Designed from the ground up to avoid the “lizard brain” problems of other training materials
This is not me blowing my own trumpet; it’s the opinion of other copywriters I admire. For example, Donnie Bryant comments:
Bnonn Tennant is the one of the few writers who consistently makes me feel…pedestrian. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read his copy and kicked myself for being so ineloquent. Or how many ideas he’s expressed that I wish I’d thought of first.
Unlike many of our peers, you never have to worry about Bnonn stretching the truth or writing fluff or hype. He’s persuasive and pithy, emotionally compelling and intellectually engaging. He’s every bit as capable of writing long-form sales letters and uber-short landing pages. Both seem to flow effortlessly from his pen.
Not only does he know how to write high-converting stuff, but he understands the whys of human psychology—the forces that cause people to act. Bnonn is one of the best. I can’t recommend him highly enough.
You’d think, given such flattering remarks, that I’d have been killer at teaching copywriting.
Yet when I saw the results people got from my training, I was always puzzled and frustrated that they struggled to implement what I taught.
I finally figured out why. It was because I was modelling my training on what other top copywriters and experts had already created. And here’s the problem:
Just about all copywriting training material is unlearnable by design
Rather, like most people, they simply haven’t studied learning psychology. They teach “intuitively”—thinking that if they simply walk you through writing copy, from headline to CTA, then you’ll come out the other end knowing how to do it.
Unfortunately, as with many things in life, the way we naturally teach doesn’t actually mesh with the way we naturally learn.
The lizard brain gets in the way.
I first realized this after I had been coaching people one-on-one. The more I did that, the more my teaching changed. After a while, I realized that how I taught people in person was utterly different to how I taught them in my training material.
It was a heck of a lot more effective.
So I set about creating training material that followed the same teaching method I use with my personal coaching. And the result is Learn Copywriting Backwards.
Why you should learn to write copy backwards
For a long time, I would start with the headline and work forward. And for a long time, students struggled right out of the gate.
Yeah, that’s right—because the headline is the hardest piece of copy to write!
So the lizard brain goes into flight mode—and your well-intentioned effort to learn is instantly crippled. Only after I started really studying how people acquire new skills and knowledge did I realize that starting at the beginning, which seemed totally natural (and nearly all copywriting courses, books etc do)…was actually backwards.
This program is designed to work with your natural learning psychology—rather than against it. I identified 6 key ingredients for effective learning, and baked them into the course. These make your lizard brain happy and content—or even put it into fight mode, where it sees each task as an enemy it can beat, and devotes all your energy to whooping ass. Either way, you avoid Mr. Lizard getting scared and flighty—so he never stops you from getting the job done.
Let me lay out how different this teaching format is from the usual suspects—especially copywriting books and “guru” courses. I’ll use a grid format so you can easily see how they compare; you can click the links to see a fuller explanation in a popup window:
A training program designed around 6 key ingredients of effective learning…
Learn Copywriting Backwards
Focuses heavily on the sexy “ninja” techniques and persuasion “chokeholds” which make up the top 20% of copywriting skills used by experts
|1 Focuses just on the minority of “Pareto skills” that make up the bottom 80% of copywriting skills used by people who just need to write good copy. Explanation|
Teaches copywriting by trying to convey large, complex ideas first (headlines, leads etc)
|2 Breaks copywriting into its minimal useful “parts” so your brain doesn’t blow out. Explanation|
Fails to establish the underlying similarities between seemingly different types of copy, and expect you to learn by rote
|3 Explains and link components of copy through unifying principles that lets you understand why they are effective. Explanation|
Expects you to simply follow the structure of a sales page or letter, and stay motivated when you start struggling with hard techniques early on
|4 Makes adherence easy by intelligently progressing through easy components first, building a positive feedback loop of successful action. Explanation|
Assumes that once you’ve learned something, it’s in your head, and that repeating it is wasteful
|5 Ensures retention of key concepts and techniques through repetition. Explanation|
Expects you to figure it out on your own, or offer you overpriced “consulting” that fails to produce results
|6 Optional: personal coaching that quickly identifies how to overcome obstacles, fix your technique, and ensure you get results. Explanation|
Designed to keep you focused just on the minority of “Pareto skills” that contribute to the vast bulk of successful copywriting
The truth is, most copywriting training is over-complicated. While copywriting is a complex craft, it is not nearly as difficult as most copywriters make out.
Especially if you’re starting out. True, someone like me will appreciate complex copywriting materials. But that’s because I’m already at a high level.
I already have the knowledge, the understanding of the principles and practices, to internalize and make use of that complexity. In fact, I would feel gypped if it were too simple.
But when you’re learning copywriting, that complexity goes from being a benefit, to being a liability.
It’s like learning to drive. A racing driver wants to know all kinds of nuances and minor techniques that could give him an edge and make him better at his craft. But someone who is just learning to drive? Even changing gear without destroying the clutch or bunnyhopping or stalling is an achievement. Being told a high-level technique like heel-and-toeing is completely useless. That information will only confuse someone in that situation. It will only add to the information overload.
Same thing with learning copywriting.
Pareto’s Principle suggests that 20% of what there is to know about copywriting will produce 80% of the results.
Since you’re not aiming to be a pro-level copywriter, but rather to simply write effective copy for your own business, overloading yourself with the other 80% of information that you simply don’t need is a fool’s errand.
Unfortunately, most copywriters who publish training material are not thinking about this. They want to be reasonably comprehensive. In fact, they often want to focus on advanced techniques. But trying to learn copy like that is like trying to learn to drive at a 2-day racing workshop.
Designed to break copywriting into its minimal useful “parts”
Designed to explain and link components through unifying principles
In the same way, learning copywriting is basically impossible without understanding the 4 underlying principles that tie everything together, and explain why they matter in the first place. I call these principles the “4 Cs” (more on them later). And I teach them progressively by relating each component that you learn back to them in clear, straightforward ways.
Designed to ensure adherence by intelligently progressing through components
This may seem like a good approach, but any good teacher will tell you it goes precisely against everything we know about learning psychology.
Yes, of course a copywriter wants to be efficient and effective. And in the long run, you will develop those skills. But when you are learning a new skill, the most important factor to success is simply whether you keep practicing. Being effective is moderately important; being efficient is least important.
Designed to ensure retention through repetition
Optional: designed to quickly overcome obstacles, ensure correct technique, and guarantee completion
For obvious reasons, I can only offer this to a limited number of people. I have to invest many hours in each student. Right now, I’m afraid I’m not taking on new clients.
Another phrase that’s nearly as bad is, “Am I doing this right?”
It’s simply inevitable that when one person tries to teach another, misunderstandings or confusion will occasionally arise. The best way to overcome this is by asking for clarification. And by the same token, you simply cannot get as good, as quickly, going it alone—you’ll always improve much faster with personal feedback and coaching. Which is why my coaching students always end up with much better skills than my customers who simply buy the same basic training material and try to teach themselves.
I’ve deliberately left this as an add-on, so it’s up to you. Some people genuinely don’t want a coach. Some are short on cash. But having seen the difference between self-taught and coached copy students, I really, really recommend this.
I mentioned before how I have always felt disappointed with how even my best customers have implemented what I teach. It’s not that they are bad—it is simply that I know I can teach people to do much better if only I can spend a little time with them one-on-one.
Simply put, no matter how good the teaching resources, and no matter how naturally talented you are, the absolute best way to develop your skill is with close one-on-one training.
I’ve seen this first-hand. The difference in skill between the customers I’ve coached intensively, and those I haven’t (who are working from the same basic material)…is night and day.
If you choose this option, I will personally:
- Help you to customize your trunkline to your business and map out precisely what you need…
- Critique each piece of copy you write and offer detailed suggestions for edits and improvements (to do this we use Google Docs because it has strong collaboration features)
- Be available via priority email to answer questions, address difficulties, and help you overcome obstacles…
- Give you high-level assessments of your progress, your strengths, your weaknesses, and how I suggest you approach the course content, based on my experience coaching other solopreneurs and freelancers like you.
It’s hard to measure the value of this since I consult at $499/hour. Even assuming I only spend 6-8 hours with you (a very conservative estimate based on my coaching experience), that’s a value of $3,000–$4,000 on top of the basic program. But because you are an existing subscriber, I’m offering you the one-time opportunity to be grandfathered into
If you prefer to work mostly on your own, but with the option of getting help when you need it, there is also a less expensive Lifeline coaching tier. There’s a handy table down below, in the pricing section, showing the differences between the Accelerate and Lifeline coaching tiers.
6 principles for learning = lizard brain ally
By designing the training program around these 6 principles, your lizard brain becomes an ally to your cause, rather than an enemy.
- Because you’re focusing on short-term goals where you can easily see your way, there’s no subconscious sense of danger, and your ability to learn and implement is not impaired.
- Because you know these baby steps are culminating in a carefully-planned long-term goal, you can let go and focus on taking things one step at a time.
The result: in 4 months, you have strong, compelling copy written by your very own self to use in your business—and a skillset that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life. Speaking of which, now that you know how you’ll learn in this program, let me tell you more about what you will learn—starting with 3 critical elements of salesmanship…
Discover the 3 keys of salesmanship you’ll focus on Try module #1 free