Copywriting Conference 2014: Bill Hilton · The Psychology of Copywriting

Bill Hilton’s breakout training session on ‘The Psychology of Copywriting’, featuring Eleanor Heather and Philip Nelson of Bangor University. From the 2014 Copywriting Conference, held by the Professional Copywriters’ Network on 26 September at Haberdashers’ Hall, London.

Copywriting is psychology. The old hands and the how-to books will teach you all sorts of mind-tricks: questions make great headlines, that you can spur customers to buy with time limits and takeaways, that everything needs to be as NEW and as FREE as you can make it.
It’s all good advice. But most of these ideas were discovered the hard way, by trial and error, during the first great age of advertising in the second half of the twentieth century. Many in the business have been surprisingly slow to pick up on some of the recent discoveries of neuroscientists, and how they can show us what’s really going on in customers’ heads when they read our copy.
In this session, copywriter and trainer Bill Hilton looks at some of big ideas to have come out of recent research – and, in particular, the work of Daniel Kahneman, author of the bestselling Thinking Fast and Slow – and what it means for our trade.

Bill Hilton has been a full-time freelance copywriter and trainer since 2003, working independently for a number of large, multinational clients – including Barclays, Which?, Faurecia and BNP Paribas – and more than 200 small to medium businesses, startups and charitable organisations.
Working with communications agencies Afia ( and The Art of Explaining (, he’s written copy and designed and delivered training for clients including E.ON, British Gas, Samsung, Aviva, Prudential, HM Treasury, NS&I and TalkTalk.
Bill’s first book (“Working for Yourself: a Which? Essential Guide”) was published in 2007, and his second (“How To Really Play The Piano”) in 2009. A third is due for publication in 2014. Bill has strong links with Bangor University, including the MSc course in Consumer Psychology and its spin-off projects.
A qualified teacher of English and Music, Bill lives in Snowdonia. In his spare time he enjoys playing the piano, mountain biking and going for long walks with his dog, Molly.

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