Tag Archives for " copywriting tips "
Let me share a teary little tale of Lindsay’s Terrifically Terrible Travel Day.
About a month ago, I had a terrifically terrible travel day.
I was stuck in a small airport, for almost 8 hours straight, with not a flying planes in sight. 10 planefulls of pissed off passengers pacing in one gate area with only a pizza place and a small bar, and one tiny book stand to occupy their time. No one was smiling. Each person had missed their connection…each person was looking at a full night of no sleep at their next airport destination.
Weeping and gnashing of teeth could be heard far and wide. Myself included. I was sick, feverish and emotional. I needed to get out of the cold airport, away from the throngs of smells and voices, and into a bed.
As if from heaven itself, a friend’s voice came to me (over the phone), reminding me the truth of the writer.
You see, everything happening around me was fodder for my next email, sales page, story. All I had to do was move about the building, listening to conversations around me, watching the humans in their unnatural habitat, psychoses of all types emerging as exhaustion and frustration grew high.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I want you to think differently about the world around you…peer around you with a new set of glasses, a critical lens of the writer, the marketer, the coach. This is the way of great copy.
People ask me about tiny tactics, request fill-in-the-blank formats and checklists, want to know if you really need to delete the word “that” from all copy for all time. And there is nothing wrong with tools and guidelines…trust me, I use them too.
But what you write in those blanks…in the sales letter format of choice…the stories you tell is what connects…so go out and witness the humans of the world. Learn their stories. And write good copy.
I once gave my entire life savings to a blind old man begging outside a grocery store.
I was 7 at the time, and my life savings amounted to only about $20, but I still gave him all I had, crying for a day about how sad I was for him….
Until my mom brought me to a different store the very next day…where the same man, now miraculously cured from blindness, was sitting in a wheel chair with a hip injury…
What an Ass Hat.
Seriously…what scammer takes money from a 7 year old? There’s a special place in hell I tell ya. But I digress…
Empathy is serious business in my world. My heart will ache for days if I see one sad or touching tale of an old lonely man, or an abused dog.
If a movie makes me cry, I will continue crying long after the movie ends.
And if I see someone nervously carrying flowers through the store on his way to a date…I will take on every bit of nerves (and he will suddenly look relieved) just by walking by.
In life, this strong sense of empathy creates quite a bit of pain for my poor, sweet, tender heart, but in marketing, that same empathy is my super power. Empathy allows me to shift from market to market with ease. Reading just a few stories or reviews, I can emotionally put myself into the writers’ life and walk a moment in their shoes.
What does this have to do with you?
When you write from a place of empathy, your prospect will feel you understanding their pain…they will immediately know, like and trust you…
The latest fancy templates and tactics simply cannot take the place of selling from a place of real and true empathy…
Whether your empathy is as natural as breathing fresh air, or you have to dig deep to relate, empathy is your key to understanding and relating to your market in a way that will have them begging you to take their credit card.
I started my Facebook Group, The Freelance School, from a place of deep empathy for those struggling to sell.
I had to spend over $100K and 2 years of painful trial and error learning everything about prospecting, networking and selling on my own and I wanted to save freelance marketers and copywriters from the same fate.
If you aren’t a part of it yet, you should probably get on over there and join.
See you inside,
Deep inside me, a struggle is brewing. It’s a struggle between my introverted writer and my extroverted social butterfly. If I’m totally honest, it’s been brewing for quite some time…like since I was 4.
The struggle sounds a little like this:
Myers Briggs says I’m an introvert (and I could not agree more), but in the right setting (conferences, events, fitness classes) I am the life of the party and the social-est of butterflies. I can work a room, no doubt.
Why am I telling you this and what does it have to do with marketing???
And by chat rooms, I do NOT mean FB groups. I mean those old school chat rooms, away from the prying eyes of social media and your great aunt Betty.
Here’s the thing…No matter what, on social media, you will get the persona people want you to see. Can you do incredible market research there? One hundred thousand million billion percent. Especially places like FB Groups and YouTube comments…
But those old school chat rooms…there is where the real passion lies, where you can see someone tear apart or obsess on a product or service , where you can engage with people you would never otherwise meet, on a one-on-one level, and really ask the questions you want to know:
You get the picture. Anonymity behind a screen and (even better) a screen name is like Jim Carrey’s honesty spell in Liar Liar.
Does this tip take a bit more work than the Social “stalking” or GTS? If you’re like me and not really adept at navigating chat rooms, it does…but the results are worth every moment. THIS IS WHERE THE MONEY IS…this is the one way mirror of the ad agencies of old.
This is KNOWING how your market feels, what pressures they are under, how they speak about their truths, what exactly they want and don’t want.
And, let’s put that greater effort into perspective here…you still don’t have to put on pants.
Another thing you don’t have to put on pants for…the monthly 3 hour deep dive, no holds barred, critique and training calls…just one of the incredible perks you receive as a member of Copy Confidential Collective.
Get in line for the no obligation waiting list to be one of the first 10 by clicking this link (there is only a Thank you page on the other side…my tagging system does the rest).
No one has ever accused me of being overly ladylike, especially in my speech. No matter how well read and well written, I’ve always had the mouth of a trucker. If the trucker swears a lot. Some probably don’t.
I can’t apologize for it…I mean, it’s my way, but I can edit the spelling to suit those that may have younger audiences around at inopportune times. So there’s that.
Tip 4 of 7 of the simplest, easiest and fastest ways to know what your market specifically searches for when they are looking for a solution like yours.
What did we used to do before we could GTS? We will talk about that in #6. Back to Google…
Now, I’m not talking about searching and reading to guess where your market is….I’m talking about the fabulous and totally underutilized Google fill-in-the-blank function .
As you’ve guessed by now, or read on my website, I am not much of a “market niche” copywriter. My niches are email, marketing online product launches, sales pages and advertorials.
Advertorials in particular bring me to all kinds of different markets and, because revenue is often based on price per click (PPC), I need to know exactly what the market is looking for in order to plan my short but riveting copy.
Recently the product was laser liposuction…
Ready to try it with me?
Get a browser page open to Google. Type “laser lipo” into the bar but don’t press enter…what comes up for you? For me it looks like this:
Within two seconds, I know people are most interested in Proximity, Technology, and Cost.
BOOM! Outline complete.
Super simple right…there is no need to struggle to understand your market with so many fantastic tools to help us along the way.
GTS – and remember, come join us on Facebook at THE FREELANCE SCHOOL where we continue the conversation and create even more every day.
One of my first big copywriting clients sold high-end baby slings.
Now, although I am a woman, I am not a mother. I have never carried a child in my arms for long periods, day after day, nor have I ever “worn” a baby. In fact, despite living in a very baby-wearing community, I had never heard actually heard the term “baby-wearing.”
I was completely naïve in the ways of the baby-wearing world, yet I was hired to create the client’s Black Friday campaign…a make-it-or-break-it, one-day-only, succeed-or-fall-flat-on-my-ass opportunity. And, I was given two days to do it all: Facebook ad –> Sales Page —> emails. All of it.
Did I panic? No.
Did I drive right out and buy the product to touch it and hold it with a watermelon inside? No.
Did I just write what I personally thought I might want to hear if I had a baby and wanted to be hands free? Hell no!
I had one day and I had to make it count. So I did the one thing I could do to learn the market and their language in the fastest possible way..
If you aren’t using Amazon as the premiere source for market research, you have made your life too hard for too long. Amazon reviews are simply the BEST source hands down for gathering the language of a market’s desires.
And I’m not just talking about ecommerce products. This works for practically every market…
Let’s take my medical tourism client, for example. This client sells medical tourism concierge services. Clearly not a product sold on Amazon, right? You know what is sold on Amazon?
Books about medical tourism. And get this…in the reviews for these books, people recount their stories of medical tourism…what worked, what didn’t, what they were afraid of, and the questions they had that were answered by the book they read.
The reviews are coming directly from people who have interest or have experienced precisely what my client is trying to sell.
What did I do?
I used these reviews to create my sales page, my FAQs (to respond to frequent objections and questions), I used the titles as ideas for subheadings (although, I did not plagiarize of course). I used the language in the editors’ notes to learn to write about medical tourism in a simple way.
And then I used the “people who bought this also bought…” feature to see what else interested those interested in medical tourism.
Try this trick with your own market. Be creative. There is so much to be learned from Amazon descriptions, lists, paid links, and recommendation features.
Amazon has done the research on your market through real life experience with REAL human buyers millions of times a day….
Go forth and research smarter… Tip 4 of our series “7 Fast Ways To Know Your Market” comes tomorrow.
Don’t forget to come join the almost famous Facebook Group:
The Freelance School.
Ever have those days where you simply cannot get yourself motivated, keep yourself on task, and you go to bed that night having accomplished nothing on your list?
Of course you have. Everyone has.
And because procrastination and blocks are such common business killers…I’m going to share a trick I have to get my butt in the seat. It works about 80% of the time. I’m all about the 80/20.
I’ve served time. Hard time.
17 years of hard labor in corporate America. Every day, I would wake up with serious dread. I was under serious pressure, especially as I scaled the ladder to the corner office of the C-suite. I had, at times, over 25 people reporting to directly to me, needing my input and signature on every possible piece of paper running through the joint.
I had to show up. Every day. Whether I felt like it or not.
When I burned the corporate boats behind me in search of a better life, I spent the good part of 2 years pretending to work on “my business.” From the beach, when I felt like it, after playing and relaxing, maybe.
I made approximately $500 per month. A serious problem if you live in San Diego, CA.
On the brink of asking my mom for a loan, I decided to make a change. I started showing up every single day…from 6am – 4pm. I did not play. I networked, I prospected, I sold, and I wrote. Money flew in. I made 5-figures in my second month and I have every month since.
I got my butt in my seat. Any block you feel…get your butt in that seat and do something that moves your business forward. Do not take a procrastination day. Do not wait for the mood to strike or the lightbulb to go off or the idea to be fully developed.
Get to work.
Sounds simple right. It is. But it’s not easy. Butt in seat every day takes enormous will power and a real decision to move the needle on your life. Butt in seat means you take chances, you don’t play business…you create income.
My butt in seat block came when I would not allow my talented, well-educated, intelligent adult self to borrow mortgage money as a means to live. I didn’t need some pie in the sky “why.” I didn’t need some enormous vision of preeminence. I didn’t need a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) to get me out of bed.
My goal was simple at first. Make enough to pay my own damn bills.
My solution to “butt in seat” block: GET BACK TO BASICS. PERIOD.
Every time I hit a block (writer’s block, procrastination, delusions of grandeur…all really just another name for “butt in seat” block) I come back to this simple thing:
I alone am responsible for my outcomes.
I alone pay my way in the world.
It is my responsibility to pay for me and to compensate the world (with value) for the air I breathe and the resources I use.
SO I MUST DO THE NEXT LITTLE THING RIGHT NOW TO MOVE FORWARD.
And if you’re looking for a way to move your business forward, and you want to learn to be a better copywriter and marketer
Not just for professional copywriters, we will be holding monthly critiques combined with summary lessons from my favorite books and events, plus interesting speakers and an online secret group. Every business needs great copy, and this is a simple and time saving way for hands-on learning and growth in a most crucial marketing area.
Details are coming soon, and the beta group will be limited to only 10 people…so if you are interested, click the link below and we will notify you as details emerge.
YES, I’D LIKE TO BE NOTIFIED ABOUT COPY CONFIDENTIAL COLLECTIVE
Finally a group you can share business and copy ideas with everyone securely under a cone of confidentiality.
The beta group is seriously affordable and a great way to get multiple points of view, make friends and get far better at marketing and copy, without the risk of public humiliation (like on some of the FB critique groups)…if you want to improve, you do not want to miss out.
A woman’s quest for her perfect hairdresser can be more challenging than the search true love. You think I’m exaggerating…?
I had been in deep, profound romantic love three times before finding a woman who could properly create an ideal cut for my unruly curls.
Molly, my mane’s magician, moved away two years ago. To say I was crushed would be an understatement. I never found another Molly.
Last week, I discovered through a fortunate series of Facebook events that Molly had moved back to town six months ago. When I gasped, jumped for joy and berated her for not telling me, she said, “I didn’t want to bother you in case you had found another girl.”
What does this have to do with you?
When I teach prospecting and sales, I often hear people say they did not follow up with a prospect more than once because they “don’t want to bother” the client.
HOLD UP, BUTTERCUP…
Since when is helping someone grow their business, their market, their customer base, their brand, their sales, and their bank account a BOTHER?
If your offer provides a solid return on investment, putting more money in your pocket and theirs, then your offer is a GIFT, not a BOTHER.
By not bothering me, my hairdresser missed out on at least $1,000 over 5 months. I am guessing I am not the only one she didn’t bother, so I conservatively estimate her losses in excess of $5K.
My hair hasn’t looked its best, she has missed out on money.
That is a bother.
If you suffer from “Don’t Want To Bother” sales syndrome, you’ve come to the right lady. I can teach you how to delight your prospects, wow them with your prowess, and create offers they cannot wait to pay for.
Stay tuned for a special announcement.
The single biggest question I get is, “How can I work with you for free?”
Freebie Seekers. A population proliferated by the very marketers looking to sell to them.
Let me explain…
The largest trend in Internet marketing today is
“To get your prospect to know, like and trust you, you MUST give away a ton of value for free first…and then you can ask for the sale.”
With this trend, Internet marketers have succeeded in one thing…creating a huge market of freebie seekers…people unwilling to purchase information, and content to use simply use whatever free, surface level B.S. they can find.
Offering something for nothing is not a new concept in marketing. Back in the 80s when it was considered healthy and good parenting to feed kids a balanced breakfast of Lucky Charms and orange juice for breakfast, I selected my sugar cereal based on the toy at the bottom of the box.
Free in exchange for something of value, be it an email address, an in-kind trade, or a bonus with purchase is quite a valid marketing principle.
So too is the use of the freebie to trigger reciprocity. Reciprocity works because humans are programmed to desire balance…so we quickly want to buy or return the value if someone gives us something for free.
Yet, the freebie seekers drive me nuts. Every day, I see questions like this…and I respond with a heavy dose of reality:
“What is the best free SEO course?”
– Do you really believe that you will learn enough from a free course to beat the Google game?
“Can I get Breakthrough Advertising as a free download?”
– Yes, but it’s stealing
“ How can I work with you for free?”
– You can’t. My time is valuable and ROI on my copy or coaching well exceeds any price I ever charge for it.
Even my email list is not really free.
Sure, you can hang here and you can learn from me every day about copy, marketing, business. You can hear the best tidbits from all of the conferences I attend, books I read, podcasts I listen to, and mentors I pay large amounts of money to work with.
Much of what I tell you will add value and entertainment in your daily life. At least, that is my hope.
And then you can read my pitch of the moment.
Maybe you will buy.
Maybe you will hire me to write your copy or help with your strategy.
Maybe you will apply what you learn from me and you will make lots of moolah and then you will tell me about it and let me use your testimonial in my marketing.
I hope you will do all of it.
I didn’t pitch today…instead, I would love for you to reply and tell me your greatest worry in your business. That thing you think about at 2am.