Copywriting webinar with Marcus Jovanovich and Legendary copywriter – Bret Thompson
Ok, confession time, I don’t like copy-writing,
…and, for a good reason – I suck at it!
But, I understand the importance of copy-writing in marketing.
As a marketer, you’ve only a few ways in which you can communicate with your audience.
And let’s face it…
…words are still the best way for you to get your message across to your market.
In Fact, without good copy, you’ve got little chance of any of your marketing campaigns producing a positive result,
Regardless if it’s a website, social media or magazine, one thing’s for sure…
But what do you do if you’re like me, and “Suck at writing.”?
Well, the good news is – there’s hope,
See, a copywriter’s job is not to write fantastic copy to win awards.
A copywriter’s job is to SELL products or services!
So, with this in mind.
I’ve outlined my process for creating copy-writing, which I’ll share in this post…
Now, before we begin,
….understand copy-writing – is made up of two essential parts.
PART 1: CREATING
PART 2: EDITING
In this blog, I’ll take you through PART 1 – CREATING.
Don’t try to complete both at the same time.
It’s not as easy as it sounds, as you’ll naturally want to correct mistakes as you write.
…and, editing your copy as you write it, is a sure-fire recipe for frustration – So avoid doing it.
OK, let’s get started…
How do I craft my sales copy?
Here are my best tips for creating ‘sales-driven’ copy:
BEFORE YOU WRITE
To get your brain in a Copy-writing mood. Try reading great copy-writing for 20 minutes before writing. By doing this, you’ll be better equipped to write in a sales copy style.
GET CLEAR ON WHAT YOU’RE SELLING
Write down a list of the benefits your reader will get from your product or service.
Now, this is important…
You can only sell one benefit at a time!
I know you’ve got different goods or services. But, your customer can buy only one thing at a time.
Ask yourself these three questions before you start:
1) Who is my customer?
2) What are the Key benefits of my product/service
3) Why will my customer want to buy my product/service (What benefit is most important to them)
Decide what you’re going to sell (which benefit), then sell it with everything you have.
SELL BENEFITS NOT FEATURES
Features are boring and self-indulgent. Talk about the benefits your customers will get from your features product or service.
In fact, I like to go a step further and sell the emotion they will experience when they receive the benefit.
Try to paint a picture in the reader’s mind of them already enjoying the benefit.
YOUR OFFER TRUMPS EVERYTHING
Your copy’s only as good as your offer. Create a compelling proposition that your reader can’t pass on. And you’re 90% of the way to creating persuasive copy-writing.
Think back to times you bought something you didn’t need because the offer was too good for you to pass up.
Here are things you need consider when creating your offer:
1) Know what they want – focus on the BIG benefit
2) Sell the bonus – Build value by selling your gift
3) Easy to say yes to- make it too good to pass on
4) Make it believable – justify why it’s so good
5) Take their eyes off the price – sell value, benefits & emotion)
6) Big guaranteed – take their fear away
7) Deadline, Scarcity + Urgency – compel them to act now
8) Call to action – tell them what to do next
OVERCOME THEIR OBJECTIONS
Your sales copy doesn’t need to be great; it needs to answer your reader’s objections. Write down a list of your customers’ obstacles to the sale and a list of all your solutions to overcome them.
The most common objections are:
1) You don’t understand my problem
2) How do I know your qualified
3) I don’t believe you
4) I don’t need it right now
5) it won’t work for me
6) What happens if I don’t like it
7) I can’t afford it
REMOVE THEIR RISK
Offer a Guarantee or free trial. Take away your prospects fear of making a wrong decision. Be sure your copy-writing tells your reader what they can expect after the sale. No one likes to be surprised after purchase. Outline the process and what the next step will be.
GET CLEAR ON, WHO YOU’RE WRITING TO
Before you lay a finger on your keyboard, ask yourself this question: who is it I’m writing to?
Get specific. Create a buyer’s persona before you start,
…being clear on who your reader is, will help you focus your writing.
Write as if you’re talking to your buyer’s persona. Use language they would use and write in a tone which connects with them.
FIND YOUR VOICE
Now you know who you’re writing to; It’s time to decide how you’ll communicate with your prospect.
Visualise the conversation as if you were talking to your ‘buyer persona’ in person. What dialogue would you use? Would you take a serious tone or a laid-back approach?
TIP: Be authentic in your copy-writing, as a small business owner your customers buy you first.
YOUR HEADLINE MATTERS
It’s time to get your readers attention!
Eight out of ten people will read your headline. Only two of the eight – will read your copy.
Meaning, if your headline is weak, it doesn’t matter how persuasive your copy is. No one will read it.
A headline should be clear, precise and evoke curiosity in the reader.
Here’s my favourite headline formula – The benefit, minus obstacle method.
How to [BENEFIT] without [OBSTACLE], i.e., How to renovate a house without blowing your budget
How to [BENEFIT] even if [OBSTACLE], i.e., How to craft compelling copy-writing even if you suck at writing.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR READER TO KNOW?
Now you’ve got your readers attention. What do your readers need to know? So they’ll understand your offer well enough to take action?
Be clear, don’t confuse them with irrelevant information.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR READER TO FEEL?
What do you want your reader to feel when they read your copy? Decide how you want them to feel when they read your copy. Then use words that represent the emotion throughout.
The five most influential emotions to use in your copy are:
WHAT DO YOU NEED YOUR READER TO DO?
The whole point of writing a piece of sales copy is to get the reader to take action,
Usually, this is making contact with you in the form of a lead…
Or getting your reader to buy from you!
Always tell your reader what to do next.
Give your reader clear direction for their next step. Because, if you don’t tell them – they won’t do it.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR COPY STRUCTURE
There are a lot of ways you can structure your sales copy,
My Favourite formula is (PASPA), PAIN, AGGRAVATE, SOLVE, PROVE, ACTION.
It goes like this,
1) Call out their PROBLEM – What’s problem you solve for your reader? i.e., “Do you suffer from cellulite?”
2) AGGRAVATE the problem – Now reinforce how the pain impacts your reader’s life. i.e., “Does your cellulite make you feel embarrassed when swimming in public?”
3) SOLVE their problem – How does your product or service take your reader from pain to pleasure?. i.e., “Revolutionary laser treatment removes cellulite in one pain-free treatment.”
4) PROVE you can solve the problem – Prove what your saying is true. You can use testimonials, case studies, 3rd party reviews or statistics, i.e., “Join over 10,000 women who no longer suffer from cellulite.”
5) Call to ACTION – Tell them what to do next. i.e., “complete this form for a free cellulite consultation.”
YOUR FIRST DRAFT: THE VOMIT COPY
Now, it’s time to write…
…Take a deep breath & let it flow!
Your first copy will suck!
But that’s OK. Let me explain…
It’s called a vomit copy. As the name suggests, you’re regurgitating whatever pops into your mind in this first draft.
There’s no pressure with your ‘vomit copy’ to produce good writing. It’s about getting all your ideas from your head into your article.
WRITE TO A TIMER
Use a stopwatch or clock and don’t stop writing until the time expires. I set myself 50 minutes. You could aim for less…say 30 or even 20 minutes, whichever time you’re comfortable with.
DON’T STOP TO RESEARCH
When you’re copy-writing, there’ll be moments when you hit gaps in your knowledge. Keep writing and fix them in editing.
How to create a Buyers Persona (Avatar)
The process for you to do this is by creating a client avatar, otherwise referred to as the buyer’s persona or your “Slam Dunk” client.
Whatever you call It – It’s about determining who is the absolute best customer you could target – if you had a choice of who walked through the front door of your business.
And so the biggest objection I get to creating a client avatar or trying to focus in on one particular person or type of person is…
“Well, my product sells to lots of different people.”
And it probably does, but the reality is that not all customers are equal. And so we all know that in business, there are those great customers we love dealing with…
They are a pleasure to be around.
They pay us well; they pay us on time.
And they refer us to others.
…they become a brand evangelist for what we do.
And then on the other end, We’ve got those pain in the arse customers who we regret taking on. They suck all our time and energy. They barter us down on cost, and they’re hard work to deal with.
And so what happens without a strategy to target more of the right customers, you end up filling your business with all of the crap customers and then work isn’t fun, your business becomes hard work because you’re just dealing with the wrong people.
So at the end of the day – and this is the big thing…
It costs you as much money, time, effort and energy to attract a great customer into your business as it does a shit one.
If you’re going to spend money and time and effort on getting new business, then doesn’t it make sense that maybe you should target the best possible customers?
And the process we use for finding your PERFECT customer is – creating the client avatar.
But before I start…
When I say that you should focus in on only one person or one type of person, it’s not to say that you ignore everyone else in your marketplace. And so If you imagine your customers on a target and the bull’s eye is 10 (your best customers).
Think about it like this.
If your number 10 is your absolute best customers, then your next ring on the target is your number 9, and the number 8, and number 7 as the rings get further away from the bull’s eye, all the way out to the number 1s (your SHIT customers).
And so let’s say if you’re marketing is targeting the number 10’s,
It’s not to say that you might not miss and get a few 9s and a few 8s and maybe a few 7s.
But what you’ll do is you’re going to confine it into the middle of the target (your best customers) and avoid drifting out here where all the rubbish clients are.
And so even if your target market is females as opposed to males, you will probably still attract some men with your marketing, but you’ll draw a disproportionate amount of the right customers into your business.
Now, yes, you can still have multiple avatars for your business, but I believe it’s imperative to have a hierarchy.
Ensure you acknowledge not all customers are equal and some are better than others, and so rank them in order, your ten, your nine, your eight etc.
And get a little critical on this, and you don’t allow two avatars to sit on the same level, you’ll find one reason or another, one avatar is better than the other.
Ok, So, how do you go about creating an avatar?
First, let me say, it’s the coolest thing in the world when you consistently see your avatar walking into your business.
See, I know as soon as I get a lead or a call, 80% of the time it’s my avatar. It really does work!
However it does take a bit of work, and it’s something that you will build over time, but it’s worth just sitting down and going back to it whenever you get that chance.
What I’ll share with you now is what makes up a customer avatar…
The first thing that you go through is refining the breakdown of who they are.
The easy way to do this is to probably just think about your favourite customers you’ve got in your business right now and visualise them.
Start to think about the qualities they have, what do they look like, how old are they and these sort of demographics.
And so then you start with – how old is your avatar?
And don’t say between 20 and 30 because a 22-year-old and a 29-year-old are entirely different people and so think about it and try to refine it down to a specific age.
Again, if you say that your avatar’s 29, it’s not to say that you won’t get 30-year-olds, 35-year-olds and 40-year-olds but it’s about being laser-focused with who we’re targeting.
Then next, what gender is your avatar?
Typically speaking, there are very few products that appeal equally to males and females. So which one of those is the most powerful person in your business?
Other questions to ask are:
What is their marital status? Are they single, married, de facto?
Do they have kids? If so, how old are the kids? People with newborn children are at a different stage in their life and face different challenges than somebody with say adult children.
Then think about their Location. Where does your customer live?
If you don’t know the specific area, know what type of housing, what kind of area do they live. Start to think about their environment.
Next, you’ve got things like their job title, their occupation and their annual income.
Are they a CEO? Are they a business owner? Are they an employee?
And how much do they earn per year? Are they earning $120,000, $80,000, $50,000? Where is your market financially?
Once we know what they look like,
Then we go through and think about, the big four as far as the buying motives behind your customers.
The first one is – THEIR FEARS.
What is the BIG fear your product helps solve?
What’s the big internal fear, the most common fear, amongst your audience that keeps your audience up at night?
What’s the big fear that they think about before they go to bed each night they are too embarrassed to even tell their loved ones about?
And so when I put my clients through this, and I give them my avatar form, one of the questions I get all the time is – “Can’t I just get my customers to fill this out?”
And look, yes, you can, and feedback’s always good, but the reality is the things that motivate us to do stuff are the things we don’t ever tell people about!
So if you ask somebody to fill in a form, they’ll give you some information, but they won’t strip themselves bare and give you the deep dark secrets they’re harbouring which drive them and motivate them.
So it does take a bit of work, and you’ve got to do a bit of assumptive thinking with this and try and put together your avatar based on what we know about your customer.
Also what you think you know as well, and that’s why it does evolve.
Now it’s time to think about your avatars – FRUSTRATIONS.
What are the frustrations to do with your industry, your product or the problem they have, which you solve?
What are the things which annoy them or bug them which you can do better?
Then we look at their DREAMS & DESIRES.
What’s their big picture or outcome.
With any product, you’ve got features and benefits.
The feature is the product; the benefit is what you get from using the product.
But then I take it to the next level of engagement which is the emotion.
What’s the emotion they feel once they’ve already purchased your product? And what’s their big dream they’re trying to achieve from using your product?
Again, it might not be as obvious, and it might not be something that they’re comfortable to say to another person, but it’s what they actually think.
The next one is NEEDS
This is something that gets missed a lot in marketing. What’re the fundamental things that your customer needs to be able to justify the sale?
Once you’ve put some thought into this, then you look at their interests. This has a two-fold effect because interests are a great way to get an insight into your avatar.
So some interests you should look at are:
What books do they read?
What hobbies they’re into?
Do they have pets? Cats, dogs, what type of pet?
Do they play a sport or do they follow any sporting teams?
Do they read any magazines
Are they into health and fitness?
Do they go to any conferences, events or live music shows? What websites do they hang out on?
What are their favourite brands?
What sort of music do they listen to?
Because if you know what brands they resonate with, the music they listen to, what books and magazines they read or which websites they frequent,
You can look at those brands, those websites and those magazines and you can get an insight into what appeals to your marketplace.
Because these big magazines, websites and brands, spend millions and millions of dollars on their market research.
So it’s a way for you to shortcut the process of dialling in the type of language they use to talk to their audiences, the type of offers they take to your audience, and then you can piggyback on that marketing.
Obviously, you’ll need to retweak it so that it suits your market, your business and brand.
And so the other one I look at is – who are their HEREOS and VILLIANS.
See, the fastest way to know or understand someone’s, core values is to understand the people in this world they look up to and the people that they detest or they look down upon.
And if you understand who the people are that inspire your avatar and who they are against, then you’ll get a quick insight who that person is and what drives them, what motivates.
And as the old saying goes – “The friend of my friend is my friend. And the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
So if we can put ourselves in a position where we’re associating ourselves in the same vein as the people they look up to and disassociating ourselves from the people they don’t necessarily like, then all of a sudden, we’re going to build instant rapport with your customers.
Now, the next one is obviously objections to sale.
Really think about what their objections to the sale are. Don’t go half-hearted, really dial into what are all the objections.
And again, not the objections that they’re happy to tell you as to why they’re not buying your product.
What are the things your customers are saying in their head that they’re too embarrassed to say out loud to you,
…but it’s the REAL reason they won’t buy your product!
Write all these objections down, and you’ll be a lot closer to making more sales.
The last thing to consider – is what is their role in the purchase process?
Making sure you’re talking to the right person or if we are talking to the right person – do they need to speak to another person before they’re comfortable to make the purchase.
Once you sort of start to put all of this together, you start to get an idea as to who it is you’re targeting.
And so when you sit down and start crafting your marketing messages, it gives you the ability to sort of step into their world and start to understand how to talk to them on their level.
You’ll then know the language and dialogue which will resonate with your perfect target avatar, and you’ll have more of those people wanting to engage with you and go on to become leads and new sales as well.
And for a bit of extra homework,
Really think about what the big solution is you provide.
What’s the pain that they’re running from and what’s the pleasure that you’re providing?
What’s the BIG solution to the BIG problem you’re providing them?
And you can even go a step further by walking a day in the life of your client.
Understand what goes on in their day-to-day life from the minute they wake up to the last thought they have before bed.
Write down every step of the day – the challenges they face, the frustrations they have and take yourself out of your head.
The worst thing you can do as a marketer is to craft copy based on what you think and how you perceive your product or service.
Ultimately, you aren’t your customer. And so it’s essential you have the process and ability like this to be able to take yourself out of your head,
And put yourself in your customer mindset, this way you’re giving yourself the best chance of crafting a compelling marketing message that will resonate with your audience.
Understanding your market and the WHO your selling to is critical to your marketing success. I challenge you to sit down and put together your client avatar.
How to create your businesses USP (Unique selling proposition)
With the marketing landscape being so competitive today…
How do you as a small business owner, get your marketing message to cut through all the noise and stand out?
ANSWER: Develop a GREAT – Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
What exactly is a USP?
A USP or Unique Selling Proposition. Is a phrase or sentence that can clarify what you do and what the benefit is for your prospect.
Often referred to as your Competitive Advantage…
Your USP is something you can build your brand around. It can define what you stand for as a business. And, it will tell your prospects why they should choose you over your competition.
…a strong USP, will also help you write persuasive sales copy.
Your unique selling proposition should do – one of three things…
1) Position your business in your prospects minds
“We’re Number Two. We Try Harder.” Avis
Avis has used their USP to position themselves as the underdog. Who will work harder for you than their competitor.
2) Solve your prospects problems
“The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand” M&Ms
M&Ms highlight a problem in their USP you’ll have if you eat their competitors chocolate. You won’t have when eating theirs.
3) Make your prospects a promise
“You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.” Domino’s Pizza
Domino’s made this promise in their USP. It’s so bold and specific their prospects have no choice but to trust them over their competitors.
This all sounds great if you’re a huge business like Avis, M&Ms or Domino’s.
But, what if you’re a small business no one has heard of before?
How do you develop your own powerful Unique Selling Proposition?
There are two ways for you to create a USP for your small business.
1) Use a benefit you offer – that your competition can’t match
“When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight” FedEx
In this USP FedEx focuses on the big advantage they have their competitors can’t match.
2) Use a benefit both you and your competitor offer – yet, no one has claimed.
“The World’s Favourite Airline” British Airways
See, British Airways were the first to make this claim – by claiming this USP first, they now own it.
Their competitors would sound silly if they now came out and tried to say – NO, we are the world’s favourite airline!
…see what I mean?
When you claim something in the market first – it’s then yours to own.
So, how do you start to create your businesses USP?
Here is the process I use when creating a USP from scratch…
STEP 1) Identify which buyer’s persona you’re talking to.
Think from your prospects point of view –
…what’s in it for them?
…what do they gain from your product?
…what pain point does your service solve?
Now, you’re clear on who you’re creating your USP for…
STEP 2) Imagine someone asking you this question – What does your business do?
Answer this question…
By filling in the blanks below:
You Know when (insert their problem) __________________________________
Well what we do is (insert your solution) ________________________________
And we even (insert your big benefit) ___________________________________
OK, let me give you an example…
This is what I would say if someone asked me – what my business does?
You know when you’re running a small business but you’re stressed about cash flow. and not sure where your next sale is coming from?
Well, what I do is I put all my 15 years of marketing experience to work for you. To teach you how to create reliable and profitable marketing funnel. that will double your sales.
And I’ll even do this at no charge for the first 30 days
Now, this is too long to use as my USP – so now I need to break it down into shorter phases…
For example, from the above statement, I could try the following –
- Australia’s leading marketing coach for small business owners
- Double your sales in the next 30 days for FREE
- Marketing Coaching for Small Business owners wanting to double their sales
- Discover How to double your sales in the next 30 days for FREE
- Marketing Coaching that actually works
- Your cash flow worries gone in 30 days for FREE
You, get the idea…
Don’t worry if the perfect USP doesn’t come to you right away. Most businesses don’t get it perfect first time out.
Even FedEx got it wrong with their first USP –
“we have our own planes”
Which they realised wasn’t working and changed to –
“When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight”
A strong USP will help your prospects understand why they should do business with you. It will also help you to get clear on what your business stands for.
While it’s taken me a long time to get comfortable with writing my own sales copy. It’s by far the most rewarding skill I’ve learned, and I know it’ll be for you too. Use my process to get you started – Then begin to develop your copy-writing method. Your marketing results will improve as your writing gets better.
What are your writing tips for beginner writers?