3 key focuses to ensure your copy actually makes sales
Focused on copy that conveys what prospects really want to hear: you
So taking a bit of time to learn how to personally speak to them en masse and automatically, forever is a sensible investment.
Bluntly, I’ve written tens of thousands of pages of my own copy—and personally helped dozens of other solopreneurs and freelancers write their own, too. But I very seldom write copy for other people any more. Instead, I teach them to write it themselves—because the key to standing out in crowded marketplaces is not what you’re selling.
It is you.
You’ve probably figured that out already. After all, in any healthy market, there is healthy competition, and dozens of very similar products or services on offer. For example, in my industry (internet marketing & copywriting) I could list at least 25 major “thought leaders” off the top of my head who are way bigger than me, and offer a lot of very similar services. Yet I repeatedly get these sorts of unsolicited comments from my subscribers:
Every other email sales pitch for marketing classes/materials drives me right up the wall. All of them. I’m still one of their subscribers only so I can compare and contrast what they do with what you do. They tell stories- but they don’t ring genuine. They tend to use flashy marketing-speak, and you call BS on those same terms. They get increasingly spammy the closer to their artificially created deadline, and you also send more emails, but never do you get hysterical, and you never get spammy.
You’re the only person/company I’ve ever bought more than one product from, and whenever you start a new campaign, I have to check that I haven’t already bought this product under a different name. Because you’re the only person I’ve ever ‘met’ who could sell me the same product twice. I find that absolutely fascinating, by the way, and a technique I want to learn! Kaelin, a long-time customer
In the same way, a fellow named Mark emailed me to say:
I must confess that I’m disgusted by most copywriting gurus (Kennedy, Makepeace, Pagan, etc.). If you ask me, they mostly teach how to manipulate people into buying by exploiting their emotions. I signed up to your newsletter, because I like how you teach to write copy.
The point is not that any of these other experts and gurus suck (although some of them frankly do)—it is simply that many of my best customers feel that they suck, and they feel that I do not. Why? Because they feel like there is an authentic relationship between me and them…whereas they feel like no such thing exists between them and the gurus.
In any healthy market—yours included—your prospects are human beings. That means they are not making decisions based on spreadsheet analyses of their options. They decide who to buy from based on the perceived relationships they have with the people behind the offers they are considering.
Unfortunately, most copywriting training focuses on persuading prospects, rather than relating to them. That made sense in 20th century direct mail. It doesn’t make sense for solopreneurs selling online.
Which brings me to the second focus…
Focused on explaining bread-and-butter online marketing—not classic direct-response, or overhyped guru nonsense
It took me a long time to figure out that 2,000 word emails, homepages that take 10 minutes to read, and so on, aren’t actually very effective—that’s just not how people want to interact with text online.
At the other extreme, you have the “gurus” whose methods only work if you have a quarter-million-strong email list and legions of minion JV partners to breathlessly promote your next launch. Their approach involves “moving the free line,” giving away as much valuable stuff as possible in the hopes that prospects will be so wowed at what you give away for nothing, that they will just have to find out how great your paid stuff is too.
Only, what it actually does is obliterate any perceived value because you basically become a broken vending machine. Your prospect gives you a kick, and out comes something good. You don’t put coins in a broken vending machine. You kick it until it runs dry.
The upshot is, it’s very difficult to get a clear understanding of the ideal approach to writing for the internet.
I have found that writing anything online (email, landing page, whatever) requires 3 specific, different types of copy that you simply don’t learn about in classic direct response or from gurus. A good online copywriter can seamlessly piece those 3 types of copy together into effective landing pages, email campaigns, or even multiple combinations of either. This is one of the fundamental concepts that I teach solopreneurs who want to write their own copy.
And it also leads us into the third focus…
Focused on teaching you how to use your writing in start-to-finish campaigns that turn cold prospects into hot customers
That makes them functionally useless. Why bother learning to write copy if you don’t also learn the most effective, high-return methods for implementing it?
You must not only write copy, but map out what specific copy you need, how to structure it, how to deliver it, and how to test it.
Simply put, most training materials turn you into a monkey with a typewriter.
The upshot of all this is that you actually don’t just need to write copy. You need to write copy and implement it effectively. Copy alone is useless. And marketing strategy alone is useless too. You need copy + marketing strategy to make money. They go together, and should be learned together. When that happens, you not only develop a keen understanding of online marketing, but you discover new ways to refine what you’re doing. You establish a virtuous cycle of learning, where you are continually refining your existing marketing and sales campaigns, while also developing new ones.
Over the course of teaching many people like you, I have mapped out a funnel that works for nearly any solopreneur or freelancer—regardless of their industry, or whether they sell products or services. I’ve engineered this funnel so I can teach all of the major principles of copywriting at the appropriate stages—meaning that my students always have a functional piece of copy on the burner which they can use when it’s done, and they always feel like they are learning and making progress (because they are).
Learning to write copy is not uncommonly difficult. You may think it is, but when you break it down it is actually simple. It takes only relatively little time if you learn in a way that leverages your existing communication skills (which is how I teach). You can talk? Great. Believe it or not, you’re 80% of the way there.
See how I structured the program Try module #1 free