especially my introduction to a piece, looking for the weird or unusual thing.

So, for example, recently I settled on the topic of sustainable ecommerce with a client that I’m writing long-form content for. And I was like, hm, sustainable ecommerce, how does recycling mesh with the ten thousand Amazon boxes that get delivered to my house every day? It’s sad. It doesn’t seem like those two things go together, right? They seem like a contradiction in terms. That’s weird to me. So, I decided to frame the piece around that contradiction. Assuming that people would not understand immediately the connection between sustainability and having anything you want delivered to your door at any time within two days for free shipping, and tons of packing materials and all that stuff. So I started with this crazy GIF of this guy jumping around with a plastic bag, assuming that people were having that contradiction in their head, just like I was, and going from there. Trying to prove something to them. Making sense to everyone?

Joanna Wiebe:                     Yep.

Lianna Patch:                        I see one nod. Cool. I’m going to just keep asking, as if the crowd can hear me.

Joanna Wiebe:                     We’re good [crosstalk 00:06:07].

Lianna Patch:                        Okay, and I left myself a little note to scroll down, so I don’t forget things. If there is nothing unusual about your topic, say you’re writing about something general, or you feel like it’s already been done before, or you’re doing research and you’re like, how can I take a new approach to this? You can invent the game, which I like to call, a frame. So, what you’re going to do is add a layer or a filter to your topic. You’re going to try to take a step back and take a new angle to it. How can you make this new? If this, then what?

An easy way to do this is take your topic and map it to a structure that’s completely different. For example, I was writing a blog about emotional copy, evoking emotion in your copy, especially in ecommerce. It’s been done. Lot’s of people have written about that before, and because I am filled with self-doubt and loathing, I was like, how can I make this new? Someone has a question. So, I went with a Matrix theme, I mapped it to the Matrix. So, writing emotional copy is kind of like what’s happening in the Matrix. You don’t want to lie to your customers.

This also gave me the opportunity to use a whole bunch of Neo and Morpheus GIFs, which was super fun. Looking at Keanu Reeves’ face all day. Recommend it. So I just mapped my existing outline and framework onto another one. So the more different you can get between what you’re writing and what you’re mapping to, the funnier that it’s going to be because that incongruity is where the humor arises.

Everyone is good. It makes sense. And now, let’s see, well there’s another example here I can show you. This making sense? 12 Examples of Retention Emails. SaaS retention, it’s been talked about a lot. And I was like, why do we need SaaS retention emails, why is it so competitive? Oh, because in the beginning, when you were trying to retain a customer and you were the only person offering a thing, you didn’t really have to try very hard. How long ago was that? Really long ago, right? Dinosaur long ago? Prehistoric long ago? Sure, let’s map it to that.

Find your weird or unusual thing, find your game or frame, and then run with it. Say if this, then what? Be weird, be crazy. Everyone is nodding, everyone is laughing in their own houses alone.

So let’s do a quick exercise. Wait, so many people have questions.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Yeah, I mean we can take this now, or let’s maybe we can wait until the end, which do you prefer Lianna?

Lianna Patch:                        Let’s do it now because I want to engage some people and chat, and/or questions. I want to ask what you’re writing about, so that we can spitball a few weird maps or frames for it, or find a weird game.

Joanna Wiebe:                     So I’ll take the question now?

Lianna Patch:                        Yeah, let’s do it.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay. I’ll read it out. Christian asks, “With creating a frame for something new, what if your new example, like the Matrix, doesn’t work for the reader? What if, gasp, they haven’t seen the Matrix, don’t you have to find something pretty common? Don’t you risk it all if your choice is not a fit for the audience?”

Lianna Patch:                        You do. That’s such a good question. You have to figure out something that’s going to be universal enough for people to understand it. So maybe it’s not a pop culture reference. Maybe it’s just a situation, maybe it’s a relationship that you’re creating between you and your reader, which is what I will get in to next.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Cool. And then Rodney asks, “How do you find all those great GIFs?

Lianna Patch:                        Oh man, G-I-P-H-Y dot com. I used to say “gifs” too, and then I read something that was, like [crosstalk 00:09:53]

Joanna Wiebe:                     No, no, no.

Lianna Patch:                        Okay, it’s not, all right. Cut this part out of the recording. We didn’t even go there.

That was a great question. You never want to make somebody feel like they’re not in on the joke. You always have to think about who you’re … You’re writing copy, you’re already thinking about who your audience is, but make sure that if you’re writing to an older audience, you don’t reference something that’s super new or for young people. ‘Cause old people aren’t tuned in to what the younguns are doing. Just make sure you’re referencing things that people will understand and get.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Dig it.

Lianna Patch:                        Cool. Close chat. Does anybody want to … Actually, before I close chat, does anybody want to talk about what they’re working on? No? Yes?

Joanna Wiebe:                     Yep [crosstalk 00:10:40] Some are saying “contact lenses” [crosstalk 00:10:45]

Lianna Patch:                        Contact lenses, business automation, upgrading an old business phone system. Okay.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Pediatrics, health store, food waste, agro business, finding a vet for your pet, pet waste removal. Two pet ones there [crosstalk 00:10:59]. Hotel chain, [inaudible 00:11:01] software, layers of consent, [crosstalk 00:11:04].

Lianna Patch:                        All right [crosstalk 00:11:05], oh my God.

Joanna Wiebe:                     A huge variety. Where are you going to start with that, Lianna?

Lianna Patch:                        I want to start with contact lenses because that’s such an interesting frame that you can use. Contact lenses help you see, right? Okay, what else helps you see? What would you invent that would help you see even better? And I think, this is kind of a tangent, but I think this is where Hubble, which is a brand of contact lenses, got their branding from. If you think about it, what helps you see? What helps you see the farthest? The Hubble Telescope. Oh, let’s name our company Hubble.

Without knowing more about who your customers are … How could we map here? I knew this was either a “we’ll do it and it will be great,” or “I’ll crash and burn” kind of thing.

Joanna Wiebe:                     No, it’s awesome. And I think it’s good to also encourage the viewers to think about that. What is that interesting thing? That weird or unusual thing? Because obviously doing this live is a difficult thing, but … Yeah, can anybody think of an interesting way? A weird or unusual thing for selling contact lenses?

Lianna Patch:                        Or just the weird or unusual thing about contact lenses themselves. Maybe that you touch your eyes all the time.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay.

Lianna Patch:                        What other things do you touch all the time? What things do you rely on?

Joanna Wiebe:                     Karen said, “You poke yourself in the eye.” Joelle said, “Seeing into your sole.” Marty said, “Owls, with their big eyes.”

Lianna Patch:                        Owls [crosstalk 00:12:39].

Joanna Wiebe:                     Owls, you’re inspired by owls.

Lianna Patch:                        I love owls, and owls is the first thing that someone said I think that is a super concrete image. Right? Map seeing better to an owl. Maybe it’s night time, and you have to find your little mouse running across a prairie, and these contact lenses will help you zero in on that mouse, and then you can go down an eat it. Maybe you can see better without even turning your head. Oh wait, owls turn their heads a whole lot, ’cause they can’t move their eyes. The other way around.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Trevor has something interesting here that I want to share … I mean, there’s a lot here, but … Trevor says, “Contact lenses are secret, nobody knows you’re wearing them.” Can you find anything in that?

Lianna Patch:                        That’s so awesome. So they’re like your secret superpower. Like Superman wearing his suit under his button down and slacks at the Daily Planet office.

Joanna Wiebe:                     And it’s funny that you mention Superman, because Federico just said, “Clark Kent’s perfect enemy is contact lenses.”

Lianna Patch:                        I love it.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Contact lenses, right? That’s interesting. Tying in the Superman thing, stuff’s coming together here, cool.

Lianna Patch:                        Look how quickly we got away from customer and centric copy that’s based on the earth and we went to something animal-based and superhero-based. Everyone’s having fun spit balling. There are no wrong answers. That’s kind of how improv works. There are better, and you’ll know those when you hit on them, but there’s nothing wrong with just going crazy. Cool. I love this. I think we should move on, ’cause I’m conscious of everyone’s time.

Joanna Wiebe:                     I dig it.

Lianna Patch:                        All right, so, step two. Once you’ve figured out your game or frame, you want to figure out how you want to talk to your audience. How you want to approach them, what your tone is. Who are you to them?

A lot of the time, I tend to approach my readers like they’re sweet baby little rabbits and they just need a little help in one direction or another. About the other half of the time, I’m kind of offensive and a little bit mean in my tone. And whatever direction on the spectrum you choose to go, you have to pick it and stay there.

So, for example, when I approached a reader like they were busy and they didn’t have enough time, that was how I came to the angle for this “How to fight content fatigue” post. Because the weird or unusual thing about writing a long form post about content fatigue, say who has time to read it? I’m exhausted already. I think I even wrote that in here.

Grab that weird or unusual thing, bear hug it, be weird about it. Let’s see, I can’t get away from this. You can also approach them … This is another thing I try to do. They’re super eager to learn, and they need things from you, and they just can’t wait, and you have to manually tell them to pause. And I would show you a thing if this toolbar weren’t in my way. This thing. There’s a toolbar in my way. It’s a video, I’ll like to it later. It’s the same video that I want to show you later.

So, the easiest way to do this, to pick a tone and approach in your content or copy, is decide what character you want to play, and you can play a status game, which is another improv term that we like to use. A status is who you are to the other person in the scene. So a lot of statuses are high-low. You can be a boss and an employee. You can be rich or poor. You can be a parent or a child. And that position will inform the decisions you make in the scene or in the copy, inform how you feel about the issues that you bring up.

The final thing that I want to say about your approach or your tone is that it’s so much better to just be you. And remember again we talked about what you find funny and what your sense of humor is. It’s so much better to be you then to try to emulate another person’s sense of humor. If you’ve ever seen someone try to tell another standup comic’s jokes. Like, if you saw Louis C.K. try to tell a Chris Rock joke, it doesn’t feel right because it’s not authentic. This is classic advice, be you, be yourself. See what’s funny to you.

I want to tell a quick story. The first time I did a stand up open mic, my best friend was there. And she was in the back of the room. And I was terrified. But I just told all my jokes right to her, just right over everyone else’s head. She was laughing, I was laughing, everyone else was laughing, everyone had a good time. So that’s a trick that I like to use. It’s kind of the one-reader approach that we know from good copywriting. You speak to that one person. It doesn’t matter if other people aren’t super in to it. They probably will be if you’re being authentic, being you, tying it all together.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Cool, love it.

Lianna Patch:                        Yeah, me too.

Last piece that we’re going to get to. Sentence-level hacks. Do people still use that word? I hope they do. Copyhackers. It’s a thing.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Yikes.

Lianna Patch:                        I want to talk about things that you can do whether you’re writing from the ground up or you’re editing an existing piece of copy or content to make your writing seem more approachable, funny, or open, more conversational. You’ve all heard the advice, “write like you talk.” Everyone’s saying, “Yes, of course, that’s how we do it.” So you write like you talk. I like to think of this approach as, write like you talk to yourself when you’re drunk. So if you get home from the bar, and you’re like stumbling around your house singing a song in French, which I totally have never done. Write like you talk to yourself when you’re drunk, you can always edit stuff out later. Hear that big laugh? That was for me, guys. Whisper asides, and again, play to the people in the back of the room who are eating up what you have to say.

So, some of the changes in your writing that can make you seem friendlier or funnier. Using all caps. Using lower case, kind of like how you would talk on Twitter. Not being afraid to play around between those. Not being stuck to grammatical correctness, because you seem more like a human if you make mistakes. Using incorrect punctuation, I don’t mean making actual typos. Using an equal sign instead of a dash, or something like that. Use contractions, abbreviations. Start sentences in the middle, they can be fragments. Forget your fifth grade teacher, you can use sentence fragments. Ask and answer your own rhetorical questions. Pick comic book verbs like “slam” and “smash” or even announce “kapow, boom,” things like that. Those are my favorite things, I love comic books.

Puns and portmanteaux. Make the stupid dad joke, make the stupid dad joke, everybody loves dad jokes. The groan is actually appreciation. I don’t know if you knew that. Whisper asides to your reader, get into their head, imagine what they’re thinking and respond conversationally in a parenthetical or a italics or even in quotes. Trail off. And use emoji, GIFs (“jifs”),, find GIFs. Sometimes there’s a visual aspect to using the perfect image or GIF that you just can’t get through a copy. That’s a dirty secret of writing, I think, is that sometimes you just need the perfect image to encapsulate your point, or to take it a step further, in a way that a sentence might just not be able to do.

So, this kind of thing can work everywhere, in case you’re thinking, oh this would only work for a blog post on my own site. No client will ever let me write like that. This is an example of an email called “The Hill”, which is a daily political roundup, that I’m sure some of you subscribe to. It’s written by someone named Cate Martel, and she has fun with her headlines. Let’s get this on T.V., every network, I want flashy, guys. She makes a pun, Trussiagate, and then she apologizes, sorry, it was too easy, had to. I love her, I’ve never met her, but I love her. Because if she can make fun of politics in this easy breezy way using dad jokes, you can do it anywhere. Cool? Make sense?

Joanna Wiebe:                     Cool, yes.

Lianna Patch:                        I know we’re running short on time. So, one last thing. I want to talk about “Nexting,” which is that phenomenon of your brain predicting what’s going to come next, and you surprising it. And that’s where the element of humor and delight come from. So, Dan Gilbert is a psychologist, he wrote about this in his book “Stumbling on Happiness.” As long as your brain’s guess about the next word turns out to be right, you cruise along happily, left to right, left to right. This is when you’re reading, turning black squiggles into ideas, blah, blah, blah. It is only when your brain predicts badly that you suddenly feel avocado. That is surprise.

Yes! Okay, I loved that. I actually laughed out loud when I read that. That’s where you can intentionally misspeak in your copy, and then correct yourself. So you’ve given your reader that moment of humor and delight, and then said, “Oh just kidding, I’ll walk it back.”

So, to see this in action, here is part of an email that I got this week, from someone. I wonder if he’s on the call. Hi, if you are. It’s solid, it’s good copy. Stop charging by the hour, here’s why. He’s setting up a problem for us, then he’s agitating the problem in the copy, telling us details, when you bill hourly here’s what happens, and why would you have any incentive not to bill hourly when you get paid by the hour? So it not so much that you … You know, and he goes on. And it’s good.

So I said, “How can I use my sentence-level hacks to make this funny?” So if we scroll down, here’s every place that I’ve highlighted … I kind of went ham on this. I wouldn’t go this hard, probably, but I’m trying to give an example of almost every technique that I just showed you. So hold up, use all caps, stop them in their train of thought, right now. Ask a rhetorical question, why. Put in a parenthetical aside, perfect place for a joke. Put in an italicized aside, catch them in their head, address what they’re thinking right now. Use an equal sign instead of a dash. Say what you don’t mean, and then correct yourself. Use abbreviations, more caps, more abbreviations, pop culture reference.

It’s a little bit much. I’m going to show you the difference again. You all can read. I know you can read. I hope you can read, God. This whole 20 minutes would be such a waste if you can’t read. Okay, so you’re reading, straight forward, solid copy. Let’s make it funny, add jokes, add asides.

Cool. That is it. That is everything I had to show you. And thanks for coming.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Awesome. Thank you Lianna. That’s wicked. We’re getting lots of great, that was awesome, thanks, and so on, that’s fabulous. So, I think we do have a few questions. Awesome, glad people are digging it. Okay, cool, let me see. Anonymous asks, “Have you ever used humor that has backfired?”

Lianna Patch:                        Yes. Luckily, not in such a way that I lost clients. I tend to be conscious of when I’m doing something that might be a little too edgy or to risky, and I’ll add a comment in the deliverable and say, “Let me know if this isn’t want you were going for,” and I’ve already established with this client that they’re looking for funny copy, so it’s not like I’m just throwing it in there. And so I have had clients come back and say, “You know, this is a little bit too much for our voice,” and that’s cool ’cause you can always walk it back later.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay, cool. Justin asks, “How much funny do you start with and how much is added in during editing?”

Lianna Patch:                        It depends on what I’m writing. Often, I find if I’m doing a really research-heavy piece, I kind of write it straight first, and then I go back through and as I’m reading, I say, “Where does the reader need a moment of levity?” Especially for referencing a lot of things that some people might find boring, like in that sustainable ecommerce piece. There’s a lot of research in there about China’s emissions, and China’s online shopping habit. So, walking through it with the reader in your head and figuring out where they need a break, that’s kind of how I go back in to long research pieces.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay, sweet. Nickie says, “What was the name of the book about Happy that you just referenced?”

Lianna Patch:                        Stumbling on Happiness. It’s a great book about psychology by Dan Gilbert. And it’s so well-written. It’s not often that I say that about non-fiction, especially. It’s so funny.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Christie asks, “Hey, how can you make an email lighter funny when your audience is quite straight-laced?”

Lianna Patch:                        I think that’s something to test. I think, try it a little bit at a time, maybe try A/B test a funny subject line against a straight subject line, and see which gets better open rates. Try one or two parenthetical asides. If they’re used to hearing from you in a very straight-forward tone, don’t go whole hog with humor at first.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Smart, okay. Shane says, “Question on what you all would think working in writing funny sales copy for computer repair.” So, funny sales copy for computer repair, I don’t know if that’s an easy sort of question to answer, it feels like a bigger discussion to have, but do you have any thoughts, there, Lianna?

Lianna Patch:                        Do it. People who need their computers repaired are just people, and people like to laugh, and I would so much rather read funny copy. As long as it doesn’t distract from your end goal or end call to action. And that’s where you have to be a ruthless editor. But yeah, be funny. Computers are the best thing to make fun of. We use them every day, we rely on them.

Joanna Wiebe:                     [crosstalk 00:26:27] have fun with them, okay. Fredrico says, “Related to humor and irreverent copy, have you ever had any problem with the client there?” You kind of touched on that.

Lianna Patch:                        Yeah. Some people say, “Hey, this doesn’t feel like our voice, can we change this up a little bit?” And then we always find a version of the joke that works.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Cool, awesome. Bryce says, “Do you have any strategies for researching the humor of your target audience?”

Lianna Patch:                        Yes, go find them. If you know enough about them to find out where they hang out on social media or what forums they hang out on, go see what they … What’s in their signatures on those forums? Have they included GIF or a link to their favorite YouTube video, or what pop culture references are they making to their favorite shows? Or just ask them. If you have the ability to ask your audience what they find funny, send them a two question survey.

Joanna Wiebe:                     You can also, just as a side, an additional way, use Facebook audience insights. Where you can see all of the … if you search “dads,” you can see their favorite comedians, like the shows they watch the most, if they like Adam Sandler, things like that. Which is actually something we just talked about in WistiaFest. Go in to Facebook audience insights, and you can learn about exactly those kinds of things.

Lianna Patch:                        I’m making a mental note of this, look up dads on Facebook insights, ’cause I never get enough dads.

Joanna Wiebe:                     That’s awesome. Okay, so I know we’ve got about maybe to minutes left, I’m going to try to find some quick answers. Nicholas asks, “Do you often have to persuade your clients to try being funny in their copy or branding, or do they know that comes with the package I assume when they hire you?”

Lianna Patch:                        Mostly they know, I always ask what kind of tone they’re looking for, and what they find funny, and if they’re open to testing that. And more and more, I’m starting to work only with people who want that kind of weirdness and humor.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay, awesome. One last question, then. Chris asks, “Do you ever struggle with inserting your own humor while still maintaining the client’s voice? I often insert humor, but then things are in my voice, not theirs.”

Lianna Patch:                        I struggle with inserting many things. Wow, sorry. Woops, cut that part out, too. I do, but I think that comes … I think finding the balance comes with working long-term with people. And mostly the people who come to me are like, “I want to sound more like you, but not exactly like you.” And so it’s just kind of a process. Sometimes a sentence-level process, editing down jokes. Yesterday I was reviewing copy with a client, and I made reference to House of Cards, and he was like, “Our audience is more into Football, so let’s change this to watching the Giants.” Perfect, great, nailed it.

Joanna Wiebe:                     And Grant asks, “Are any subjects too taboo for comedy?” And I would say, based on your last comment, Lianna would say “No.” [crosstalk 00:29:22] Just, know your audience, and that can sometimes include [crosstalk 00:29:28]

Lianna Patch:                        Yeah, and punch up. Don’t make fun of people who are not as privileged as you. Punch up.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Punch up. Okay, cool. Well, Lianna, that was amazing. Thank you so much for joining us.

Lianna Patch:                        Thank you for having me.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Where can people find you online? Where can they follow your awesomeness?

Lianna Patch:                        They can find me at, and also being more serious at And there is video on where I go more into detail about five tips for writing funnier copy that are based on improv games.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay, sweet. Well, thank you so much. Thanks everybody for attending. The recording will go out afterwards. Thank you for your questions, too. And I think you’re also Lianna Patch on Twitter, aren’t you Lianna?

Lianna Patch:                        I am @punchlinecopy on Twitter.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Oh, I’m sorry. So, @punchlinecopy on Twitter, if you’d like to follow up with Lianna with any other questions. Okay?

Lianna Patch:                        Yes.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Thanks guys [crosstalk 00:30:21]. Have a good Tuesday. Bye.

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