This resource for all influencers, consultants, and entrepreneurs gives you the psychological secrets and copywriting techniques to persuade strangers into becoming customers.
Is it possible to make sales without opening your mouth? After reading this guide, you will learn how achievable it is to persuade, convince and influence someone to make a purchase decision by simply using your written words.
By the end, you will be equipped to produce effective sales copy that you can market in any niche. You can use this skill to adapt to a marketplace that is always changing, and you will know how to speak to customers and get them to take action.
- What is Copywriting?
- How To Create Great Copy For Your Business
- The Structure of Persuasive Copywriting
- Why Your Sales Copy Sucks
- The Process of Copywriting
- Advanced Copywriting Secrets
- How To Start Your Copywriting Career
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is closing in print, which essentially means to use written words to generate leads and sales. It is a high income skill, used often by introverts, to start and enhance or extend a relationship with a customer that includes salesmanship in print.
Its primary purpose is to sell, so to be a good copywriter, you need to have an understanding of sales, marketing and human psychology.
Copywriting is broadly used for landing pages, direct mail campaigns, sales pages, printed advertising, infomercials, social media pages, and e-commerce platforms.
Why is copywriting important? How does it relate to making money?
Think about copywriting as more than just the words on a web page. Every email you send out, every web page that you create, every social media post that you publish, every infomercial that you see and even a video sales letter (VSL) is all copywriting. Anything that is involved with closing using the written word on a very massive scale is copywriting.
Closing in print is about communication, not just writing. Effective communication equals wealth. Think of all the forms of communication skills, like sales. Sales is the number one ability that an entrepreneur needs to be successful in any business. Business copywriting, which is closing a sale in print, is one of the most valuable communication skills to have because it is influential and can generate millions of dollars.
Gary C. Halbert, author of The Boron Letters, is arguably one of the greatest copywriters of all time. 10-20 years ago, Gary was charging $15,000 to write a letter, plus royalties. His company was mailing millions of physical pieces of direct mail every year. You can assume that if your copy doesn’t work, you can’t mail that many pieces. So he was a copywriter who clearly honed his craft.
Successful entrepreneurs are great at selling to any number of prospects. If you can sell 1-on-1, you can easily develop that skill so you can sell 1-to-many.
The more people you communicate with and deliver your value to, the more money you can make. So if you’re selling 1-on-1, your ratio is limited to 1-on-1. If you’re selling to 1-to-50 or 100 people your ratio is 1-to-100. In copywriting, your ratio is 1 to thousands. Plus your copy is selling and closing your products or services 24/7 on your website without you being physically present. Written words have this much power and influence because of leverage.
Every business needs copywriters. In fact, many popular brands have their success because of the copywriters they’ve hired. Copywriters have boosted small businesses into big enterprises.
Entrepreneurs and business owners who don’t excel at copywriting can hire or outsource a copywriter, but it’s still very important to have a strong understanding of what copywriting is, because that is what sells your products and services. The way that you write, communicate, and articulate your marketing message can make the difference between a product selling for $10,000, and the exact same product with a different message, selling for a million dollars.
You don’t have to be a master copywriter, but by having a strong understanding, you can make some small – but significant – changes to your copy. This could be the subject line, headline or call to action. Even with the same amount of effort, money, and traffic, you are able to get 2-3x more results with that change.
It is very valuable to be able to look at what makes copy actually work and convert.
This means you have to constantly test your material – sometimes based on certain assumptions – by publishing, editing them and seeing what works. The great thing now about the Internet is that you can quickly see the performance results of your copy with several tracking software. With the availability of advanced online platforms now, it is easier for you to monitor and know exactly what’s happening to your sales.
Skip To Chapter 3
How To Create Great Copy For Your Business
How do you get started with implementing copywriting into your business?
Part of being a good copywriter is knowing that your customers are actually the marketing geniuses, especially when you let them tell you if your offer works. In your research, pay attention to their feedback and reverse engineer everything they say into your sales page.
A powerful but simple strategy is to set up a time to talk to some of your best customers. In exchange for their detailed feedback, you can offer them a small gift. One way to ask is, “Hey, I’m just doing some research about my company because I want to do a marketing campaign. You’re one of my best and most loyal customers. Can I have 30 minutes of your time?”
And if they agree, you can give them a gift card, movie ticket or any bonus item you want to give away. Ask them questions like:
- Before you did business with our company, what problems have you gone through?
- What have you tried in the past?
- What didn’t work?
- Why didn’t they work for you?
- What kind of solutions are you looking for?
- Why did you choose us?
- Why have you stayed with us?
- Can you tell me more about this?
- What do you feel?
- How does that affect your family?
9 times out of 10 the best copy comes from the client. Ask for their permission to record their feedback, then transcribe the audio from that conversation.
Afterwards you then take their feedback and use the information in your written copy. For example:
Customer Feedback: “I can’t find any leads to more clients and am really struggling with finding customers. I go to these conferences and I talk to a whole bunch of people but none of them really follow through.”
Conclusion: Their main concern is in generating leads successfully.
New Potential Headline: “How To Quickly, Easily Generate More Leads For Your Business Without Going To These Networking Functions.”
See how easy it is? If you do have a product that solves their problem, you can turn their issue into a potential headline. It could be a manifest statement or a bullet point.
It’s not as complex as you think. Your customers will tell you that they want to buy from you, but what they want to get is the assurance that you know exactly what they’re going through. They want the assurance that your product and service can help them solve their problem.
7 Steps To Creating Compelling Copy
These are steps that you can take every single time you write copy. When you go through these steps, you will be able to turn your copy into something so much more powerful and compelling.
STEP 1: Identify Your Ideal Customer. This is the most important part before you start writing. You need to first truly understand who your ideal customer is. The way to find ideal customers involves three things:
- Your ideal customer should have an actual need for your product or service.
- They should have the ability to buy your product.
- They should have the authority (decision making power) to buy your product or service.
Once you know who your ideal customer is, you can start targeting more through variations and reference points such as interests, communities, age, etc. When you have your exact target market, now you go and talk to them in your copy one-on-one.
Good copy is 80% research and 20% writing.
If you are going to spend a month working on your copy or campaign, you should spend at least 2-3 weeks just doing research before you write a single word. You need to have a very clear idea on exactly what your offer is before even starting the writing process.
The amount of money you make is in direct proportion to how well you understand your customers.
One of the main reasons why businesses fail is that entrepreneurs or business owners that get excited about an idea, widget or invention, take it to a marketplace where there is no actual need for it. They fail to realize that nobody would actually care for their product or service. This is because they don’t understand their ideal customer.
Remember that not everybody can be your ideal customer.
Even big companies serve different demographics. It’s especially important for small or medium sized businesses to narrow down their target audience so that the message can be more personalized.
Ideally, when you show your offer to your prospects and they read your ad, the reaction you want is them asking “how can I buy this?”
Any sign of them making any payment on your website means that you have something that works.
You need the real reactions, because people vote with their wallets. Don’t listen to just what they say, watch what they do. So, research, know, and identify your ideal customer.
STEP 2: Create an irresistible offer. One of the most important steps in the entire sales copywriting formula is to have a compelling offer.
The biggest challenge lately is that most businesses sound exactly like everybody else. Their differentiators are typically based on being cheaper or better than their competitors. These offers are not very compelling.
You have to think about how you can make your offer as irresistible as possible. The market is more important than the message. When it comes to the offer, you have to think about what it is that your audience truly wants, what they are craving for, or what frustrations they have. Find out what they are sick and tired of, so when you can come out with an offer that’s so irresistible, it is easy to sell.
With a great offer, you can say less and it will still sell. You don’t need to use as many words. An example is the concept of selling money at a discount. This is where you sell any kind of offer that helps people make money, save money or invest.
Ex: Spend $5,000 on this course then I’m going to teach you how to generate $10,000 a month in rental income.
With this offer, it’s a no-brainer. Selling money at a discount this way makes it an irresistible offer. If you’re selling physical products, there are many ways to make a compelling offer, such as a free 30 day trial, a strong guarantee, faster shipping or bonuses. For example:
Ex: When you buy today, you don’t just get 1 knife, but 20 knives. And if you order within the next 5 minutes, you don’t just get these 20 knives. We are going to send you two sets of knives.
You know you’ve made an irresistible offer when your prospect goes straight to calling your toll-free number or checking out to purchase. When an offer is so irresistible, logic goes out of the window.
STEP 3: List every single feature and benefit of your offer.
Now that you have the offer, list every single possible thing that your customers would get and would benefit from with your product or service. You want to mention every possible feature or element, even if it seems minor to you.
Keep in mind that there is a big difference between feature and benefit. A feature is what it is. A benefit is what it does.
For example, think about a drill. The feature is the drill bid that has electricity. But the benefit is that it drills a hole very quickly. Or a fast computer. It features a core i7 processor. And the benefit is that you can play computer games faster.
The easiest way to do this is to first create that long list of features, then ask yourself the question, “so what?”, to come up with the benefits.
You can then refer to this list for a potential benefits driven statement in the form of a bullet point or a headline. It’s very limited if you only have five to work from. You want to have up to a hundred on your list. So brainstorm from all kinds of angles. Think about any possible user and customer that can benefit from your offer in different ways.
Here’s a general example for a PC:
– Fast processor for gaming
– Back lit LED keyboard for nighttime use
– Power management for energy efficiency
Since your prospects might be looking for different features and would value different things from each other, you need to list them all out to cover as much as possible. By going through this exercise, you already have a deeper understanding of your offer.
Benefit Behind The Benefit
Once you have the feature and the benefit, you can go deeper by exploring the concept called the benefit behind the benefit. It refers to that one thing or emotion that you can trigger when your customers buy a specific product or service.
Think about what it is that you are actually selling. For example, look at this pizza company’s tagline. What business are they in? What are they selling?
You might think they are in the pizza business, but notice the first two words, fresh and hot. They’re not just promising a fresh and hot pizza. They’re selling speed of delivery. So they are actually in the business of speed.
STEP 4: Write attention-grabbing headlines.
It is good practice to write multiple headlines. The more headlines you write, the better because there are so many different kinds of headline formulas.
One of the best places to learn about how to write a good headline is when you go grocery shopping – pay attention to the checkout stands where you can see gossip or tabloid magazines. Those magazines have some of the best headlines in the world because of how well they grab your attention.
If you study some of these magazines and their history every year, you will notice that they actually just recycle the headlines. When you compare the March issue to last year’s March issue, you can see the pattern. It’s the same formula again and again because it works.
Here’s an example of a headline on a martial arts product.
This is a very powerful headline because of how well it captures the ideal customer: a martial arts enthusiast who wants to improve their speed.
Here’s another one:
If you’ve ever wished you could
Live on a Caribbean Island…
Don’t let envious naysayers stop you. With our help, you can successfully escape freezing winters, crime, pollution, oil crises and mega stress. Whether you’re looking for a retirement haven, vacation home, land, or business, please read on.
This headline is effective for a number of reasons, such as bolding the main feature “Live on a Caribbean Island” with images of the island on the same page. If you think about what they’re selling, they know that this is the benefit behind the benefit. They are not just selling a vacation home. They are talking about not letting your envious naysayers stop you – those people who doubt you and judge you. And then the part that says “with our help, you can successfully escape freezing winters” – well, vacationers wouldn’t want those.
While this ad is for just a little vacation home, what it talks about is all emotional needs. The last part “…looking for retirement haven, vacation home, land, or business, please read on” is very critical.
The purpose of a headline is not to make the sale, but to simply get people to read the first paragraph.
A very powerful technique is using the three dots at the end “…” because it works as a cliff hanger. It’s an incomplete thought, so people would usually seek out the continuation or closure from that.
Remember to write multiple headlines and play around with words if you want it to be good. This copywriter played around with the words freezing winters, crime, pollution – which are all very emotional words. Same as oil crisis, and mega stress. All very powerful and emotional words.
STEP 5: Eliminate all objections with pre-emptive credibility. Most people nowadays are very skeptical, in fact they are more skeptical than ever. They are also more demanding than ever. So one way to work with this is to stack up your credibility.
Think about what it is that you have to offer. Use these for example:
- A long history of being in business
- Reviews from happy customers
- Case studies
- A product backed by peer-reviewed scientific research
You have to use everything you possibly can because people are skeptical and you want to use that in your sales copy before they can even come up with objections.
A good of example for this is infomercials. Most successful infomercials contain a big chunk of testimonials and people sharing stories. Sometimes you have infomercials where the entire thing is basically a testimonial.
What other people say about you is infinitely more powerful than what you can say about yourself.
Even if you talk about your key features and benefits, it is so much more effective when your customers are praising you with positive reviews such as:
- “This is great!”
- “This has helped me solve my main problems…”
- “This changed my life.”
Having testimonials is a great advantage for you, but you have to find out what access you have, and if you are fully utilizing them. Are you even collecting testimonials from your customers?
How many testimonials to collect
You have to think about how you could use the power of credibility in your business, so get as many as you could (up to thousands).
You need to be actively building up your ‘credibility vault’ by constantly asking for testimonials. Don’t be afraid to ask. If your customers are happy, ask them for testimonials, case studies, endorsements, lengthy recommendations, or anything else that you can do. Use everything that you can.
The Dan Lok Global Community now has over 400 video testimonials. We are releasing three a day – Three new video stories or testimonials a day on YouTube.
Create a list of customer objections and turn them into a FAQ page
Think in advance about all of the objections that your customers might have that are stopping them from buying your product. You can then turn these concerns into a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or email. Its purpose is not to answer technical questions, but to demolish objections.
Q: How do I know this works? What if it doesn’t work?
A: Don’t worry. Every single product that we have is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee. If you try it and you don’t like it, you can send it back within 30 days. You get all your money back and by the way, check out this link. Look at what 2,567 customers have to say about our product.
Q: Can I wait 30 days to buy?
A: You could, however this offer is only available for a limited time.
These are “questions” that aren’t questions, but are made so you can demolish those objections one by one.
STEP 6: Sell against something.
Compare apples to oranges. This means that when you’re selling something to a person, before they make a purchase, you’re not just selling them the benefit, you’re selling against something. It should lead your prospect to think, “If I buy this, I’m going to lose that.”
For example, if you’re selling a high ticket product priced at $10,000, such as a high end accounting and financial planning package, you might be met with resistance. The customer’s thought process would be something like, “I don’t know if I want to spend $10,000 on this. It’s a lot of money. Most people could do this for way less or free. Why should I pay you $10,000?”
They would have a lot of objections in their mind. So you overcome that by comparing apples to oranges. When you have nothing to compare, they will come up with their own comparison, so compare for them.
For example, you can reply to that objection with, “Looking at your scenario, that last year you paid $327,000 in taxes. By investing $10,000 with our tax accounting package, this is going to save you $125,000.”
When you make that comparison, the $10,000 won’t look so expensive anymore because they are thinking about the excess they paid in taxes. “If this can help me save $125,000 in taxes, spending $10,000 is a no brainer.”
Another example would be selling a subscription for $3-4 a day. Whatever you charge, you can say that it’s “less than a cup of coffee in a day.” It’s only $3-4 a day. That’s easy.
When you do a comparison, they are less likely to get fixated on the price. When you compare apples to oranges, it’s easier to feel like something is within their reach.
STEP 7: Have a very clear Call To Action
Now that you’ve done all of this work with research, making a headline, done branding, creating a FAQ and packaged the offer, at the end, how do you want your customers to move forward?
- By clicking on a specific link?
- Buying right now?
- Booking a call?
- Visiting your office?
- Setting up an appointment?
Whatever it is, you have to make it clear and simple to do.
People love to procrastinate, so you need to be extremely precise. Unless there’s a reason to act, most people procrastinate. So if you don’t give them a reason with some sense of urgency to act now, people don’t act. So you have to think about why they should act right now. For example:
- Limited time
- Limited quantities
- Exclusive availability
- The price will increase after a certain date
Whatever it is, you need to give them a reason to buy right now.
Skip To Chapter 4
The Structure of Persuasive Copywriting
Learn some of the basic principles and a formula you can use to craft a sales message by following a step-by-step instruction with a demonstration.
The 10 Magic Building Blocks of Sales Copy
- Testimonials, Third Party Verification
- Value Justification, The Problem Solution Scale
- Risk Reversal, Guarantee or Promise
- Call To Action
- Urgency (Why do I want to buy now?)
This is the formulaic approach to crafting sales copy.
Effective Headline Writing Strategies
- State the claim as a question.
Would you like to make 50,000, 100,000 or even half a million in the highly lucrative real estate market in British Columbia?
- “New” Subject Headline.
Discover The Life Changing Career Where You Control Your Schedule And You Determine The Lifestyle For You And Your Family
In the headline, insert the most emotionally charged ideas. Don’t describe the exact product you’re selling, but appeal to the customer’s motivation for needing the product.
On squeeze pages, lead with the benefit and a video.
Understand that your customer never reads anything at first, never believes anything at first, and never does anything at first so you have to lead with something that captures their attention in the first step.
The purpose of the headline is not to sell, but to get them to read the first paragraph. The purpose of the first paragraph is to get them to read the second paragraph. That’s it.
You want to take your customers through this logical sequence. If you are holding their attention, there are three things they’re going to do next on your website: skim, scroll and scan. When they scroll through and see the media (videos and pictures) first or some of the bigger words, whatever jumps out.
Besides your headline, now you have your opening. The opening sets the criteria from whom the copy is intended for and what they stand to gain by reading it.
Now that you’ve captured their attention with the opening paragraph, move on to explaining what your product, service or website page is about. Some of the best ways to do the opening paragraph is sometimes leading with a question or a vivid picture to make the reader “imagine”. For example:
Imagine setting up your own schedule and making more money from a single deal than you’re making in a whole year working for someone else… Imagine earning your current income, then adding a side income, working part time if you choose to.
Here’s the key with the example… You are entering the conversation that’s going on in their head.
“Should I take real estate? Should I change careers? How should I do it? What are the steps? Is it difficult? Does it take long?”
Put yourself in their shoes.
They might also be thinking:
“I know that the booming BC real estate industry is a highly lucrative market, but how can someone like me with no prior education in real estate, no skills and no experience earn in a year?”
Good question. Then you go into the money.
“Why should I listen to you? Why should I listen to what this person has to say?”
To answer these type of questions, you need to establish credibility. In this part, it’s okay to talk about yourself a little bit. Talk a little bit about your credentials, your expertise, and the clients you have had.
Now you’ve hooked them in with a headline and the opening, now you are in the right place to answer the question “who are you?” You can talk about what you do. In this case, you tell them why they should go to BC Real Estate School.
For over 12 years, we’ve had the most successful real estate licensing program in BC with over 1500+ successful students.
Make sure to not use fake numbers. Then include a short video and talk about what makes you different from your competitors.
Offer your solution to the customer’s problem. What exactly do you do? What is the customer going to gain by buying what you have?
- We offer the most flexible and convenient class options to help you become successful ASAP.
- If you cannot come to live classes or you have a very busy schedule, enroll in our online class option.
The best copy anticipates the objections that your prospects might have. You handle them ahead of the time. You already answered the questions or objections, such as the school being too far. In that case, you offer them an online class so they can study remotely.
If they’re reading your copy, it should incite a response of “How did you know that? How did you know what I was thinking?” When you answer all potential objections in advance, it makes your prospects feel more comfortable.
A bullet is a brief statement that identifies a single benefit offered by your product or service. For example:
Here’s what you get with our all-access school BC success classes:
- Feature: Easy to use
- Benefit: Simplified chapter summaries that give exactly what you need for the exam and reduces your study time by months and reduces your stress.
- The Math Bible has the answer to every math question on the exam. Yours to keep and help you make money while you’re making deals after your exam.
- The done-for-you answer key for your 20 mandatory assignments required before taking your exam. You are guided every step of the way and you’re given the correct answers.
- GO BC mock exams. Comes with real-life questions updated it on a monthly basis with the most recent exam.
Provide third-party verification that your solution does what it claims to do.
“I’m a consumer. I’m skeptical. How do I know you’re telling the truth? As far as I’m concerned I just stumbled upon you online, I see your website, how do I know you are not going to take my money and run? I don’t know. I’m not comfortable giving you my credit card information.”
To answer these doubts, provide some testimonials. What have other people experienced? What can other people say about your product and services?
Ideally you should have video testimonials. If you cannot get video testimonials then get written testimonials attached with a picture. The more specific and detailed the review, the better.
A fleshed out testimonial would include the full name, the city they’re from, and their occupation. The more specific, the more detailed, the more credible. Testimonials are powerful.
7: KEY VALUE JUSTIFICATION
People like to weigh their options.
They always have this scale in their mind to compare their options. So you want to talk about how valuable your product, service or solution actually is to the user.
Highlight the value of your offer and do it in a way that contrasts the price in a favorable way. Meaning, how can you make it a no-brainer for them? How can you make it so that they can easily justify the price? Or make it so that it’s easy? How can you get them to say “this is a no-brainer, I want to do this”.
Here’s an example of how to do it.
A shocking 63% of students who register for the UBC real estate exam never show up for the exam and they don’t even try, how could this be true? You have to study 1,000 pages of information just to pass the exam – this is how much you need to study. UBC gives you a 1000 page textbook and 20 mandatory assignments to complete.
You can strategically show different pictures with small fonts and passive writing style (which is boring). The point is to show just how much stuff they have to go through. They will think “I want to make money in real estate, but I have to go through 1,000 pages of stuff, I don’t want to go through that.”
Then show them how what you have is the faster, easier option. Basically, you have three options here.
8: RISK REVERSAL
The longer your guarantee, the more orders you’ll get and the less likely that you’ll receive refund requests. Risk reversal is one of the biggest objections from entrepreneurs.
“I’m afraid if I offer guarantees people would take advantage of me and then they would send back my products. I will get ripped off.”
The truth is all of those worries are guaranteed to happen anyway, but you also get much more sales. Does it really matter if you’re getting a few refunds when you’ve also increased your sales volume significantly? It is truly irrelevant.
If your refund rate is so high that it affects your profitability, then that simply means your product or service needs to be improved. If you believe in what you sell, stand behind it, then go ahead and offer the guarantee.
Here’s an example:
9: CALL TO ACTION
Now that you’ve made your case, made your sales argument, captured their attention, established credibility, and shown them that other people just like them have experienced results, they can finally see exactly how you’re going to solve their problem.
At this point, you want to make ordering as easy and as obvious as possible. You want them to call you, give them a toll-free number in big print. You want them to click on a link that is obvious and clickable as possible. Make it easy and obvious to buy and take action.
Don’t make assumptions about what your customers are aware of. Make sure to add in your copy things like “in the comfort of your home or office at a time that works for you”. Or clearly tell them the feature: “you can take it online”. Then also reassure them, just to make sure they fully get it, “you can do this from home.” Make everything obvious.
Now that the customer knows the price, and they want to buy, why would they want to buy now? That’s what’s missing in most offers. Because people procrastinate, give a deadline on when to take action, otherwise if a customer thinks about something too long, they end up not buying after all. Procrastination kills sales.
Summarize the offer and give them the other value – the bonuses they’re going to get. In your limited offer, you can say that the discounted rate can only be offered within a specific date range before it expires.
- Time scarcity
4 days left
- Quantity scarcity
4 spots left, booked 7 times today, 4 people viewing right now
You missed it! We reserved our last available room at this property… Our availability in ____ is low on your dates – lock in a great price before it’s too late.
Number of bookings for the past 30 days. Few spots left.
You can use this on an email auto-responder. When you are contacted via a form online, set up an autoresponder that says:
Thank you for providing your information in the contact form. OR Thank you for getting in touch with me. For the past 48 hours, I’ve just had ___ amount of people get in touch with me, so there’s no guarantee that I can respond to you right away.
Then put a lot of social proof and scarcity in the auto-responder. Make sure your copy follows a logical sequence.
The results from this copy went from 3 students a month to 45 new students in October alone. That is a 1500% increase, even though October is not supposed to be a great month.
That is the power of your written words, and having mastered the skill of copywriting.
Knowing that this is a skill that you now have in your toolkit, you can go out already being more prepared than most business owners.
Skip To Chapter 5
Why Your Sales Copy Sucks
IT IS NOT CUSTOMER-FOCUSED
People are used to seeing a lot of companies advertise copy that is focused on themselves rather than the customer. Most people don’t care for your company’s achievements, they would rather read about how you can help them with their problems. Most entrepreneurs write from an egoistic perspective versus getting into their clients’ ego and focusing on their needs.
So you should focus on what your customers’ problems are. What are they looking for?
YOUR COPY IS NOT CONVERSATIONAL
Remember that copy is the spoken language in written form. This means that to connect with your readers, you should write in the same way that you speak. The casual tone is fine because you want to be conversational with your reader.
CHEAP COPYWRITING MINDSET
This is an issue when entrepreneurs spend more time on the aesthetics of their website, but don’t pay enough attention to the details in their copywriting, such as the specific words they use and what message they’re actually portraying. It is as if they’re being thrifty on the written portion of their sales, and don’t put effort in monitoring what works and what doesn’t.
CONTROLLING COPYWRITING MINDSET
This is to assume that your customer knows just as much as you do, knows your products or features or knows your business better than you. Do not assume your customer cares about you. You are not your customer.
When working with a client, you have to understand what your client is paying you for. Are they just paying for design or results? If you have conflicting expectations, do a test run first to see whose idea works better.
The customer is not always right, so offer your expertise. You can offer different alternatives to client objections as long as you have their best interests at heart.
Skip To Chapter 6
The Process of Copywriting
If you are considering hiring a copywriter, make sure to ask about their research and writing process. Here’s an example of a research and writing process for creating compelling copy.
STEP 1: Do a lot of research for the purpose of collecting words that trigger action, spark curiosity, and grab attention. You will be writing your copy based on all of this research. Some research methods:
- Start by researching relevant magazines and publications related to your niche.
- Look up the best-selling Amazon books related to your category to review what kind of copy they use.
- Take a look at customer reviews to find people’s deepest pain points, desires, all their objections, and the kind of language your target market talks in.
- Whatever niche or industry you’re in, from your research extract the words and phrases that influence people to take action after reading. You want to figure out the kinds of conversations they have in their head so you can engage with the reader or target audience in a way that they want to be spoken to.
STEP 2: Look into your swipe files, which is the collection of the top proven words and catch phrases that are already proven to convert in the market. Then you simply ‘swipe’ the words from headlines and sub-headlines that worked in capturing attention, and swap in and out the words that apply to your industry.
“Good copywriters copy. Great copywriters steal.” This means to review copy that has been proven to work, use them as reference and implement their ideas into your own writing style that flows well.
Practice. Find an ad or sales letter that really moves you, then handwrite it out twice. Handwrite the whole letter that you want to master until the style of writing engrains into your brain.
STEP 3: Build the foundation of your copy. On top of choosing the right words, you have to present your information in a logical sequence so that it all flows and connects.
STEP 4: Wordsmithing. Just start writing freely, then edit later to ‘trim the fat’ of your content and remove unnecessary words, refine the content, and make it more compelling.
STEP 5: After you have fully refined your copy, send it to your peers or mentors who are experienced copywriters for proofreading, do some final edits, then publish it to the marketplace and review how well it converts. Make changes based on its performance, republish, and keep monitoring how well your copy brings in sales.
The Ideal Length To Write Sales Copy
Your copy should be as long as it takes to get the job done and make the close. Usually, the general rule of thumb is the more you tell, the more you sell.
The copy should be long enough to emotionally engage the prospect and give them enough rational reasons to back the emotional decisions to purchase. If it’s a strong copy, and the message is going to the right person and market in the right format and media, then you are a winner.
As long as your writing is interesting, engaging and compelling to the reader, the length of your copy will not matter – the reader will continue as long as they can see that you have the solution to their problems.
Skip To Chapter 7
Advanced Copywriting Secrets
This chapter uses DEEP consumer psychology and TIMELESS persuasion principles.
A few things to consider before pursuing copywriting – you have to change the way you view marketing, your customer, marketplace and yourself.
When it comes to copywriting, you don’t need to be hypey or clever. You need to have a deep understanding of psychology – what makes people tick, and what makes people buy.
Break up sentences into smaller ones. Maximum 2-5 lines per paragraph.
1: CALL OUT YOUR AUDIENCE
Customized marketing – Call out your customers by their name.
Or if you’re addressing your ideal audience as a group of people, then call out the community or tribe they belong in.
Think about your marketing, who do you sell to?
If you’re selling to everybody, you’re selling to nobody.
So be very clear and specific about who your audience is.
- Attention Senior Restaurant Owners!
- To All Coquitlam Home Buyers…
- Are you a pet owner with a pet business?
- Style Guide For Men Under 5’8”
In the body, describe their problems in more detail as this builds trust.
- Are you sick and tired of…
- If you are experiencing problem A, B and C…
People usually buy not because they understand what you sell. People buy because they feel understood. When people think you understand what their challenges are, they will be more open to reading what you have to say. Now that you know your ideal audience and what their pain points are, offer them help needed to overcome their issues.
2: GRAB THEIR ATTENTION WITH YOUR BIG PROMISE HEADLINE
Headlines can be on a webpage, subject line of an email, or the first sentence on your social media.
The promise headline should go in the email subject line or headline for the purpose of getting a prospect to open and read more of the email. You don’t want them to delete or skip the email or ad copy.
Don’t waste time. Directly answer the audience’s question, “What’s in it for me?”
Enter their world. Enter the conversation that’s going on in their head. What are they going through?
Get out of your ego, and get into your prospect’s ego. Describe their problems better than they could. This is what will make you effective as a copywriter.
Don’t talk about how great something is. Address the problem in a story that describes an experience similar to what your reader is going through.
- Me Too: This is when you have the same product as someone else. People would be asking what the difference between you and the competitors are.
- Me Better: Your promise is that you are better than your competitors. This could be a good claim in some scenarios.
- Me Only: This is the ideal way to differentiate. Your entire promise is completely different than anyone else, and that makes you stand out in the eye of your competitors and much more desirable to purchase from.
Not everything you sell has to be there, but the closer you are to this level, the more power you have in the marketplace.
To differentiate yourself you have to spend some time thinking about what is something that you can promise that other people cannot. This is what will make you stand out.
Most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t know how to do thorough, critical thinking. This means having truly introspective and deep thinking about your marketplace, potential customer, big promise, and headline.
Think about what you can deliver that other people cannot. If you want to write a good headline, write at least 12-30 headlines. Write more than one to compare which words to keep, switch out or combine, then pick the ones that work well.
In this example, the headline is very clear and specific. They are actually selling fast delivery and speed.
They are very clear on who they’re selling to. People are willing to pay more if they want something delivered in a timely fashion, so this company charges more.
They have spent time marketing delivery and speed, so customers now associate express shipping with their name. Ex: “Let’s FedEx it”.
What is something that you can promise? What’s the big promise you can use in the headline?
- Triple Your Sales
- Burnout Prevention
- High quality
The bad examples are simply too vague, general, typical, overused, not precise. These are fluff words. People don’t know if they are true before they buy. They also can’t quantify them.
These things are assumed already, so they are not compelling enough to make people buy.
3: CALL OUT YOUR ENEMIES
Us vs. Them.
This is who you are NOT. Show that you are the opposite of your competitors.
Do not explain why you are better. Just show WHAT you are against, and what you don’t believe in.
For example, Apple Mac promotes themselves as modern, skinny, cool and newer compared to PC that is supposed to be less cool and outdated.
Let’s say your competitor is complex and you’re simple, emphasize that.
Or if they’re overly simple, you can position yourself as being more thorough and more detailed. Instead of only 1 step, you have 10 steps to ensure that the quality is there.
They’re calling out their enemies who do overly fancy and techy products. They are calling out a specific crowd and telling them that they don’t really need all of those parts.
They’re not saying “our product is so much better and cheaper”. They’re creating a contrast so they can compare.
They SHOW people they are different, they don’t TELL them.
It’s the difference between a restaurant saying they have “the best spaghetti in town.” vs. displaying the plaques for their awards on their wall.
The psychology behind Us vs. Them is that you’re not saying you’re “better”. Instead you’re explaining what you’re against, what you stand for and what you don’t believe in. This works in connecting with an audience that shares the same opinions, so when they see your message, they will say, “I hate that too!”
The entire F.U. Money book stood out from other books that are talking about the same topic regarding financial freedom. But the entire F.U. Money message, the theme is using this strategy – explaining what you are against. Otherwise it will simply be called Financial Freedom or Financial Confidence.
People immediately get it. All this is selling against and saying is F*** YOU to a 9-to-5 job, mediocrity, being average, and to not living the life that you want. Instead of saying, “Get this beautiful life”, it’s selling what you don’t want to tolerate.
4: STORIES MOVE THE WORLD
Stories sell like crazy. This is because human beings are ingrained to pay attention to stories, coming from the past when humans bonded with their tribes through storytelling around the campfire.
For Example: La Mer Skin Care, a high-end facial brand. The story is about a doctor who extracted the ingredients from the ocean to create products that his wife can safely use.
Think about even some of the highest grossing movies. They do well simply because people want to experience the exciting emotions from watching them.
People pay to be moved. So you can sell products or a service with your story.
Facts tell. Stories sell. People buy with emotion, then justify with logic.
Here are two types of stories:
- The Backstory – This includes relatable stories that describe where you got started.
- The Client Story – Client testimonials. What people say about you is infinitely more powerful than what you can say about yourself, so utilize client stories. When prospects read these stories, they can relate. “This person is just like me, and got results. I want that too!” Collect as many of these as possible.
Stories are powerful because we feel like we can be a part of it. People get emotionally involved as we want to put ourselves in the story. Because people don’t buy with logic, you need to get prospects emotionally involved.
5: WRITE LIKE YOU TALK
Think of real life persuasion vs. school language. The biggest flaw to when you’re writing is by being boring. Use a casual tone to make a personal connection.
Write like you talk. When it comes to copy, you want be very personal. Imagine talking to your ideal customer one-on-one, in a casual conversation. Don’t use very big, technical words. Just speak casually as if you’re really trying to talk with them.
Don’t write as if you are talking to a group of thousands, because at any given time, your reader or prospect is typically reading your copy or watching your video by themselves. So you should talk to them on a one-on-one basis to make that connection.
Remember that the purpose of the headline is for them to read the first paragraph. The purpose of the first paragraph is for the reader to continue with the following paragraph.
A big mistake that a lot of copywriters make is using “I” or “We”. Use “YOU” instead. Because there’s typically only one person reading the letter or email.
Copywriting is a one-on-one connection, from the writer to the reader.
Readability is also important. Keep everything simple. Use short sentences and simple words. Use 1-5 sentences per paragraph. Remember that one little word can create an entirely different emotion.
Don’t speak to your audience in groups. For example, don’t refer to them as “ladies and gentlemen”, because this will feel like you’re not directly addressing the reader, and this breaks the personal connection.
Think of your ideal prospect, and just talk to that person. Imagine that this person is sitting across the table from you, and you want write to that person. Transcribe what you say, to start off, then convert it into writing.
The ideal outcome is always to close. Having a casual and conversational tone, and even sometimes having grammatical errors or typos, are not a big deal as long as your copy is successful at generating conversions.
6: PAIN OVER PLEASURE
People don’t buy their way into something. They buy their way OUT of something.
Find what people are complaining about and use that message to put in front of the audience.
7: DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU ARE THE EXPERT
Build credibility with testimonials, results, statistics and research. Always talk to readers as if they are skeptical.
Assume that they don’t like you, don’t trust you, and don’t know you. So you should give high value. Don’t “say” what you’re good at, instead show the numbers of how much you’ve done.
8: EXPLAIN WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE
A lot of companies often differentiate by going cheaper, competing by price, instead of thinking about what really makes them unique.
If customers give you objections, like asking for a discount, it’s usually because they can’t differentiate you from your competition. So don’t be better, be different. Have a Unique Selling Advantage (USA).
Ask yourself why should people do business with you, besides any other option out there as well as doing nothing?
- We’re the best
- We’re the biggest
- We care about you
- We offer more
- Best customer service
- 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance (GEICO)
- One for one. Each pair of shoes your purchase = a pair of shoes for a child in need. (TOM)
- Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed. (Domino’s Pizza)
9: THE THREE BOXES METHOD
This is the use of contrast pricing. Think about when you are selling and closing, it comes down to an offer. If you provide only one option, the customer will only give you one answer – either yes I will buy, or no I will not buy.
If you offer them two options, A or B, now their minds will be focused on saying yes or no to either one of them.
But by giving three options – done properly – chances are that the customer will choose the middle option. The three options would be something like, “Basic, Intermediate, Advanced”, or “Small, Medium, Large”. “Option A, B or C”. Option A, the basic version of your offer, should look as lousy as possible. The biggest one, Option C should be really expensive. Knowing that most people will not buy either, you are actually positioning the middle, Option B, to be the most compelling one.
10: UNIQUE GUARANTEES
Use an unusual but effective guarantee. For example:
Hey _____, as you know I can’t give you all your money back. But what I can guarantee is that if you don’t like the place that I am going to move you into, I will work with you to find a new home – absolutely free, commission free and I will give you $500 towards moving into your new home. That’s how much I believe in my service.
Offer a creative or fun option and guarantee if customer doesn’t like your service or product.
The more authority you have in the marketplace, the less you have to use a guarantee.
Make yourself look like a rare commodity.
11: TALK ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT BUYING
People don’t buy not because they don’t believe in you. What often stops them from buying is because they don’t believe in themselves. Most people have low self-esteem and don’t see themselves changing.
So create pain. Make them think about they’ll miss out on and what the consequences are when they don’t buy. What will happen if they don’t buy your product? What problem do you solve?
Tell your unconfident customers what happens if they don’t buy NOW.
Eventually, when they hit the tipping point, they will make the purchase.
12: ONE SENTENCE PERSUASION
People will do anything for those who:
- Encourage their dreams
- Justify their failures
- Allay their fears
- Confirm their suspicions
- Help them throw rocks at their enemies
If you can do this for your prospects, you will get people to buy.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools you could ever use in copywriting, and one of the most difficult to master.
Show, don’t tell. Show emotion and paint a vivid picture with decorative storytelling, so that readers can picture the story in their heads.
“I felt mentally and physically drained.”
“I’ll never forget the way I felt when I made my first online sale. I was so excited.”
“My legs barely hold up my body as I crawl onto the sofa. I try to cry myself to sleep but the tears came without a sleep.”
“It was 2:30 AM and a strange time to be checking my email. But there it is, the notification for my first online sale. I ran upstairs, and I woke my wife – I did it! I did it! She warned me if I didn’t calm down the noise would awake the kids in the next room. But as far as I was concerned, no one in the family should be sleeping at a time like this. I was now an official Internet Marketer.”
How To Start Your Copywriting Career
Copywriters can take on a variety of projects, handle different audiences and conform to products and services that most people will never see or hear about. It is definitely an adaptable skill you can use for any niche and industry.
Take a snippet of my story, and think about how you can replicate my process of building a clientele.
I started out as a freelance copywriter for my mentor, Alan Jacques, working for next to nothing for one year. But during this time, I received training and education that was worth a million dollars. After learning from Alan, I started my own one man advertising agency and started writing ads for people.
I was contacting business owners that had higher advertising budgets through the yellow pages and gave them an irresistible offer. Even though I was a new copywriter, I offered to rewrite their ads. If the companies were not happy with my work, they didn’t have to pay me. If they liked it, they paid me $500-800. I got enough people saying yes that I started building my own client base.
After doing this for some time I started noticing the patterns of what style of copy would get more orders, so then I finally wrote a book about it.
In the book there are 47 principles that lists what works, and what doesn’t work in business copywriting. While my career success had to do with entering the marketing industry at the right time, it also had to do with the foundational skill of copywriting that was built up and then carried over to my Internet marketing career. The transferable skill I developed for many years accelerated my success.
Making money as an independent copywriter is not a difficult game, it’s just different.
When building your client base, make sure to qualify business owners. Offer them value first.
Deliver results first before asking for money.
You can win this game, it is just different. So bet on yourself.
BONUS: For entrepreneurs, is it possible to sell a $10,000 product through copywriting alone?
This varies case by case, but yes, with strategic positioning. For most people in the marketplace, anything above $3000-5000, you will eventually need to get someone on the phone. Anything below $5000, with the right credibility and testimonials, you could without having to get someone on the phone.
Copywriting is a very powerful form of closing. Now that you have the structure of how to do it well, but want to go more in-depth with advanced copywriting concepts, or want to learn other marketing skills from me, then consider joining my mentorship program Dan On Demand. Copywriting is just one of the high income marketing skills taught in the mentorship program, to aid your journey in becoming a successful entrepreneur and business owner. This skill is an addition to your toolbox for unlocking the door to lifelong financial confidence.
Through Dan On Demand, you will be taught every single month in a live virtual class along with like-minded students from all over the world. Covering different topics, from advertising, branding, positioning, social media and copywriting. It’s one way that you can learn from me without traveling. You can do it from the comfort of your own home and you will be shocked by how powerful and great our community is. See you in the next class!