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Copywriters, Business Owners, Marketers!
Lend me your eyes….
For what I share with you today may forever change you.
We are talking my numero uno, hottest takeaway from my weekend at Jeff Walker’s PLF Live.
Now, if you don’t know who Jeff is or what PLF is…no worries…more on all that in future mail. Today, I mention Jeff Walker to give credit for my tidbit where credit is due. (He actually took it from someone else, but I can’t recall the name).
As copywriters and marketers, our main job is getting the right candidates to press that ole BUY Button. That’s it. The whole shabang. We can help get likes, and a following, and an enormous list…but if we can’t bring home the buy, we don’t keep the job.
When I’m right, I’m right.
So, what do I mean by “landing the plane.”
Here’s an example from real life:
A client comes to me and says, “My program helps my corporate women feel more balance and joy in their lives.”
This plane is still in the sky. Like…waaaaaay up there at 30,000 feet. The offer is general, abstract, and intangible. It cannot be measured. It sounds woo-woo and like far too many bullshyt programs sold by snake oil salesmen looking for a quick buck.
Most people nowadays have seen these overzealous, undefined claims a million times…
Jeff gave us the following bullet point list to help ground an offer in concrete reality…an offer people can believe in, and will buy.
To land the plane, your offer must be:
For those of you working in the personal development space, this little formula will take a LOT of thinking…especially the verifiable and external criteria…how do you measure “feeling oneness with the Source” after all?
Still, even in that space, even though the ideal customer is aware of what you “mean” bringing it down toward the ground will create more sales.
Back to my example…how could we change the offer?
“More Balance” = “You will discover an extra hour to spend time with your family using our specific time management hacks, morning rituals to get you out of bed at 5 with an hour to exercise before you start your day, meal systems to cut down on daily cooking and provide 30 minutes of extra time for hobbies….etc,”
All can be measured…all can be seen through a camera. Right?
“More joy” = “You’ll feel a pep in your step, find yourself smiling for no reason, less prone to tantrums or yelling at the kids, your inner voice will become more complimentary and you’ll sashay rather the skulk…”
The corporate woman’s colleagues and kids could actually see the results. Right?
The ability to visualize the life after your program will draw more of the right people to you..the people who have been looking for those precise promises you describe. The promises demonstrate your commitment to your prospect, your understanding of how they feel and think, and, most importantly, your trustworthiness because you have done something others don’t…
You’ve promised something measurable.
The Enquirer is the quintessential must read for any copywriter.
Many of the great copywriters, including a personal favorite of mine, Joe Sugarman focused on rag mags like The Enquirer to help them write in the language of the everyman.
Nowadays, we have apps to judge our writing…to let us know if we are creating ads understandable to the average 5th-9th grade reader…
But those apps cannot demonstrate the key ingredient to any great copy…something The Enquirer, Cosmo, and the New York Times (among many other great publications) have truly mastered…
And something I see copywriters struggle with often.
The Headline + The Perfect Lead Paragraph Combination
Now, I’m not talking about what lead for what audience a la Breakthrough Advertising.
I’m talking the one-two punch so fierce the reader MUST READ FURTHER…
Almost 100% of my own writing, other’s copy I critique, and the vast majority of sales copy and content I see could do this far better…
Notice, I’m not talking the entire lead…I’m talking the first one or two paragraphs of the lead.
Read all the copywriting texts and blogs you wish…gather all the great ads and the best swipes. But DO NOT MISS studying The Enquirer, Cosmo, and The New York Times as great sources of Headline/Lead combos.
Study the combination of the two…how one leads to the other…and how that lead paragraph gives you a synopsis of precisely what you’ll learn in the story…and teases you to keep reading.
Here are a few examples:
Spaceman John Glenn’s Surprising Dying Regret
John Glenn was a heroic fighter pilot, a two-time astronaut and a U.S. Senator, but the American icon was haunted by a deep regret – he didn’t become President of the United States.
A good example of telling the whole plot in the first paragraph…while still leaving the reader sort of scratching their head…how did this longing play out in his life? Why didn’t he run? Can we, as humans, ever truly be satisfied with our accomplishments?
Frozen Tots Sue Their Modern Family Mom
Sitcom sexpot Sophia Vergara is tangled in a bizarre legal wrangle – she’s being sued by her own frozen embryos.
I mean, who would not want to read more about frozen embryos bringing their mom to court???
Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease’
ROSEBURG, OR – Some voters in rural Oregon are seeing what happens when taxpayers force government into retreat. Libraries are blacking out. Jails might be next.
As a reader, two things hit me…it is possible to not pay taxes, and prisoners may be let loose all over the land. MUST READ MORE…
You get the drift.
These periodicals survive, even in the age of the internet, because they drag people in with their headlines and their opening paragraphs (and of course the images). As marketers and copywriters, we can look to these articles as articles that work to get readership, rather than looking at various sales letters as samples without necessarily know how well they converted.
Obviously you will still need to learn psychology and technique for writing persuasive sales copy…if that is your thing. And all the psychology and persuasive writing…even the very best offer can’t hit home without the reader becoming sucked in first.
Lindsay of the Leads
If you haven’t claimed your seat for the Stupendous Live Online Conference Connection Follow-Up Workshop…Get in here!
May 23, 5pm Pacific, ZOOM (with video)
I just closed my second 5 figure deal from my last conference,…and I am going to teach you how to do exactly the same.
Even if you can’t attend in person, the replay and a Q&A chat session will be available to you so I can answer your questions directly.
You desire for your wallet explode under the strain of the sacks o’cash generated by your incredibly crafted copy…right? Riiiiight?
Chances are your offer needs a revamp, an overhaul, a makeover.
I say this from vast experience in offer redesign….your heart is in the right place, but your positioning is all wrong.
If your offer has bullets like these, your shots are whizzing by your mark:
The above bullets were taken from the offer section of real sales letters. And some sales letters were pretty good…
Until the reader reaches the offer section…and finds the “how” rather than the “what”…
Irresistible offers do NOT focus on the “how”…the method of delivery is largely irrelevant to why people buy.
As Jeff Walker, creator of Product Launch Formula, puts it “Your offers is about the transformation FIRST, plus a little about the stuff.”
None of the bullets above talk to transformation. Sure, the sales letters leading up to the offer often did a decent job describing the “why” behind the program (some better than others), but all totally lost it at the most crucial place…the offer!
“Six weeks of one-on-one calls” could be “Together, we will develop a concrete action plan to reach your goal weight and ongoing accountability in a series of six one-on-one coaching calls.”
“Eight modules…” could be “You will want to bound out of bed each morning with a smile, make more money with less struggle, and eliminate procrastination in your daily life when you invest your effort into this intensive purpose discovery process.
See what I mean, jelly bean?
Try this game with the other two…or even with any offers you see on the internet.
I’d love to see what you come up with…
I’m loving controversial figures these days, and Perry Belcher is certainly one. At least in the digital marketing world.
A MASTER copywriter and marketer, Perry had some legal trouble back in the days before he co-founded Native Commerce and Digital Marketer with Ryan Deiss.
Some remain wary of him; others love him. But most respect his ability to sell online…
And sell he does…everything from $10 flashlights to masterminds for millionaires.
So, when I had the opportunity to attend his storytelling session at the recent Traffic & Conversion Summit, I jumped at the chance. Between you and me, it was the only session I attended (the networking outside the sessions proved a powerful pull, even for an ISTP like me).
As always, my friend, what’s mine is yours…so I’m gifting you a linky-poo to Perry’s storytelling slides (actually, you can get all of the slides from all of his presentations here as well).
No opt in required…just pure, free learning…so take advantage.
Lindsay Sacks O’Stories make Sacks O’Cash
Warning: This email includes praise for Tai Lopez…viewer discretion advised.
Love him or hate him, no one can deny the marketing success of Tai Lopez.
I used to rally against this guy. He seemed so full of crap with is garage and his books and his Mensa membership and his over the top attitude…
I worried about his message to the young people of the world…I worried about those following him expecting massive success with garages full of Lamborghinis and pockets full of cash…and falling way short.
A walking conspiracy theory, many believe his entire persona is made up…that he is the face person of an evil genius set up to steal money from America’s youth in exchange for infotainment and a promise of riches if only they apply his teachings.
I met Tai at T&C, and not just in the “I saw him walking and got a selfie” kind of way.
I actually met an old roommate of his from his days as a new marketer, and got to hang out with him and his entourage (which included a videographer and several bodyguards, along with car guards for his orange and black Lambo) for about 30 minutes.
Just hang out. Not talk shop, not hear a speech…just hang in the VIP room and shoot the shyt.
Outcome: I think the guy is legit. I signed up for his list. Love him or not, he is definitely smart as a whip about business, finance and marketing.
And he garners a LOT of respect from those in the VIP boardroom…far from the haters in the general T&C population.
Not to mention, his Snap Chat game is hard core (I tried to copy his phone handling skills and dropped mine about 10 times).
Now, I’m not just telling you all of this so you’ll think I’m super VIP by association. I’m telling you this because Tai gave a tip at one of the parties around town, and I want to pass it along to you.
Edutainment (or infotainment) will be the ONLY way to sell as we move forward into 2017 and beyond.
People are tired of boring benefit bullets or educational facts. They want to be delighted, entertained, and told a story.
Sure, you have to provide the info…but it must be combined with the ‘tainment to caputre the audience’s scattered attention and allow them to leave their lives for a while and listen to you.
In tomorrow’s email I am going to share some slides straight from the Traffic and Conversion stage showing you the precise storytelling formula that works to infotain and delight prospects…and leads them straight to your shopping cart.
In the meantime, can you cruise over and give me a like on my Facebook page. I’ll love ya for it.
I know, I know. I’ve failed you these past few days, as I hustled around Traffic and Conversion summit with nary a moment to write my daily email.
And I will do my best to never let it happen again.
Even though it will…because I’m human, and life is an unpredictable stream of events that even an autoresponder can’t always solve.
LUCKY FOR YOU…during those days I went missing, I gained a deeper knowledge of selling, prospecting, networking and, of course, copywriting and digital marketing (and all the ways money can be made with both)…
And, as you know, ALWAYS and FOREVER, or as long as you’re here, my gain is your gain.
***** TIP OF THE DAY ******
Listen here virality seekers…If you want to get social proof for your social media offer (likes, happy faces, mad faces, engagement!!!!) you MUST STOP THE SCROLL.
Words do not stop the scroll.
Images do. Video does. (Lame videos where you waive your hands trying to get people’s attention do not so refrain from that nonsense please).
How do you find the images that stop the scroll?
Go scroll through your feed on your social media network of choice.
See which images catch your eye.
Examine the colors, the placement of the key focal point, whether there are humans in the picture, where the humans are looking, the scene, the feeling the scene gives you.
Rinse and repeat and keep a list.
Find or take an image with similar characteristics, which resonates with your message and what you want your prospect to do. NOTE: if you find one, make sure you pay for it!!!!
Test several with your copy. Notice which work and which don’t and the differences between those that work and those that don’t.
You know if they work by the engagement…NOT necessarily the opt-ins or sales at first. But engagement here gives social proof, and social proof will bring the opt-ins and sales.
Add money to those that work, discard those that bombed.
Images in social media ads are EVERYTHING because they stop the scroll so a person will read the message. This is not a place for subtleties. Be BOLD.
I paid only $25 to promote my linked post below, and the engagement I received made me over $350 already! People LOVED the picture.
Check it out in it’s natural environment, and while you are there, please like my page (and the image) and help me grow my social proof as I grow yours 🙂
A few years ago, my now ex-bf and I decided it would be “fun” to sell our stuff out of my garage one Saturday morning.
The fact that we were bored enough to need the entertainment of a garage sale when both of us were making tons of dough might have been my first clue to our impending doom…
Garage sales are a ton of work and rarely lucrative, even if your wares are worth a lot and barely used.
Because garage sale buyers are seeking “almost free” deals. They are not looking to receive 30% off a barely used BBQ. They want to spend $25 for a BBQ. They are not looking to spend $100 on a once used Kate Spade bag. They are looking for purses that cost $5.
Deal seeking connoisseurs will absolutely spend all day scavenging sales for these deals…leaving your fancy undervalued goods sitting on the tables in your garage until you either lower the price or close up shop…
The same is often true if you rely on job sites for your prospecting. Sure, a few copywriters have made great money on Upwork and the like…but more often I hear of freelancers tell me the horror stories:
And the freelancers put up with it because they fear retaliation of bad reviews, and because they simply do not know a better way to sell themselves.
To make great money as a freelancer and create real freedom for yourself, you MUST master the skills of prospecting, networking, pricing, selling and wowing your clients.
You know you have the copy chops, but are you a master connecter? Do you know how to price and sell yourself with ease? Can you identify and target only those clients that will deeply appreciate and gratefully pay top to dollar for your copy? Is your website filled with persuasive testimonials? Are most of your sales from repeat customers and referrals?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions…do yourself a favor today and subscribe to my list. I teach all of this and so much more in my free daily tips.
(SUBSCRIBE BUTTON can be found on the side bar)
Get MORE out of your copy career. Let me entertain you, delight you, and help you make more money!
Until tomorrow my friends…
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Breaking News from 2016…Study on Human Condition Exposed!
May 16, 2016: Pew Research Center releases the results of a vital study of the human condition.
62% of adults worldwide first their news from social media (primarily Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter).
Is this true for you?
It is for me. I don’t have TV (I have Netflix and Hulu). I do sporadically check out a few newspapers online: The Marin IJ, The San Diego UT, Washington Post and NY Times. Typically, if it’s a major story, I’ve heard the headline on Facebook first. I read more fully in the news. I’m in the minority.
So what? Right? So everything!
Before I go into this..a warning. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE! Do not attempt to use trending topics without deep understanding of our market. (See P.S. Below)
Now, if you know your audience well, using trending topics to break your creative drought is quite simple:
If nothing else, looking at what is trending can get your brain working on reasons your market will love the product you’re selling. Trends change hourly, so you can always find some fodder for your brain, emails and social media engagement.
By the way…if you are struggling with deepening your market research and knowledge…do not fret. I have a super duper online course coming soon to show you how use my system to connect deep with your audience quick like lightning. Get on the list by opting in (see sidebar for details).
I’m not a huge believer in writer’s block.
Experience has shown, my “writer’s block” is almost always “butt in seat I don’t feel like working I am too involved with procrastinating or facebook or watching TV” block.
Still, sometimes my writing is complete crap…because my creative juices are dried up. I’m in a creative drought.
And I write for a living. And I write every day. Giving into a creative drought is simply not an option for little ole me.
So, what can you do to squeeze water out of a rock? Not possible. You MUST find a way to make it rain…
Headlines mess with my head. Often. And when the headlines are messing with my head…I find it hard to move forward with the sales page. Because everything must lead from the headline.
Cosmo often saves the day. Do you know that Cosmo pays their copywriters multiple six-figures JUST for front cover headlines? Cosmo headlines have the reputation as the best grabbers in the magazine biz…
So when I need some inspiration, I start there. I look at structure, and key words, and trends. I think of my own market and how I can modify their ideas to fit my clients’ businesses (most of my clients don’t quite fit the Cosmo mold).
The best part: You don’t have to buy Cosmo. If you google “Cosmo covers” the images abound. You can use current or far past issues. Doesn’t matter. Just get to headline brainstorming and you can often get the creative juices flowing.
Over the next 4 days, those subscribed to my list will receive 4 more of my favorite drought busters to make the creative rains fall….quickly, so you can get on with the business of marketing. Want to subscribe? Form is on your right —>
I will also be holding a contest to win one of my two FAVORITE marketing books for anyone who shares a drought buster I’ve never heard of…so stay tuned…
P.S. I’m still accepting interviews for my 1:1 coaching. If you’re ready to reject your Resistance and Conquer Your Copy…schedule your interview HERE.
The boys house said they could hear the girls squealing from miles away.
“Like Sands Through the Hourglass, So Were The Days Of Our Lives…”
Every day, at 3pm, we gathered. We squealed. We talked a bunch of crap about how nothing ever happened on the show…how we would watch all week even though storylines only moved forward on Fridays, leaving us a cliffhanger to talk about all weekend…
When I consider those poor soap writers…coming up with a full hour of daily scripted material to entertain their constant audience…well, I guess i feel shame.
When I first heard about writing daily email, I honestly didn’t wonder if it was too much for my audience. I wondered if it was too much for me. I already write for clients every day. How could I come up with enough material for a 200-400 word email?
Nevermind that I actually live a lot during the day. And everything is email fodder. The thought of all this work was frankly overwhelming.
What does this have to do with you? Everything.
How often do you fight with resistance toward ideas, not because the ideas are weak, but because you are? How often do you not do the next task, not because it’s too big or hard, but because you simply don’t feel like it?
One thing I know for sure…success takes real work. It takes suiting up and showing up. It takes getting over yourself and doing the next thing.
If you feel stuck, need bigger and better accountability in your copywriting or freelance career, want your writing tighter and your bank account bigger, I have just opened THREE SPOTS for my 1 on 1 coaching. I keep my prices low so I can work with up-and-coming freelancer marketers and copywriters ready to make a much bigger name for themselves in their niche.
I am a tough coach. I don’t care if you hate me in the short term, as long as you are getting better and making money for you and your clients.
Those I have coached have gone from making peanuts (even less than peanuts) to over $5K per month and more. Every month. Consistently. As long as they chose to.
One hit 5-figures and has a waiting list. A long one.
Everyone makes their money back and then some…fast.
Imagine if you could pick and choose the jobs you take because you have a waiting list.
If you are ready to pump up the volume on your copywriting career., if you are sick to death of wondering if your copy is any good, worrying about not paying rent, and never making it past the hobby stage in your business, you have a real opportunity to change your situation.
If you feel nervous or scared, or your brain is screaming “NO! You can’t take a risk! Play it safe,” you are ready. Schedule your 30 minute interview HERE.
P.S. If this is not for you…no worries. There are so many ways to work with me (web courses, CCC Group, heck you can even hire me to write your copy).
This one is only for those really prepared for the hard work , dedication, and investment in your career to make that leap right now.